BLUEGRASS COLLEGE CAMP
Friday, March 6th, 2020
Camp open to all 14u-18u athletes.
Chris Tamas is entering is third season as head coach of the Fighting Illini volleyball program in 2019 after being named to the position in February 2017. Tamas (pronounced Thomas) is the eighth head coach in Illinois history.
In just two seasons at the helm of the program, Tamas has made an immediate impact on Illinois volleyball and owns an overall record of 55-15 (.786), including a 29-11 (.725) mark in the nation’s toughest volleyball league, the Big Ten Conference.
Illinois experienced one of its most successful seasons ever in 2018 under Tamas, who was named American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Northeast Region Coach of the Year. The Illini made the program’s fourth-ever appearance in the NCAA National Semifinals as the No. 3 overall seed in the tournament – riding a 17-match win streak into the Final Four – and ended the season ranked No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Poll. The team registered a 32-4 overall record and finished in second place in the Big Ten Conference with a 17-3 mark, with the 32 victories ranking tied for fourth-most wins in school history.
Under Tamas’s leadership, the Illini collected a number of individual honors, highlighted by AVCA All-America First-Team selections in Jordyn Poulter and Jacqueline Quade – the first time in program history that Illinois has had multiple first-team honors in a season – as well as a Third-Team selection in Ali Bastianelli. Poulter and Bastianelli, who also garnered All-America Third Team honors in 2017, were also named Senior CLASS Award finalists and CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees. The trio also collected unanimous All-Big Ten First Team accolades, with junior Ashlyn Fleming named to the Second-Team and Poulter garnering the Illini’s first-ever Big Ten Conference Co-Setter of the Year honor.
In his first season at Illinois – and his first-ever season as an NCAA Division I head coach – Tamas led the Illini back to the NCAA Regionals for the program’s 17th Sweet 16 in its history. The Illini finished the 2017 season with a 23-11 overall record, including a fifth-place showing in the Big Ten Conference with a 12-8 mark as well as a final ranking of No.17 in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
Tamas came to Illinois following many years learning from some of the game’s great coaches, including John Cook at Nebraska and former U.S. National Team coaches Hugh McCutcheon and Ron Larsen. In all, Tamas will be entering his 11th year of collegiate coaching in the Fall of 2019, including two years at Nebraska, two years at Cal Poly, two years at Minnesota and two years at UC-Riverside.
Tamas is a 2003 graduate of the University of the Pacific with a degree in sports sciences. He was a four-year starter for the Tigers and a unanimous AVCA All-American first team selection and team MVP during his 2003 senior season. In four years with the U.S. Men’s National Team (1999, 2003, 2005-06), Tamas made 34 appearances, and, in 1999, helped the squad to a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Havana. As national team captain in 2003, Tamas helped lead the United State to a bronze medal at the World University Games in Daegu, South Korea.
A training camp invitee for the U.S. squad that eventually captured the 2008 Olympic gold medal, Tamas also helped U.S. teams to silver at the 2005 World Grand Champions Cup in Japan and, as a setter, to a gold at the 2006 NORCECA Championships in Mexicali, Mexico.
As a professional, Tamas competed for six years overseas with clubs Protect Eye Orion (Netherlands), Antigos Alunos (Portugal), Real Grupo (Spain), Erdemir (Turkey), Dionysos (Cyprus) and Isku (Finland). In Finland and Cyprus, Tamas helped his clubs to national cup championships.
A native of Santa Barbara, California, Tamas and his wife, Jennifer (Joines) Tamas, have three children, Jimmy, Josephine and Carly. Along with serving as the Illinois volunteer assistant coach, Jennifer was also a volunteer assistant at both Nebraska and Cal Poly. She was a four-time All-American middle blocker at Pacific (2000-03) and silver medalist with the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics while playing professionally for eight years in Japan, Italy, Russia, Azerbaijan and Puerto Rico. She was the U.S. Women’s National Team captain for four years.
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. In 18 seasons, 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 506-113 career record in 20 seasons as a collegiate head coach and a 456-101 mark in 18 years at Texas, has brought enthusiasm, experience and growing success to UT. That has translated to Top 10 rankings the past 13 seasons, 13-consecutive trips to the NCAA Regional finals, eight NCAA Semifinal appearances in the last 10 years, four NCAA Championship appearances in the last nine years (2009, 2012, 2015, and 2016) and capacity crowds at Gregory Gymnasium, the home of Texas Volleyball.
In the 2018 season, the Longhorns went 23-5, with a 15-1 record in Big 12 play to take the 11th Big 12 Title in program history. In the postseason, the Longhorns were NCAA Regional Finalists, falling at BYU in the Regional Final. Micaya White earned the program’s eighth Big 12 Player of the Year honor, and five Longhorns earned All-Big 12 First Team Honors (White, Brionne Butler, Logan Eggleston, Morgan Johnson and Yaazie Bedart-Ghani).
