Eagle Rock wins City Section girls’ volleyball title with actor-coach

Eagle Rock won the City Section Division II girls' volleyball title.
(Eagle Rock)

Jeff Elam is an actor who has never played the role of a sports coach on television or the big screen.

“I’ve auditioned,” he said.

Little did he know how challenging it would be to play the role of head coach in real life. He offered himself as an “emergency backup” in case Eagle Rock High couldn’t find a replacement for girls’ volleyball coach Tim Bergeron after his resignation last May.

Elam’s daughter, Morgan, played on the team. Then Elam found himself serving as coach.

“I can’t believe how much work it is,” he said. “The fact one person ran all six programs is insane.”


His early coaching experience had consisted of observing youth volleyball matches and practices. He was given good advice. “At that age, it’s all about the serve,” he said.

He turned to his daughter for wisdom and relied on the experience of his returning Eagle Rock players.

Things worked out. Eagle Rock won the City Section Division II championship last weekend and begin play in the state regional playoffs this week.

It was a tough season overcoming lots of off-the-court challenges.

“Obviously I’m nowhere close in knowledge to Tim Bergeron,” he said. “I got to say this is so hard. I had no idea how difficult this is. I have so much respect for volleyball coaches.”