High School: Palisades High School (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
When Jerritt Elliott was hired as the seventh head coach in Texas Volleyball history in the spring of 2001, he was charged with returning the Longhorns back to national prominence. 12 seasons later, Elliott has accomplished that -- and more. His efforts to bring the program back to the top of the collegiate volleyball world came to fruition by winning the 2012 NCAA national championship, the program's third national title and second in NCAA play.
Elliott, who holds a 345-91 career record in 14 seasons as a collegiate head coach and a 295-79 mark in 12 years at Texas, has brought enthusiasm, experience and growing success to UT. That has translated to Top 10 rankings the past seven seasons, seven consecutive trips to the NCAA Regional finals, four NCAA Championship appearances in five years (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012) and capacity crowds at Gregory Gymnasium, the home of Texas Volleyball.
Elliott has a keen eye for young talent and he has developed a reputation as one of the nation's best recruiters. All but one of his recruiting classes have been ranked nationally, and he has a total of six top-two recruiting classes (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 classes) on his Texas resume and seven overall, including his classes at USC (2000 and 2001). Elliott's 2011 class was his first top-ranked class at Texas after previously bringing in four classes that ranked second. His philosophy of recruiting "to win national championships" - not just filling perceived needs of a team - has proven successful, as his last two classes as the head coach at USC went on to win back-to-back national titles in 2002 and 2003.
At Texas, the groundwork for success was laid with his very first signing class in 2001 that included eventual All-Americans Mira Topic and Bethany Howden. The signing of the 2003 incoming class - Armstrong, Jenny Andrew, Magee and Jessica Curtis - solidified the team's depth two years later. Even without the addition of sophomore transfer Dariam Acevedo, the 2003 class was ranked second by Volleyball Magazine and helped lay the foundation for Texas' future successes.
A year later in 2004, Elliott and his staff added Moriarty, Jen Christian and Alyson Jennings. In 2005, height and physicality were added with the inclusion of the team's 6-5 middles, Paolini and RuthAnn Feist, and a back-row stalwart in Kiley Hall.
The addition of two more Top 10 prep players in 2006 and 2007 - including the player in the 2006 class whom pundits described as one of the most versatile in her age group, Engle. Texas Volleyball continued on its push toward a deep NCAA Championship run behind the powerful hitting of Engle and Hooker, as well as pair of Top three prep players - Faucette and Jennifer Doris. Texas added No. 3 national recruit Rachael Adams in 2008 and No. 1 national recruit Bailey Webster and No. 5 national recruit Sha'Dare McNeal in 2009 to bolster the already youthful Longhorns' roster. In 2011, Elliott added another group of Longhorn recruits in No. 2 recruit Khat Bell, No. 5 recruit Haley Eckerman and No. 13 national recruit Madelyn Hutson. The 2012 class was ranked No. 2 nationally with four Top 20 players: No. 1 recruit Molly McCage, No. 6 Nicole Dalton, No. 9 Sara Hattis and No. 18 Amy Neal.
Elliott's ability to develop blue-chip recruits is well documented. Since 2002, Elliott has developed 14 student-athletes who have earned 30 AVCA All-America honors.
On a conference level, Texas has seen 17 players earn 41 All-Big 12 nods, including three or more in each of the last eight seasons. Five players have earned Big 12 Player of the Year honors: Mira Topic (2004), Destinee Hooker (2009), Juliann Faucette (2010), Bailey Webster (2011) and Haley Eckerman (2012). UT won three straight Big 12 Freshman of the Year awards with Engle (2006), Faucette (2007) and Kocher (2008) with Haley Eckerman winning the honor in 2011.
Elliott's peers have taken notice of his work in Austin, voting him the AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2012 while earning AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year honors in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2011. He also earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in each of those seasons.
Additionally, Elliott earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1999 and 2000 in his two years as the Women of Troy's head coach, as well as AVCA Pacific Region Coach of the Year accolades in 2000 after leading USC to its first volleyball final four appearance in 15 seasons and first-ever share of the Pac-10 Championship.
A magical run in 2012 culminated with the program's third national championship after the Longhorns swept Oregon, 3-0, in the national title match. Texas finished with a 29-4 record while earning another Big 12 title with a 15-1 mark. The Longhorns finished the season by winning 23 of their final 24 matches. Bailey Webster, Haley Eckerman, Khat Bell and Sha'Dare McNeal earned AVCA All-America honors. Webster was named most outstanding player for the NCAA Tournament while Eckerman earned Big 12 Player of the Year honors. Elliott was named AVCA National Coach of the Year.
