Adam Ellis- club director/Head Coach 18 National & 16 NATIONAL TeamS
Last Coached: North Pacific Juniors 18 National & 16 National Teams
Coaching background: I began coaching in the Willamette Valley at Mid Valley Volleyball Club in 2004. During my five-year tenure I coached all levels of competitive volleyball including women’s 14’s, 16’s, 17’s and 18’s. Concurrently from 2006-2008, I was hired as Head Coach for the Lebanon High School Volleyball Team where I led the team to a League Championship, followed by a top 5 finish in the State Championship Tournament. In 2007 I led the Warriors to a second consecutive state playoff appearance. In 2008 I was hired as Head Coach for the Oregon State Women’s Club Team, proudly leading them in 2009 to a 3rd place finish in the nation. In 2009, I founded the North Pacific Juniors Volleyball Club and was head coach for 18U. In 2010, I was re-hired at Lebanon High School as Varsity Head Coach. North Pacific Juniors 18 Black Head Coach 2010-2011 Season. North Pacific Juniors 16 Black Head Coach 2011-2012 which finished 3rd in CEVA region, and competed in platinum all season. North Pacific Juniors 18 National coach 2012-2013 who finished 5th in the CEVA region. North Pacific Juniors 18 National coach 2013-2014 who finished 2nd in the CEVA region, and competed in platinum all season. NPJ 18 National coach 2014-2015 who finished 2nd in the region, and competed in platinum all season
Playing background: I started playing volleyball in California when I was a freshman in high school. I played 4 years of varsity as a setter, as well as playing club volleyball for 3 years. When I was a senior my high school team won an NCS championship, and my club team took 5th at junior nationals. As well as playing indoor six-man volleyball, I also play two-man sand volleyball, and have been playing semi-professionally for 7 years.
Philosophy: *In Club handbook
Traci Stephenson has extensive experience coaching volleyball at all levels. She is entering her 4th year as the Head Volleyball Coach at Chemeketa Community College where she has made it to the NWAC Championship Tournament three out of the last four years. Stephenson started her coaching career at Gresham High School, her Alma Mater, and at the club level for Oregon Northwest Juniors (1996-2001), also where she played club volleyball for five seasons. She then went on to spend another five years with Salem Volleyball Club (2004-2009). Traci coached at Willamette University where she was the Asst. Coach for the Bearcats for two seasons (2007-2008). In 2010 Coach Stephenson was added to the staff at Chemeketa Community College. Stephenson coached as an assistant for the Storm for one season and then took over the program in 2011. Coach Stephenson attended Western Oregon University where she studied physical education and health. Traci has been married to Scott Stephenson for 12 years and has two children Rhyan and Hannah, ages 10 and 7. Coach Stephenson still plays competitive sand volleyball and is a premier sand player in the state.
Peter Piexoto has over 20 years of volleyball playing and coaching experience. He has coached at numerous levels from youth league teams all the way up to college Division I teams. Peter was a four year starter on the Men’s Volleyball Team at Cal State Northridge from 19911995. In 1993 he played on the team that played for a NCAA National Championship against UCLA. After he was done playing Peter became an assistant coach at his alma mater for four years. He then went on to be the Girl’s Volleyball Head Coach at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, California, for 3 years. Following that, he was the Volleyball Head Coach for both Boys and Girls at Simi Valley High School in Simi Valley, California, for 5 years. In his time there he coached the boys to their first ever league title in program history. After moving to Salem, OR he coached at South Salem High School for 4 years serving as the varsity head coach for 2 years. Peter then moved on to Chemeketa Community College where he was the head volleyball coach for one year. He then was the JV coach at West Salem High School for two years. Since then Peter has been coaching his own children on their youth volleyball teams.
Troy Shorey- head coach
I have been involved in the sport of volleyball for 30 years,
either playing or coaching. Started playing at Thurston High school and
then club ball at the University of Oregon. I continue to play
recreationally in Eugene and occasionally in competitive men’s
tournaments in the area.
I started coaching for Kidsports in Eugene. After a year, moved into coaching club for
Storm-N-West, coaching the third 14’s team. Coached two years with them
and then co-founded Emerald City, coaching the top 16’s team. After two
years, started another club named Webfoot Juniors and coached the 18’s
top team. Three years of running that club, merged with Cathy Nelson
and coached the top 14’s team. Spent 12 years with Webfoot focusing on
14’s and 16’s until last year when I was with the 18 silver team.
the same span I have coached at various levels at various high schools.
