Jeff Elam is an actor who has never played the role of a sports coach, either on television or on the big screen.
“I auditioned,” he said.
He never imagined how difficult it would be to play the role of head coach in real life. He offered himself as “emergency support” in case Eagle Rock High couldn’t find a replacement for girls volleyball coach Tim Bergeron following his retirement last May.
Elam’s daughter, Morgan, played on the team. Elam then became a coach.
“I can’t believe how much it costs to work,” he said. “The fact that one person ran all six programs is crazy.”
His early coaching experience was overseeing youth volleyball matches and training. He was given good advice. “At this age, it’s all about serving,” he said.
He looked to his daughter for wisdom and relied on the expertise of his returning Eagle Rock players.
Everything worked out. Eagle Rock won the City Section II Division Championship last weekend and will kick off the state’s regional playoffs this week.
It was a tough season with many off court problems.
“Obviously, I am far from Tim Bergeron,” he said. “I have to say that it is so difficult. I had no idea how difficult it was. I have a lot of respect for volleyball coaches. “