Virtue And Wernert Complete Volleyball Staff
July 16, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Katie Virtue and Kelley Wernert have been named assistant coaches for the East Carolina volleyball program, according to an announcement Thursday by head coach Pati Rolf. The hiring marks a return to Greenville for Wernert, who excelled as an outside hitter for the Pirates from 2004-07.
"I am very excited that both Katie and Kelley have decided to join our program," Rolf stated. "Katie brings maturity and experience to ECU as she excelled as a player at Ohio State and with the United States National Team. She will improve our program instantly and will make our student-athletes better, especially the setters. Kelley is also a nice addition for us as she has playing experience overseas in Finland and Indonesia. Her future in the coaching profession is extremely bright."
Virtue, a 2003 graduate of Ohio State University, brings impressive credentials to ECU. As a setter and captain for the Buckeyes, she quickly made her mark on the program, earning Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Year, league All-Freshman Team and Asics/Volleyball Magazine Freshman All-America accolades in 1999. Virtue also garnered designation as a Big Ten All-Conference selection from 2000-02 as well as Asics Volleyball All-America status (2001), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) All-America honors (2002) and a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award nod (2002).
Academically, Virtue was named to the Big Ten All-Academic Team from 2000-02 while also obtaining OSU Scholar-Athlete accolades (2000-03). Additionally, she served as chair of the Ohio State Student-Athlete Advisory Board from 2001-03 and was the Buckeye representative on the Big Ten Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during that same time. Virtue also earned Verizon Academic All-District Second-Team status in 2001 and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars as well as the Ohio State Dean's List.
Virtue boasts professional playing experience, having competed for Club Voleibol Sant Cugat in Sant Cugat, Spain while also representing the United States in the Sibillini Italian Tournament (2000-05), where she served as team captain, squad liaison and translator. Additionally, Virtue spent time with the United States National Team in 2007.
Displaying a passion for developing younger players, Virtue donated time as a coach and counselor for the USA, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Nebraska and All-American volleyball camps while founding the "Setting with Virtue" program for high school students in 2006. She also polished her coaching craft as the head coach at St. Francis Desales High School (Ohio) during the 2006-07 school year and turning in stints as an assistant at Schaumburg High School (Ill.), St. Francis High School (Ill.), Wheaton Warrenville South High School (Ill.) and New Albany High School (Ohio).
Virtue earned her bachelor's degree in business administration with emphasis in marketing from Ohio State in 2003 while returning to the institution for her master of arts in counselor education.
"I feel privileged to be joining the tremendous staff at East Carolina University," Virtue explained. "I would like to thank Pati Rolf, Terry Holland and the ECU Athletic Department for extending me the opportunity to be a part of the rich tradition of Pirate Athletics. Coach Rolf is very well-respected in the volleyball community and I look forward to coaching with her and working with a great group of athletes. I am excited for the future of ECU Volleyball."
Wernert, a 2008 graduate of East Carolina, enters the coaching profession with the Pirates after turning in one of the best careers in program history. She is the all-time leader in kills with 1,620, sits 16th on the Conference USA career kill ledger and owns the school's top single-season kill mark, putting down 627 as a senior (2007). That final season, Wernert broke the Pirate single-match kill total with 31 at UNC Wilmington, earning her CVU.com National Player-of-the-Week honors. She also led ECU in kills, kills per game, attempts, service aces, solo blocks, total blocks and points per game and was second in blocks per set. Additionally, Wernert turned in a Pirate career-best 27 double-doubles and notched double-digit kills in 28-consecutive matches and 60 of her last 64.
The former AAU All-American set up her senior campaign by turning in a strong junior year, which resulted in her selection to the All-Conference First Team. Wernert would repeat that performance in her final season while also garnering C-USA Preseason Team selection.
"It is such a pleasure to begin coaching at the school that I know and love," Wernert stated. "I am ready for this new challenge in my life and am thrilled to have been accepted to work and study at East Carolina again. Coach Rolf is already starting to do great things for the Pirate volleyball program and I am so excited to be a part of it. I know I will learn a lot from her and the rest of the staff at ECU."