The 2011 squad finished fourth in the nation, going 25-5 and reaching the NCAA Regional final while posting a 15-1 mark to win the Big 12 Conference championship. With the help of AVCA National Freshman of the Year Haley Eckerman, along with first team All-Americans Rachael Adams and Bailey Webster, the Longhorns were able to post another successful season. Elliott was named Big 12 Coach of the Year, the fourth time in his career he received the honor as eight Longhorns earned conference honors. Webster was named Big 12 Player of the Year while Eckerman garnerned conference Freshman of the Year recognition.
Elliott's 2010 team overcame five season-ending injuries and lineup carousels to play its way to its third consecutive NCAA Semifinal appearance. En route to a 27-6 record, Elliott's management skills earned him co-Big 12 Coach of the Year honors for the third time and his third AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year award. At season's end the Horns were ranked fourth in both national polls and they finished second in the Big 12 standings. Elliott once again coached a pair of players to All-America status with Juliann Faucette and Rachael Adams each collecting AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-America First Team honors.
In 2009, Elliott's Longhorns garnered their greatest success during his tenure at UT, advancing to the NCAA Championship match for the first time since 1995. Texas played one of the sport's all-time greatest championship matches as it fell to two-time defending champion Penn State in five sets. The Horns posted a 29-2 record on the season and claimed their third-straight Big 12 title and first outright championship since 1997. Texas concluded the season ranked No. 2 nationally in both polls, while Destinee Hooker and Ashley Engle garnered All-America First Team honors and Faucette landed on the third team. Hooker was named Volleyball Magazine Co-National Player of the Year and Big 12 Player of the Year in 2009 and all three players garnered All-Big 12 and AVCA All-Region lauds.
The 2008 squad returned the Longhorns to the forefront of the national volleyball scene, advancing to the NCAA Semifinals for the first time since 1995. The Longhorns posted a 29-4 record on the year and earned their second straight share of the Big 12 title, while concluding the season ranked No. 4 nationally. The trio of Engle, Hooker and Lauren Paolini garnered All-America First Team honors, marking the most first-team honorees in program history. Elliott coached four players to All-Big 12 accolades and helped setter Michelle Kocher garner UT's third straight Big 12 Freshman of the Year honor.
In 2008, Elliott added another honor when he was chosen to coach the USA Volleyball A2 Team at the USA Adult Open Volleyball Championships in Atlanta, Ga.
Elliott's 2007 squad earned UT's second straight trip to the NCAA Regional finals and claimed its first Big 12 Championship since 1997, sharing the title with Nebraska. Texas' 27-4 record in 2007 marked Elliott's fourth straight season with at least 24 victories.
Elliott garnered AVCA All-Central Region and Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 2007 after leading Texas to a No. 6 ranking. In 2007, he coached four players - Faucette, Hooker, Michelle Moriarty and Paolini - to All-America honors, while mentoring six players to All-Big 12 accolades.
In 2006, a mix of veteran and freshman talent helped lead the Longhorns to a 24-7 mark and UT's first trip to the NCAA Regional finals since 1998.
The 2006 squad boasted three returning All-Americans - Leticia Armstrong, Brandy Magee and Moriarty going into the season, but the Horns played the majority of the season with only Moriarty in the lineup. After losing two All-Americans to injury, a pair of sensational freshmen, Engle and Hooker, stepped up to earn All-America honors of their own and lead the Horns to a No. 7 ranking in the final AVCA Top 25 Poll.
In 2004, the Longhorns posted a 26-5 record. The team concluded the regular season with a second-place Big 12 finish. In the postseason, the Longhorns played their way to the NCAA Regional semifinals before falling to eventual national champion Stanford. When the final polls came out, Texas earned a final ranking of No. 11, marking the program's best finish since the 1998 campaign.
In 2003, beset by injuries and several off-court family emergencies that forced him to use 11 different lineups, Elliott guided the Horns to a 15-14 overall record and a 10-10 mark in Big 12 Conference matches. While many assumed Texas had written off its season with just three weeks left, Elliott led his team to a 4-1 mark down the stretch, including a season-ending 3-1 victory at home over No. 5 Kansas State. Topic and Howden earned honorable mention All-America honors after both garnering first-team AVCA All-Central Region and first-team All-Big 12 accolades.
