Q&A with UWO head women’s volleyball coach Jon Ellmann

After being the interim coach in August, Jon Ellmann was named the head coach of UWO’s women’s volleyball team in January.

Mike Johrendt, Sports Editor

Q: Having gone to school at UWO and played for the men’s volleyball team, how much does it mean to you to be able to come back here and be a head coach for the women’s team?

A: “Simply put, it’s special. The knowledge and perspective I gained as a student here was nothing short of impactful. As a player I cherished every minute that I had in the gym. What makes it special for me is that when I look back I remember being a part of something bigger than just my team. UW Oshkosh has a rich volleyball culture that includes the women’s club team, the three men’s club teams and our NCAA women’s team. It sounds cliche; but it couldn’t be more true. If you play volleyball at UWO, you are part of a giant family. Having a small role in shaping the culture within that family is a responsibility I don’t take lightly. It’s an honor.”

Q: What characteristics of both the school and volleyball program seemed to draw you back after graduation?

A: “The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has continued to change and evolve. From academic offerings and support to brick and mortar structures we have not only experienced countless improvements, but many positive additions. The UW Oshkosh of today is a place that can create a student experience that is second to none. In regards to the program, building upon our already strong cultural foundation and getting our players to live by the values that they have identified and defined is nothing short of exciting. Helping our student athletes not only be successful in the arena of sport, but also in that bigger arena of life that they will be entering upon graduation is process that I am truly passionate about. That’s the reason I am here.”

Q: What are some areas that you believe you will be able to help improve as you take over for your first full-time season?

A: “Staff and support rank atop that list. Our student athletes are our number-one resource and putting together a staff and support team that can help us achieve our goals is a priority. We will be adding a minimum of two additional coaches – an associate head coach and an additional assistant coach. We will work hard at creating meaningful connections with our auxiliary support staff in the areas of academics, athletic training, nutrition, emotional intelligence and faith. Outside of staff and support, our goal is to make small yet meaningful improvements in every area of the program. That will remain a goal of ours as we move from each season to the next.”

Q: What have you been able to learn being an assistant with the program and how can you translate what you learned into your new head coaching role?

A: “As an assistant and interim coach, I learned a lot about administrative and operational aspects of the program. Most importantly, however, the relationships that I have made with the players and staff are what I value the most. We have spent a lot of time and effort talking about where we are at and where we want to go. Having that input, knowledge and direction is invaluable. Now comes the fun part – putting the rubber to the road.”