Volleyball tabs Nebraska's Sullivan as assistant coach
Feb. 1, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - One of the nation's premier assistant coaches, Erik Sullivan has been named assistant coach at Texas, Longhorns head coach Jerritt Elliott announced Tuesday. Sullivan joins the Texas staff after spending three seasons on the Nebraska coaching staff. Sullivan replaces Brian Hosfeld who left Texas to spend more time with his family.
“We are extremely pleased to have Erik joining our staff,” Elliott said. “He brings a vast amount of experience that will benefit our players and program.”
In his three seasons at Nebraska, Sullivan helped the Huskers to a share of the Big 12 title in 2008 and an outright championship in 2010. He also helped NU to the three-straight NCAA Regional appearances during his tenure. Sullivan’s primary duties included working with the middle blockers, serving as co-recruiting coordinator and handling scouting and match preparation.
Texas marks his third stop in the Big 12, as he served as an assistant coach at Colorado for four seasons before moving to Nebraska the past three seasons.
Sullivan was a two-time U.S. Olympian and he brings a wealth of playing experience into the Texas program, including eight years with the U.S. National Team. He started for Team USA at libero at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games and served as co-captain of Team USA at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
“Erik will work with our liberos and middle blockers,” Elliott said. “He will be responsible for our defensive team systems and scouting reports. Additionally, he will assist in all facets of the program and be a key component to player development on and off the court.”
A native of Encinitas, Calif., Sullivan was an assistant at Colorado from 2004-2007 where he
helped the Buffaloes to three straight NCAA appearances and coached a pair of CU outside hitters to All-Big 12 recognition.
“Having played in two Olympics and multiple years internationally, Erik’s resume speaks for itself,” Elliott said. “His credentials are very impressive and he will add a tremendous amount of experience, drive and passion to our program. I know that our players are eager to get to work once he arrives on campus next week.”
Sullivan's playing experience has also stretched to the professional ranks in Europe. His professional resume includes stints in Naefels, Switzerland (1995-97), Malaga, Spain (1999), Apeldoorn, The Netherlands (2000-01) and Odintsovo, Russia (2003). In the United States, Sullivan played professionally on the Four-Man Volleyball Beach Tour in 1996-97.
“Over the past few years every senior in our program has gone on to play professional volleyball internationally,” Elliott said. “He will be a great sounding board and voice of reason for our future players who dream of playing internationally.”
A two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Second Team pick at UCLA, Sullivan led the Bruins to a pair of national titles during his four-year playing career (1992-95). Sullivan finished his career as UCLA's all-time leader in matches with 10 or more digs (25) and ranked second in career digs (747). As a senior in 1995, Sullivan captained the Bruins to an NCAA title while ranking ninth nationally in digs (2.5 digs per-set). He graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in physiological science in the spring of 1995.
Sullivan is married to the former Amanda Heavner of Santa Barbara, Calif. The couple has a daughter, Shaye (8) and a son, Cade (3).