Without a senior on the squad in 2002, Elliott led the Longhorns to their second NCAA appearance since his arrival and moved up to a fourth-place finish in the Big 12 Conference. He also developed his first All-American at Texas in Topic, when she was named an AVCA third-team All-American. In addition, Elliott guided 2000 All-Central Region honoree Kathy Hahn's return to the court after a redshirt season in 2001.
In his first season in 2001, Elliott guided the Longhorns to three wins over Top 25 opponents, including a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over then-No. 11 BYU in the team's second match of the season. He also was responsible for developing the nationally-recognized freshmen duo of Topic (Big 12 and AVCA Central Region Freshman of the Year) and Howden (Big 12 honorable mention), who both earned ASICS/Volleyball Magazine Freshman All-America honors.
Prior to his appointment as head coach at Texas in April of 2001, Elliott posted two remarkable seasons as the interim head coach at the University of Southern California. He compiled a record of 50-12 while leading the Women of Troy to their first NCAA Semifinals appearance in 15 years and first-ever share of the Pac-10 Conference title. In 2000, USC finished the season ranked No. 4 nationally by both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine while going 29-3 en route to the NCAA Semifinals. Elliott was honored as Pac-10 Coach of the Year both seasons, as well as being named the 2000 Pacific Region Coach of the Year.
Under the leadership of Elliott, the Trojans featured two All-Americans in 2000 (April Ross and Jennifer Pahl) and six all-conference players, including the Pac-10 and Region Freshman of the Year (Ross). In both 2000 and 2001, Elliott's recruiting class was regarded as No. 1 in the nation, the school's first-ever No. 1 recruiting classes.
Prior to his two years as interim head coach, Elliot spent four years at USC as an assistant coach under head coach Lisa Love. As an assistant at USC, Elliott helped guide the Women of Troy to finish in the top 15 nationally all four years. He also was instrumental in developing two-time All-American middle blocker Jasmina Marinkovic (1995-98).
Elliott earned another honor when he was appointed head coach of the USA Junior National Team for the summer of 2001. But due to his appointment at Texas, Elliott had to relinquish the role with USA Volleyball. Elliott was an assistant coach on the 1998 U.S. Junior National Team, which won the NORCECA gold medal and qualified for the World Championships.
Additionally, he served as the director/head coach of the Westside Volleyball Club from 1992-95, where he led his 1994 squad to a fourth-place finish in the Nike Volleyball Festival. In 1992-93, Elliott assumed the role as head coach for the Forum Team Cup Volleyball.
He gained his first collegiate level coaching experience as an assistant with the Cal State Northridge men's volleyball program in 1993. That season the Matadors advanced to the NCAA Championship match before losing to UCLA.
Among his high school head coaching experiences, Elliott spent three years (1992-1994) at Marymount High in Westwood, Calif., where he guided his girls' squad to the league championship in 1993. He also spent one year (1991) at his alma mater, Palisades High, in Pacific Palisades, Calif., leading the girls team to a 16-3 record and the Los Angeles city title.
Elliott played collegiate volleyball at Pepperdine in 1986-88 and at Hawai'i during the 1989-90 season. The Pacific Palisades, Calif., native attended Palisades High, where he was high school teammates with 1996 U.S. Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Kent Steffes. Elliott was an All-L.A. City second-team selection as he helped Palisades to a 36-0 record in his final season.
Born April 28, 1968, Elliott earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Cal State Northridge in 1991. He has a daughter, Kahle (14), and two sons, Parker (7) and Mack (6).
Jerritt Elliott's Coaching Record at Texas
Overall Conf. NCAA NCAA Conf. Year Record Record Finish Tournament Finish Final Poll 2012 29-4 15-1 1st NCAA Champions 1st 1st 2011 25-5 15-1 T-5th NCAA Regional Finalist 1st 4th 2010 27-6 18-2 T-3rd NCAA Semifinalist 2nd 4th 2009 29-2 19-1 2nd NCAA Finalist 1st 2nd 2008 29-4 18-2 T-3rd NCAA Semifinalist T-1st 4th 2007 27-4 19-1 T-5th NCAA Regional Finalist T-1st 6th 2006 24-7 16-4 T-5th NCAA Regional Finalist 3rd 7th 2005 24-5 17-3 T-17th NCAA Second Round 2nd 16th 2004 26-5 16-4 T-9th NCAA Regional Semifinalist 2nd 11th 2003 15-14 10-10 - DNQ 7th - 2002 23-9 13-4 T-17th NCAA Second Round 4th - 2001 17-14 9-11 T-17th NCAA Second Round T-6th -