I started at Pleasant Hill High school as their JV2 coach. I moved to
Sheldon high after a year. After a year as Sheldon’s JV coach, I got
the varsity head coach position at Willamette high school. I was there
for 6 years, followed by a year break. I then coached the JV team at
Thurston high for two years and decided to take a break again until
last year, when I volunteered to assist the varsity team at Lebanon
Currently Coaching: Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) – Assistant Coach
Coaching background: 2 years with South Albany High School (SAHS). 7 years assisting under Jayme Frazier at LBCC, North Pacific Juniors 18U Assistant Coach – 2009-2010 season. North Pacific Juniors 18 Black Assistant Coach 2010-2011 season. North Pacific Juniors 17 Black Coach 2011-2012 Season. North Pacific Juniors 16 National Coach 2013-2014 Season.
Playing background: Intramural Champion team at OSU. Invited to play on the Practice team for OSU, and I played on the Scout Team for LBCC. I also play sand volleyball, and have competed in NPBVA tournaments.
Philosophy: Create an atmosphere where committed, disciplined and competitive athletes can learn to generate confidence by recognizing and remembering success while they overcome doubt by recognizing and limiting repetitive failures. In this atmosphere individual athletes can work on personal and team oriented goals simultaneously. They learn to take control of their game (and their lives) instead of being a victim and just letting things happen to them. They learn to find security in their commitment to the team while the team finds identity in it’s commitment to the individual.
I also played Track and Rugby in college as well as coaching basketball for SAHS. Three of my family members have played collegiate volleyball.
KELLI BACKER- HEAD COACH
My volleyball experience began as a player at South Albany High School with Coach Steve Pensinger, where I played on a state placing varsity team as a setter. I then played at Western Oregon under head coach Judy Lovre. As a senior at WOSC, we took third in the nation for NAIA. I learned many of my coaching strategies from the two quality coaches I was lucky enough to play for in high school and college.
benny sexton- head coach
West Salem Assistant Varsity Coach
Benny has been a volleyball coach at West Salem High School since it opened
in 2002. He has been the freshmen coach for 5 years and the assistant
varsity coach for the rest of the time. The past 6 years, Benny has coached
a 14U girls’ volleyball team and a boy’s 18U volleyball team. He began
playing competitive volleyball while in high school with his wife, Sandy
Huntley Sexton, an Oregon State 4 year scholarship player. While in
college, Ben played on various Men’s AA USVBA Club teams in Salem,
Corvallis, Eugene and Portland.
Volleyball must run through his family’s blood…Benny’s daughter, Kyley,
was a 4 year scholarship volleyball player at San Diego State University.
Kyley played on West Salem High School’s varsity team all 4 years and was
selected on several 1st team League All-Star teams, was the Conference
Player of the Year twice and recognized on three Oregon’s All-State teams.
Benny’s two boys, Cameron and Chase Sexton, played on the SVC’s Boys 18U
team. Cameron attended University of Southern California (USC) and was the
Men’s Varsity Volleyball Team’s student athletic trainer two seasons.
Besides coaching volleyball almost year around, Benny finds time to play in
the Salem’s Co-Ed Adult volleyball league with his two sons’. Benny is
employed at Oregon Department of Transportation as a Software Team Lead and
“I have been involved in volleyball for many years, starting my competitive involvement with club in Spokane at the age of 10. I went to Mt. Spokane High School where I was the starting captain setter for two years, leading the school to their first state appearance in school history in 2008, and received league recognition/awards my senior year. In 2009-2012 I went to Whitworth University where I was a 4-year starting setter (2009-2010) and defensive specialist (2011-2012); I was elected captain for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and we won back-to-back conference championships and competed in the DIII NCAA Tournament (making it first and second round).
I began my coaching career as a head coach for a local club in Spokane, WA in 2009; since then I have coached one to two teams per season ranging from developmental U10s through competitive U18s. I also assistant coached one season at Whitworth University following my career as a player. I am currently the JV coach at Lebanon High.
As a coach I strive to grow the most technical, disciplined, and passionate players possible.
KACEY URRUTIA- head coach
I have been involved in competitive volleyball for quite a few years. I began playing volleyball at the age of 11. I went to Lebanon High School where I was the starting captain setter, leading our team to our second consecutive state playoff appearance (2007 season). During this time, I also played 4 years of club volleyball for Mid-Valley Volleyball Club.
I am entering my 6th season coaching club volleyball (4th season at NPJ) I have coached a variety of top 14’s and 16’s teams. During the same time span I coached at Lebanon High School. I was the Varsity Assistant for 3 years (2008 season-2010 season) and was the JV head coach (2011 season) the following year.
kayla ernewein- HEAD COACH
I began my volleyball career at age 14, playing for my middle school team. I went to Warrensburg High School in Missouri where I played as a middle blocker and right side hitter. I received All-Conference and All-Region recognition my senior year. From 2010-2014 I played for Lewis & Clark College, becoming the starting middle blocker my junior and senior years.