In 2017, Texas posted its 10th Big 12 Conference title after finishing its second undefeated league record in Longhorn Volleyball history. Senior Chiaka Ogbogu earned UT’s seventh Big 12 Player of the Year award, while five additional Longhorns were named All-Big 12 (Nwanebu, McCoy, White, Sun, Shook). Ogbogu became Texas’ all-time blocks leader, while fellow senior Cat McCoy broke the all-time digs record. The Longhorns made their 14th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, selected as the No. 6 seed and advancing to an NCAA record 12th-straight NCAA Regional Final after defeating Fairfield, NC State, and Utah, eventually falling to No. 3-seed Stanford in Palo Alto. Six players earned All-America honors led by Ogbogu on the First Team and White on the Third Team.
Jaime Gordon is in his 17th season as the head volleyball coach at Morehead State. He has led MSU to four Ohio Valley Conference regular-season titles in the last nine years and nine 20-win campaigns in the past 13 seasons.
Gordon has also taken on the role as Interim Director of Athletics, taking over for Brian Hutchinson, who accepted a position as Director of Athletics at Lincoln Memorial.
His program has won eight OVC Team Academic Awards and has won 11 consecutive Team Academic Awards from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. MSU has also achieved seven straight APR public recognitions from the NCAA. The Eagles were also named recipients of the OVC Team Sportsmanship Award for the 2010-11 season.
Gordon guided the Eagles to their fourth straight OVC regular-season title and second NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013. He also reached his milestone 300th career collegiate coaching victory during the season.
He guided the 2012 Eagles a 26-7 overall record and 16-0 OVC mark. It was just the eighth unblemished league record in OVC history. Gordon was named OVC Coach of the Year and AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year.
Gordon led the Eagles to a school-record 19 conference wins and the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 2011.
Gordon made an instant impact in his first year as head coach in 2003. He became the only Eagle mentor to lead Morehead State to an OVC crown in his first season at the helm and boasted the second-best winning percentage of any MSU volleyball first-year head coach.
Capping off the 21-11 campaign and 14-2 school-record league mark, Gordon received the OVC Coach of the Year honor, becoming just the third Morehead State mentor to secure that accolade.
In 2010, he was also named OVC Coach of the Year, leading MSU to an outright regular-season OVC title and a school-record 17-1 league record. He has now coached two of MSU’s AVCA All-Americans and six players who have been named all-region.
Keith Barnett, a fixture on the Air Force volleyball sideline for the past four years, is entering his first season as head coach, having been named the program’s 10th mentor in December 2018. Backed by previous head coaching experience and a standout playing career, Barnett, who previously served as the Falcons’ assistant coach (2015-17) and associate head coach (2018), brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the head coach position.
A member of the Academy staff since early 2015, Barnett has been on the bench for some of Air Force’s most successful seasons at the Division I level and helped the most recent class of seniors become the winningest class in the Academy’s DI history. He has seen five Falcons earn all-conference recognition and watched the team reset nine of the program’s DI records. Air Force has accounted for double-digit win totals during every season he has been with the program and matched the program’s DI records for total wins (17) and conference wins (seven, twice).
In 2018, while serving as the team’s associate head coach, Barnett coached the Falcons to their first winning campaign since 1999 – a 17-15 overall record that included an Academy record for wins in a season at the Division I level (17) and a program-best seven victories in conference play. Air Force earned the program’s first-ever victories over schools from the ACC (Wake Forest) and Big Ten (Maryland), en route to its best non-conference record (10-4) in 19 years.
During his first three seasons with the program, Barnett helped Air Force impact the Mountain West, as the team earned their first-ever win over Utah State (2015) and its first road victories at San Diego State (2015) and Fresno State (2017). The Falcons also snapped several long losing skids against conference opponents, including a 31-match stretch against UNLV (2015) and a 26-match skid against New Mexico (2017).
Barnett came to the Academy after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at West Texas A&M University. During his two years on the bench in Canyon, the Lady Buffs compiled a 67-9 record, posted back-to-back 16-0 conference seasons and made a pair of trips to the NCAA Division II Volleyball tournament, including a national semifinal appearance in 2013.
Prior to his stint in Texas, Barnett spent four years as the head coach at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. While at UCCS, Barnett went 68-46 and was the second-winningest coach in program history. He was the fastest coach in school history to win 50 matches and led the Mountain Lions to at least 16 victories in all four seasons. The 10 home wins in 2011 were the second-most in school history and the 18 total victories tied for fifth in UCCS records.
Before his time at UCCS, Barnett spent two years as the head coach at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs. He led the Rams to a third-place finish in the Colorado Class 5A State Tournament in 2008, after a Sweet 16 season in 2007.
Barnett also brought a wealth of playing experience to Air Force, having had a standout career as a three-position player at Pepperdine University. A second-team All-American setter in 2001, Barnett went on to earn a gold medal at the World University Games in Beijing later that year. In addition, he had two stints as a member of the U.S. National Team, serving as both an outside hitter (2001-02) and setter (2005-06).
Barnett’s playing career not only encompassed his time at Pepperdine and with the U.S. National Team, but in overseas action as well. He played professionally in Belgium for three seasons, with stops in St. Vith, Halen and Lennik. He also spent seasons in Spain and Romania.
For more information contact Anne Kordes at email@example.com