USAV Names Staff for Women’s A2, Jr. Programs

March 14, 2011, 6:10 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 14, 2011) – USA Volleyball has named the head coaches for the 2011 U.S. Women’s National A2 Program and the coaching staff for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team.

Rob Browning, head coach at Saint Mary’s College (Calif.), will serve as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team. Jill Kramer, head coach at West Virginia University, and Erik Sullivan, assistant coach at University of Texas, will serve as assistant coaches for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team.

The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team will compete at the 2011 FIVB Women’s Junior (Under 20) World Championship in Peru. The tournament is scheduled for July 21-30. The U.S. qualified for the event by winning the 2010 NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship, which Browning served as the head coach.

Serving as head coaches for the U.S. Women’s National A2 Program will be Ohio State University Head Coach Geoff Carlston, LSU Head Coach Fran Flory and University of Dayton Head Coach Kelly Sheffield.

The U.S. Women’s National A2 Program will take place in Dallas from May 23 through June 1. A total of 36 athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will include training and competition in the 2010 USA Volleyball Open National Championships in the Open Division from May 28-31. The 36 players will be divided into three 12-player rosters for the USA Volleyball Open National Championships. USA Volleyball considers the event as the National Championship for the sport of volleyball in the United States.

USA Volleyball will announce the player selections for the U.S. Women’s National A2 Program later this week after all 36 player spots have been confirmed. In addition, the full U.S. Women's National A2 Program coaching and support staff for 2011 will be announced at that time.

Becky Murdy, USA Volleyball Media Relations and Publications Assistant, compiled and edited coaching staff bios below through respective college Web sites.

U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach
Rob Browning (head coach at Saint Mary’s College in California)
Head Coach Record/Experience (Saint Mary’s/Overall): 106-57 (Six Seasons) / 106-57 (Six Seasons)

Rob Browning will enter his seventh season as head coach at Saint Mary’s College (Calif.) next fall. He has accumulated an overall record of 106-57 and a conference record of 54-28. In 2010, Saint Mary’s finished 20-8 overall with a 10-2 mark in conference. Last year marked the second consecutive season the Gaels reached the 20-win milestone. During the year, Saint Mary’s placed four players on the All-West Coast Conference First-Team.

During the 2009 campaign, Browning led the Gaels to their first-ever West Coast Conference Championship, going 13-1. The Gaels dominated the conference, leading in every statistical category by the end of the season, which has never happened in the history of the WCC. The Gaels went to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year and third in Browning's six years as coach, advancing to the second round in 2009.

Within the past six years Browning has had 29 of his players named to WCC All-Conference teams and five players named to the WCC All-Academic team. In addition, Browning helped guide Gael senior Alita Fisher to Saint Mary's first ever WCC Defensive Player of the Year honor and in 2007 freshman Megan York to Saint Mary's first ever WCC Co-Freshman of the Year honor. Saint Mary's has appeared in three NCAA tournaments under Browning and has won five pre-season tournaments over the past four seasons.

Last season, Browning's sixth year as head coach, seven players received all-conference honors after five had earned the honor in 2009. Browning was also awarded 2009 WCC Coach of the Year as voted on by the other WCC head coaches, and AVCA Pacific Region Coach of the Year. The Gaels dominated the WCC, leading the conference in every statistical category.

Browning served as head coach of the 2010 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team which captured the NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship and ticket to the 2011 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship.

Browning was an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's National Team for six years prior to joining Saint Mary's in March 2005. He has been to three Olympic Games with the USA men's team: 2000 in Sydney, 2004 in Athens, and 2008 in Beijing where the team won the gold medal.

Prior to coaching the men's national team, Browning served as a volunteer assistant on the BYU men's volleyball team for three years, culminating in BYU's first NCAA National Championship in 1999.

U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Assistant Coach
Jill Kramer (head coach at West Virginia University)
Head Coach Record/Experience (Virginia/Overall): 15-15 (One Season) / 15-15 (One Season)

Jill Kramer completed her first season as West Virginia University’s head volleyball coach accumulating a 15-15 overall record and a 5-9 Big East Conference record.

