Head Coach Jerritt Elliott
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. Six seasons later, Elliott has accomplished that - and more.
Elliott, who holds a 179-66 career record and a 129-54 mark at Texas, has brought enthusiasm, experience and growing success to UT, which has translated to top-10 rankings the past three years, NCAA Championship success and growing crowds at Gregory Gymnasium, home of Texas Volleyball.
The 2007 squad welcomes back four All-American and adds two top-five prep players to an already potent roster. Three Longhorns -Ashley Engle, Destinee Hooker and Michelle Moriarty - earned 2006 AVCA All-America honors, while 2006 All-American Brandy Magee returns for her fifth season after missing last season with a knee injury.
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 Round of Eight since 1998. Texas' postseason appearance marked the third straight season that the Horns have earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament and was Elliott's most successful season at Texas to date.
The 2006 squad boasted three returning All-Americans - Leticia Armstrong, Brandy Magee and Michelle 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, Ashley Engle and Destinee Hooker, stepped up to earn All-America honors of their own and lead the Horns to a No. 7 ranking in the final CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Poll.
Elliott's eye for young talent is well-documented and he has developed a reputation as one of the nation's best recruiters. All but one of his recruiting classes has been ranked nationally and he has a total of five top-two recruiting classes -including a pair of top-ranked classes at USC- on his resume.
His philosophy of recruiting "to win national championships" - not just fill 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 before falling short of a three-peat bid in 2004.
At Texas, the groundwork for success was laid with his very first signing class that included eventual All-Americans Mira Topic and Bethany Howden, who backboned the team in each of their four years. The signing of the 2003 incoming class - Leticia Armstrong, Jenny Andrew, Brandy 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 has proven to be the foundation of all success that has followed in their stay in Austin.
A year later in 2004, Elliott and his staff added Michelle Moriarty, Jen Christian and Alyson Jennings, who have all started during their tenure at Texas. In 2005, height and physicality were added with the inclusion of the team's 6-5 middles, Lauren 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, Ashley Engle. Texas Volleyball will continue on its push toward a deep NCAA Championship run behind the powerful hitting of Engle and classmate Destinee Hooker and will look to a pair of top-3 prep players - Juliann Faucette and Jennifer Doris - in 2007 to make an even bigger impact.
Elliott's ability to develop blue-chip recruits is well documented. Since 2002, Elliott has developed seven student-athletes who have earned 11 AVCA All-America honors, more than the Longhorns claimed in the 1990's.
On a conference level, Texas has seen eight players earn 17 All-Big 12 nods, including three or more in each of the last three seasons. Mira Topic was also recognized as the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2004, marking UT's second league most valuable player honor since the creation of the conference in 1996. Engle added UT's first Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year award in 2007.
Elliott's peers have taken notice of his work in Austin, voting him the AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year in 2004 following his selection as the Big 12 Coach of the Year after guiding UT to a second-place league finish and a NCAA Round of 16 appearance.
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.
In 2004, the Longhorns posted a 26-5 record, the Horns' best record in Elliott's tenure at Texas. The team concluded the regular season with a second-place Big 12 finish, and in the postseason, the Longhorns played their way to the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual national champion Stanford in a tight, three-game match. When the final polls came out, Texas earned a final ranking of No. 11, marking the programs best finish since the 1998 campaign.
Elliott earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Central Region Coach of the Year honors, as well as being named Big 12 Coach of the Year. Two players - seniors Mira Topic and Bethany Howden - earned first and second-team All-America honors, respectively, from the AVCA after both garnering first-team AVCA All-Central Region and first-team All-Big 12 accolades. Topic was also Texas' 14th conference player of the year - and the second as a member of the Big 12 Conference.
In 2003, beset by injuries and several off-court family emergencies that forced him to use 11 different line-ups, 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. Additionally, Volleyball Magazine ranked his freshman class - Jenny Andrew, Armstrong, Jessica Curtis and Magee - second in the nation marking the third top-five recruiting class in his head-coaching career.
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 ever-competitive 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 Kathy Hahn's return to the court after a red-shirt season in 2001 as she claimed All-Central Region honors, along with Topic.
In his first season in 2001, Elliott guided the young Longhorns to three wins over top-25 opponents, including a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over then-No. 11 BYU in only the team's second match of the season, and then later on to UT's 19th NCAA appearance. 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-American 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 Final Four 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 nationally in the top 15 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, when 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 girl's 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 US Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Kent Steffes. Elliott was an All-L.A. City second team selection as he helped Palisades to 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 is married to the former Sarah Silvernail, a two-time All-American at Washington State and former member of the U.S. National Volleyball Team. The couple has a daughter, Kahle (9), and two sons, Parker (2) and Mack who was born during the 2006 season. The Elliotts reside in Austin.