I started coaching volleyball in 1990 when my oldest daughter started to learn the game. Over the next 15 years, I obtained a CAP Level II certification from USA volleyball, founded Trail’s End Volleyball Club, took a 17U team to a 15th place finish in Junior Nationals, and coached at West Linn, Lakeridge and Rex Putnam High Schools.
After a 6 year hiatus from coaching, I joined YVBA Volleyball Club and for the last 2 years have coached the YVBA 12 Black team to a 3rd and 6th place finish in CEVA regionals.
I am excited to join the NPJ family and believe strongly in the principles that Adam espouses in his leadership of the club.
jacque walker- HEAD COACH
An All State athlete in volleyball, basketball and track graduated in 1985 from La Grande High School. She attended Warner Pacific College in the fall of 1985 and helped lead her team to the National Christian College Championships where she was named an Honorable Mention All American. She then transferred to Oregon State and was on the Oregon State Volleyball team through 1986 before an injury ended her collegiate career. She then transferred to University of Oregon and was an all-star club, grass and sand player and began coaching at North Eugene High School for two years. She coached the JV team at La Grande High School for two years and then moved to Salem as an Assistant Coach for Willamette University’s Volleyball team in 1992. Jacque also coached two seasons with Emerald City Volleyball Club. She spent two years as the Head Coach at Sprague High School and started Salem Volleyball Club through the Boys and Girls Club where it stayed for four seasons. In 1996 she became the Head Coach at North Marion High School and turned the program around with three consecutive years of state qualified teams. She took time off with her family until 2012 and began coaching again. She ran her own club for one year and then coached a 14U team with Salem Volleyball Club last season. This is her first season with NPJ!
Jorden Swanson – academy coach
Currently Coaching: Lebanon High School Varsity – Head Coach- 2012 and 2013 Season
Coaching background: North Pacific Juniors 16 Black Head Coach 2010-2011 Season. North Pacific Juniors 18 Black Head Coach 2011-2012 Season. As a student athlete I have coached at WOU volleyball camps as well as Lebanon High School camps.
Playing background: Four year varsity setter 2003-2007 at Lebanon High School. Here I earned all league honors including 2nd team, 1st team and league MVP. As well as 2nd team all-state in 2007. I also played for Webfoot Jrs. Volleyball club for six years. I played 4 years as a setter for WOU volleyball team who won our first Div. II conference championship in the 2008 season.
courtney higlin- HEAD COACH 12 ELITE TEAM
Ed Clarkson- HEAD COACH
Ed Clarkson started playing volleyball at the age of 15, after many years of soccer and baseball. His high school experience included playing for one of the top clubs in Northern California, Tri-Valley. Clarkson traveled to Long Beach, Colorado Springs and Albuquerque to play in the Junior Olympics.
Unsuccessful with growing over six feet tall, Clarkson continue playing grass tournaments and adult leagues just for fun. It is there where Clarkson was asked to coach a friend’s daughter on a Boys and Girls Club team. Having been bitten by the coaching bug, Clarkson continued coaching his oldest daughter, Quinlan.
Once Clarkson established himself as a Boys and Girls club coach, he stepped into the high school realm. He coached two years at South Salem High, three years at North Salem High and just started this year as the JV coach at Sprague High School.
Clarkson is now on his fourth season as a club volleyball coach and is excited to be with the NPJ family. Clarkson continues to work on foundation skills with young volleyball athletes and will be working with his 23rd Boys and Girls Club team this fall. This 2015 fall volleyball season will be the first of Clarkson’s Boys and Girls Club and Southside 12u players reaching the high school age. He really looks foreword to seeing former players playing in the Greater Valley Conference.
Hannah Bell- assistant coach
Dan Stephens- assistant coach
Blake Nelson- head coach 15 BLACK TEAM
I have been playing volleyball for as long as I can remember. My mom is a coach, so most of my childhood was spent in a gym watching and playing volleyball. I played for Webfoot juniors for two years (the only two years that I was eligible), and played for the Salem boys club for two years as well.