Before her first head coaching hire, Kramer served three seasons as an assistant volleyball coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Virginia, helping head coach Lee Maes with the program’s first-ever nationally ranked recruiting class and its first top-10 recruiting class.

Kramer came to UVa after two seasons at the University of Alabama, where she served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Kramer aided in the Crimson Tide’s back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and brought in the program’s first ranked recruiting class, No. 27 according to the poll.

Prior to Alabama, Kramer was assistant coach at the University of Texas at San Antonia for three seasons and was co-director for the Alamo Volleyball Club, coaching the 17U team. During her time as co-director of the club, 17 teams qualified for the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships, six earning medals and 12 players earning All-American awards.

Her coaching career began in 1998 as an assistant for the 16U national team of the Metroplex Volleyball Club, currently Texas Advantage, in Fort Worth, Texas. Her national coaching continued in 2006 as Kramer began her successful involvement with USA Volleyball, guiding her teams to gold medals in 2006, 2007 and 2009. In 2006, as assistant of the U.S. Women’s Junior National A2 training camp and Red team, the squad won gold at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships. In 2007, Kramer again was the assistant coach for the USA Junior A2 team, winning gold at the Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia. In 2009, Kramer led the USA Youth A2 team to a gold medal at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships.

In the three years coaching at USA Volleyball, Kramer’s teams went undefeated tallying a 20-0 record. For the past three years, Kramer has served as an evaluator at the USA Women’s National Team Open Tryouts in Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Assistant Coach
Erik Sullivan (Assistant coach at University of Texas)
Experience (Texas/Overall): 0 Seasons / Seven Seasons

Erik Sullivan was named assistant coach at the University of Texas February, 2011, after the conclusion of his third season as assistant coach of the University of Nebraska.

Throughout his three seasons at Nebraska under head coach John Cook, the Huskers tallied an 86-13 record, winning two Big 12 titles, marking three consecutive Regional appearances, and a 2008 NCAA Division I Tournament semifinal appearance. Sullivan oversaw the Huskers’ middle blockers and helped develop the team’s defensive strategies.

Prior to Nebraska, Sullivan coached at Colorado as assistant coach for four seasons, making Texas his third stop in the Big 12. During his time in Colorado, the Buffaloes made three-straight NCAA appearances and had two outside hitters earn All-Big 12 recognition.

Sullivan played at the collegiate level for the UCLA Bruins, becoming a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American Second-Team pick. During his four years (1992-95) at UCLA, the Bruins captured two national titles, one in his senior season while he was ranked ninth in the nation for digs, averaging 2.5 per set. Upon graduating from UCLA, Sullivan finished as the school’s all-time leader in matches with 10 or more digs (25) and ranked second in career digs (747).

After college Sullivan was a two-time U.S. Olympian as libero at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Sullivan co-captained Team USA at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He earned Best Defensive Player in the World at the 1998 FIVB World Championship as well as the U.S. National Team’s Tom Haine Players’ Award. In 2000, he earned the America’s Cup Best Reception Player and the Best Libero at the 2001 FIVB World Championship Qualifier. From 1996-97, Sullivan played professionally on the Four-Man Volleyball Beach Tour in the United States.

Sullivan’s play went international as a professional in Europe, including time in Naefels, Switzerland (1995-97), Malaga, Spain (1999), Apeldoom, Netherlands (2000-01) and Odintsovo, Russia (2003).

At the club level, Sullivan served as director of Pikes Peak Volleyball Club in Colorado Springs, Colo., from 2001-2002, coaching the club’s 17U team.

U.S. Women’s National A2 Program Head Coach
Geoff Carlston (head coach at Ohio State University)
Head Coach Record/Experience (Ohio State/Overall): 61-42 (Three Seasons) / 254-106 (11 Seasons)

Geoff Carlston will enter his fourth season as head coach of The Ohio State University Buckeyes next fall with a record of 61-42. His 11-year coaching record stands at 254-106. In the 2010 season, Carlston guided the women’s volleyball team to a 24-12 overall record and a 10-10 Big Ten Conference record, finishing sixth. For the second consecutive season the Buckeyes were an at-large selection to the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.

