Vol. 19, No. 33

June 8, 2000

New coach named

Shannon Elliott to direct Blue Hen volleyball team

Shannon Elliott, former Widener University coach, will take over the head coaching position for the Blue Hen women's volleyball squad on July 1.

Elliott, 27, a native Delawarean and former All-State player at Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, was introduced at a press conference Monday in the Bob Carpenter Club. She becomes just the third person to lead the Blue Hen volleyball squad since its inception as a varsity sport in 1972.

Shannon replaces Barbara Viera, who announced her retirement in February, after an outstanding career that included a 27-year record of 682-429-4 since 1973 at Delaware. Viera led her teams to nine straight conference tournament appearances in 1991-99 and her 1992 and 1994 squads won America East titles. She ranks seventh on the all-time college coaching win list.

"We are excited to have Shannon Elliott join our coaching staff," Edgar N. Johnson, athletics, said. "She is young and energetic and brings great enthusiasm to the program.

"Her local ties should serve her well and we look forward to her building on the solid foundation of success that Barbara Viera created. She was well-liked at Widener and came highly recommended," Johnson said.

A two-time All-State performer at Ursuline, Elliott moved on to Miami of Ohio University where she was a three-year letter winner as a middle hitter for the Redhawks and received her bachelor's degree in education in 1995. She later earned her master's degree in elementary education from Widener University in 1991.

Elliott began her college coaching career as an assistant at Widener University in 1996 and took over the head coaching position the following season.

After her 1997 squad went 12-18, she led her teams to winning marks of 17-15 in 1998 and 14-9 in 1999. The 17-15 record in 1998 was the Pioneers' first winning season since 1992, while the 1999 squad advanced to the Middle Atlantic Conference playoffs for the first time since 1989. Her three-year record as a head coach stands at 43-42.

In addition to her coaching duties, Elliott also served as an admissions counselor at Widener. She worked as a teacher and education coordinator at the Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center in Wilmington in 1995-97.

Last fall, the Blue Hens posted a 12-20 record, including a fourth place 7-7 mark in America East, before falling to top seed Hofstra in the tournament semifinals.