Cierra Cotton- HEAD COACH
I started playing competitive volleyball at age 12 and continued to be involved in volleyball throughout my youth. I played club at Roseburg Volleyball Club, Webfoot Jrs. and Glide Volleyball Club. I was a four-year varsity starter at Sutherlin High School, playing middle and right side. After high school I played 2 years at Umpqua Community College. My sophomore year of high school I started my own club volleyball program in Sutherlin, volunteering my time to assemble and coach an elite 12’s team. Each year my club grew in numbers and popularity for the opportunity to play competitive volleyball in a small town. By my first year of college I was planning and running practices for three different teams during the club season. For the 4 years Sutherlin Volleyball Club existed, the teams consistently finished in the top 32 of the 12 and 14U divisions. In 2014 I merged my club with a new club in the Roseburg area called Volleyball West. Through the new club I had the opportunity to collaborate with another coach and travel to Chicago, Illinois where we shadowed the club director and owner of Sports Performance Volleyball, one of the biggest volleyball clubs in the country. I received my Associate’s degree in 2015 from UCC and now I’m a student at Western Oregon University, where I am studying Business Administration with a minor in Sports Management. I am currently coaching the freshman team at West Albany High School. As a coach I strive to build a competitive environment while maintaining a positive atmosphere for players to learn and grow.
donica andersen- HEAD COACH
I started playing volleyball when I was nine years old. I have loved this sport since my first time on a court. I played at Centennial High School, and clubs in the Gresham area. I played at Western Baptist College (now Corban) on a scholarship as a setter. I coached after college for club and High School. I took a few years off while my daughter was younger. So now I am so excited to share my love and knowledge of the game.
When I was younger I had a coach that told me I would never be a setter or play front row. I was too short at 5’4″. I worked hard every day to prove him wrong. By the time I was 18 I had a vertical jump at 19″. Hard work pays off. And I hope to teach girls that no one can hold you back. Every girl should have a coach that says you can be whatever you want to be and I want to help you get there.
Joe Houck- head coach
Currently Coaching: West Salem Assistant Varsity Coach
Playing Experience: I started playing volleyball in 8th grade. I moved to Oregon going into high school where I started playing at Sprague High School here in Salem. I played 4 years at Sprague, 2 of those years being on Varsity. I was on a league championship team and was named 2nd team all-league in the 2008-09 season. I also played club volleyball for 3 years. I was recruited to play at Corban University here in Salem starting in 2009. I was a 4 year starter as a Warrior playing as an outside hitter my freshman year, and a middle blocker my sophomore through my senior year.
Coaching Experience: I am currently on my second season of coaching volleyball at West Salem High School. This will be my first year of club coaching, and I am so excited for it!
Other Experience: Volleyball is not the only sport I am involved in. While I was in high school I also played 2 years of Softball and competed on the Track team for 2 years. I continued Track and Field into college where I competed as a heptathlete. I competed in the NAIA National Championships 2 times and in my Senior season I finished 14th in the nation for the Javelin. My love of track and field also continues as I am the Javelin coach at Sprague High School during the spring.
Personal: I graduated from Corban in 2014 with a degree in Social Studies Education and am currently working as a Special Needs Instructional Assistant at West Salem High School where I work in a DLC classroom. My husband, Jordan Hatfield, and I are going on 2 years of marriage. He graduated from Corban in 2014 with a degree in Exercise Science. He works as a strength and conditioning coach for Dynamic Strength and Performance where he trains developing high school athletes, collegiate athletes, and combat athletes to perform at a higher level. He coached football at Cascade High School for a season. He has also returned to Corban to coach Track and Field. It is safe to say that our little family is rooted in athletics.
I began playing volleyball in 5th grade and fell in love with the sport immediately. My entire world became about volleyball and we dove into club seasons! I played for Oregon City Volleyball Club, now called Trails End Volleyball, for three years and then began playing for Canby Volleyball Club until I graduated high school in 2013. I played as a setter for a few years and then decided on becoming a strong defensive specialist, often playing as the libero. I now focus more on my studies at Willamette University, but love coaching younger girls and passing my knowledge onto them. I coached middle school recreational volleyball last fall and was an assistant coach for the NPJ 15N team last spring. I look forward to another great year and plan on helping lead my team to victory!
- Provide each player and her family a handbook of protocol and schedule of practices and competitions
- Establish policies for supervision, training and coaching conduct
- Provide a communication tree for all families and players
- Prepare a schedule of drills and objectives prior to each practice
- Teach proper technique and fundamentals to all players.
- Teach and model proper strategies for optimal individual skill and team play
- Communicate clearly to each player her role on the team and redirect her efforts when they stray from the mission
- Balance hard work, FUN, and discipline during all practices and competitions
- Provide a positive and trusting environment for all players, including opportunities for reflective discussions and competition debriefing
- Lead by example: present as a positive role model for all players both on and off the court.
- Support and encourage all NPJ teams to play with confidence and commitment to winning
- Prepare each athlete to respond appropriately to a variety of situations that occur both on and off the court.