Prior to his three seasons with the Buckeyes, Carlston coached five seasons at Ohio University, leading the Bobcats to five NCAA tournament appearances. Carlston guided the Bobcats to five consecutive Mid-American Conference championships with an overall record of 144-22. He was named MAC Coach of the Year four times and Mideast Region Coach of the Year twice.

Preceding his time at Ohio University, Carlston served as head coach with the Concordia University-St. Paul (Minn.) Golden Bears, compiling a 49-42 record. Carlston recruited three NSIC Freshman-of-the-Year selections as well as five all-conference players.

Carlston began his coaching career in 1994 as head coach at Hopkins High School (Minnesota) for two seasons before leaving for Belize to be a Peace Corps volunteer. Carlston served as head coach of the Belize women’s national team and as an assistant coach for the men’s national team. The team finished fourth at the 1997 Central America championship, marking the country’s first international victories.

After two years, Carlston returned to the United States and became head coach of Minnesota One 17s team. Carlston’s team competed in the 17 Open Division at USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships for three consecutive years.

U.S. Women’s National A2 Program Head Coach
Fran Flory (head coach at LSU)
Head Coach Record/Experience (LSU/Overall): 248-144 (13 Seasons) / 358-258 (20 Seasons)

Fran Flory, two-time Louisiana Coach of the Year, will enter her 14th season as the women’s head volleyball coach at Louisiana State University. In her 13 seasons with the Tigers, she has tallied a record of 248-144. Under her direction, the Tigers have won five consecutive SEC Western Division titles and have made five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Flory has led 31 All-SEC selections, 12 First-Team picks and the second-most players named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. The team has earned national recognition for its academic achievements, earning the AVCA Team Academic Award three times.

The Louisiana native has joined the coaching staff at five schools being named head coach at three, tallying an overall record of 358-258 in 20 seasons. Flory’s first head coaching title was at Wittenberg in 1986 before moving on to become an assistant coach at Texas A&M. Her first experience coaching at LSU lasted four seasons from 1988-1991 before she headed to Southeastern Louisiana for a year as head coach followed by a five-year stretch as head coach at Kentucky.

As a player at Texas, Flory and her team won the 1981 AIAW National Championship. She received All-Southern Conference and All-South Region honors during her three seasons.

Flory became chair of the NCAA Rules Committee starting in 2010. She has assisted in the coordination of both Louisiana Senior Olympic Games and the Special Olympics, hosting the 2001 Senior Olympic Games. She is also a member of the USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP).

U.S. Women’s National A2 Program Head Coach
Kelly Sheffield (head coach at University of Dayton)
Head Coach Record/Experience (Dayton/Overall): 79-21 (Three Seasons) / 221-100 (10 Seasons)

Kelly Sheffield will enter his fourth season as head coach at the University of Dayton in the fall with a record of 79-21 with the Flyers and a 221-100 overall record.

The 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Northeast Region Coach of the Year led the Flyers to their first undefeated record in the Atlantic 10 Conference in program history. The team was seeded at No. 14 in the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, its highest bid in program history. The team earned back-to-back conference regular season and tournament titles as well as NCAA Tournament appearances during Sheffield’s tenure, capturing the team’s first at-large bid in 2008.

Prior to his stint at Dayton, Sheffield served as head coach for seven seasons with the University at Albany. A two-time America East Conference Coach of the Year, Sheffield led the Great Danes to three NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back conference tournament championships. Sheffield mentored the first player in NCAA history to win a conference Player of the Year and Setter of the Year award in three consecutive seasons. In 2006 the squad became the first team in program history in any sport to host first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

Sheffield served as assistant coach at Clemson University, University of Virginia and at the University of Houston prior to his time at Dayton. During his two seasons at Virginia, the squad earned its first two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

At the club level, Sheffield coached the Houston Juniors from 1997-98 and the Munciana Volleyball Club from 1989-97 in Indiana. As assistant coach of Muncie Burris High School varsity team the squad brought home two state championships and a national championship.

Sheffield was appointed to the AVCA’s Board of Directors in 2009 and is currently serving a three-year term on the board overseeing the selection of all AVCA awards and Division I All-American meetings. From 2004-07, Sheffield served as a member of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Rules Committee, and chaired the committee from 2006-07. In addition, he was also the America East Conference representative on the NCAA Division I Head Coaches’ Committee.