A smile spread widely across the face of Jennifer Fry while talking about the opportunity she has been given here at Elon as an assistant volleyball coach.
“The community, the ability to work under (head coach) Mary (Tendler), the reputation Elon has academically and athletically, the students love it here,” she said. “It’s just a great place to be.”
Fry, who was hired to serve as an assistant coach as well as the program’s recruiting coordinator, has been around the block both as a player and a coach in her career.
During her time as a player, Fry earned All-Conference honors for Arizona Western University and later for the University of Montevallo. Prior to graduating from the University of Montevallo with her bachelor’s of science in psychology in 2002, Fry helped the Falcons to a NCAA Division II No. 24 national ranking.
Right out of Montevallo, Fry was hired as a graduate assistant at Tiffin University. While coaching at Tiffin, Fry earned her master’s of criminal justice degree.
After two stops as an assistant at Seward County Community College and Angelo State, Fry was tabbed as the next head coach at Norfolk State University. While at the helm, Fry led the Spartans to three straight Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference tournament appearances. They were the team’s first appearances in postseason play since 2004, when every team made the conference tournament.
Following the 2010 season, Fry was hired as an assistant at Washington State University. Over the duration of her stay at Washington State, Fry served as the program’s chief recruiter. She was also in charge of training the hitters and defense.
Through the course of her coaching career, Fry has been a part of USA Volleyball. In 2011, Fry worked as an assistant coach for the USAV High Performance Championship Junior Continental team.
“It’s an awesome experience to help out your country at the different levels,” Fry said. “Just gaining knowledge and meeting the people, it’s amazing.”
Most recently, Fry served as a volunteer assistant for the national runner-up, University of Illinois. While at Illinois, Fry was in charge of middle blocker training as well as opponent scouting. Under her watch, Illinois ranked fourth in the Big 10 with 2.7 blocks per set.
Fry knows she has a lot of experience at various levels. It’s something she plans to use to her advantage during her time at Elon.
“Having been a head coach, I know what an assistant needs to do to help the head coach," Fry said. "I now know the things my head coach wants me to do to help them out, so I feel like I’m better equipped as an assistant."
Although she’s only been on campus for a few weeks, Fry has a positive outlook for Elon volleyball.
“We have the facilities and the administration,” Fry said. “I think the girls already here have a strong foundation. If we can keep getting these strong recruits on campus, we can take it to the next level.”