Aug. 1, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University volleyball head coach Jon Wallace announced the hiring of former Pacific outside hitter and current professional Katy Eldridge as the top assistant coach of the team.
Eldridge, a Petaluma native, replaces Dave Hollaway, who left after four years on the mission campus for a similar position at Pacific. She will share in all responsibilities of the program and will work directly with the team's outside hitters and passers during practice, as well as implement a conditioning program and aid in recruiting.
"I think Katy is a wonderful role model," Wallace said. "She was a very successful collegiate player, a successful student-athlete, and still maintains a successful professional career. She's given back to the community as a teacher and a club coach. I think our girls have a lot to learn from her.
"On top of all that," Wallace continued, "Katy is well-respected in the game of volleyball and has an outgoing personality that our players and recruits will enjoy. Her patience and knowledge will allow her to become a great coach."
Eldridge has played professionally for the past eight seasons. She began her pro beach career on the Bud Light Four-Person Tour in 1994. One of four rookies selected in that year's draft, she was chosen as a starter for Team Nike in her first season. With Team Nike, led by Gabrielle Reece, Eldridge's team won three tournaments in her first year en route to being named the Bud Light Surprise Player of the Year. Her team added two wins in 1995. Eldridge was the first player drafted in the Bud Light Pro Beach Volleyball Draft in 1996 and added her sixth career win that season.
Eldridge now plays doubles on the beach. Her and her partner Stephanie Cox placed a career-best third on the BVA Tour at San Diego in 2000. As a top-10 player, she has earned more than $24,000 in prize money.
In addition to her beach career, Eldridge competed professionally indoors for the National Volleyball Association's Orange County Diggers. Her 1996 team won the league title. Additionally, Eldridge spent part of the 1994 season playing indoors in Ravenna, Italy. She also trained with the U.S. National Team that season.
"I'm very excited to be joining Santa Clara University," Eldridge said. "I'm looking forward to working with Jon Wallace as the program continues its rise to national prominence."
Eldridge spent the 1999 season as an assistant coach for Sonoma State University and began her coaching career in 1998 as a junior club coach with Vision and Empire clubs. Eldridge spent the past season as an assistant junior varsity coach at Los Gatos High School.
Eldridge entered the professional circuit after a very successful collegiate career at Pacific. She garnered numerous awards, including her school's NCAA Woman of the Year honor in 1992. During her senior season, the team captain was also named the team's MVP while being named an Academic All-American. In addition to being a four-year All-Big West Conference honoree, Eldridge led the Tigers to the NCAA Championship match as a sophomore in 1990. She is currently fourth all-time in career digs in the Pacific record books, with 1,169. This past spring, Eldridge was elected into the Tiger Hall of Fame as part of the 1990 squad.
Eldridge earned a bachelor's in sociology, cum laude, from Pacific in 1993. She received her teaching credential from Loyola Marymount in 1998 and spent the past year teaching fourth grade at Rosemary Elementary School in Campbell.
The Broncos return two starters from last year's team that finished the season ranked 17th with the program's best season record ever, 27-5. Leading the way will be WCC Freshman of the Year Becky Potter and All-WCC Performer Jami Bari. The Santa Clara volleyball team begins the 2001 season August 31 against South Carolina at the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge in Tempe, Ariz.