Oshkosh Lourdes Volleyball Coach Jon Ellmann was elected Vice-president of the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association (WVCA) in August. Ellmann, a 1997 graduate of and former junior varsity coach at Gibraltar High School, has been the head coach at Lourdes for four years.
Ellmann played National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association D-I volleyball at Colorado State for one year and at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for four more.
In 2004, Ellmann founded the Oshkosh Nightmares Volleyball Club and grew the organization to over 250 junior members before merging the club with the Wisconsin Volleyball Academy in September.
In a press release WVA President B.J. Bryant expressed his enthusiasm for the merger.
“The Academy is extremely excited to bring the Nightmares club into our corporation,” he said. “Jon [Ellmann] has done a great job with his program and has built a coaching staff that will fit perfectly with our training philosophies.”
The combined club will serve as an umbrella organization for three programs, the Fox Valley Girls, Fox Valley Boys, and Madison Boys. Ellmann and Bryant will serve as co-directors of the new organization, which will be known as the Wisconsin Volleyball Academy.
Ellmann said competition was a factor in the merger.
“Club volleyball has become increasingly competitive in our area,” he said. “In order for our club to become more relevant on a regional and national level we felt this move would be best for our members. We want to be the best club volleyball option for kids in northeast Wisconsin and this merger puts us a step closer to accomplishing this.”
Another component of the new club is a focus on sport-specific physical training and conditioning for club members.
“This year our athletes will have the benefit of working with some cutting-edge volleyball training aides and conditioning techniques,” Bryant said.
The club has hired Gregg Bolwerk of the SoloSpike Corporation to serve as a board member, coach, and Director of Training. Bolwerk brings with him over six years of experience as a sport-specific conditioning expert.
“Gregg gives us a tangible advantage in the way we will train our members. His experience will help our club maximize the abilities and skills of our athletes,” said Bryant.
The academy will field 26 teams with 260 members and employs 37 coaches overseen by a six member board of directors. Four of the teams are made up of “Volley Tots,” for kids age 4 – 8 and 9 – 13 with an additional 40 – 80 junior members.