Perrine hired as assistant at UCI

Eric Perrine is back near the beach. He's returning to a place he calls home.

Perrine, a 1999 Newport Harbor High graduate, has been named an assistant coach of the UC Irvine women's volleyball team, head coach Paula Weishoff announced Thursday.

"It feels pretty amazing," Perrine said over the phone during a break while coaching at UCI volleyball camps at the Bren Events Center. "I'm very lucky to come back to where I grew up, and to be able to work with great coaches like Paula. I'm looking forward to it. They have really great girls coming back."

Perrine, 29, called his new job, "a phenomenal opportunity." He had been an assistant at Boston College, but sought openings back near where he grew up. He applied for the Corona del Mar girls' volleyball head coaching opening recently. When he heard about the UCI assistant gig he knew he had to apply for that too.

At Boston College, Perrine worked as the program's recruiting coordinator, and was also assigned to the setters and hitters.

At UCI, in addition to several responsibilities, Perrine will work with the offense and the setters.

He has a good background with those facets. After Newport Harbor, he started four years at UC San Diego. In his first season, he began as a setter. As a sophomore, he played middle blocker. In his junior season, he shifted to outside hitter and then as a senior he returned to setter. The Tritons won the NCAA Division III championship in 2000. Perrine was a three-time captain and was voted the team's Most Valuable Player twice.

Perrine also played in Denmark, and was an outside hitter his first year and a setter his second year.

"It was nice to get all that experience, so that I can relate to the players better," Perrine said.

Perrine's experience and knowledge helped him land the job at UCI.

"I am excited to have Eric join our staff as our new assistant coach at UCI," Weishoff said in a release. "Eric's overall volleyball IQ is amazing, as he started as a setter, middle and outside hitter in college, as well as setting and playing outside internationally.

"His energy, enthusiasm and work ethic will definitely be contagious and help us compete in the practice gym and on the court next year. Eric will also be working with our alumni so I'd like to encourage our alums to contact him and meet our newest Anteater."

After playing overseas, Perrine worked as an assistant at UC San Diego, where he was on staff for the men's team and the women's squad. In 2010, he helped guide the UCSD women's team to a No. 2 ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. poll. UCSD was the No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and swept San Francisco State in the first round before losing to Cal State Los Angeles.

Perrine also spent a year in Denmark as the head coach of SK Aarhus.

UCI went 22-8 and finished second in the Big West Conference at 11-5 in 2009. But the Anteaters dropped to 8-22, 3-13 in the Big West last year. UCI opens the season at San Diego State Aug. 26.

Perrine is the oldest of three brothers who attended Newport Harbor, where they played volleyball and basketball. Brett, the youngest, played at UCLA, where he graduated in 2010. He is playing volleyball in Austria, Eric said. Greg, the middle brother, is working for a land development company.

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