May 27, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - UConn women's volleyball coach Kris Grunwald has announced the hiring of Sarah Cullen and Ellen Herman as assistant coaches on his staff. Cullen comes to UConn after having spent the past three seasons as an assistant at Georgetown University. Herman, who served as an assistant for the Huskies in 2011, rejoins UConn for her second stint with the program.
"The UConn volleyball program made two great additions to the program with the hiring of Sarah and Ellen," said the newly-hired Grunwald. "We hired two great individuals who will be outstanding role models for the young women in our program."
During Cullen's three years with the Hoyas, she helped mentor a pair of All-Big East athletes and helped to increase the program's win total between her second and third seasons on the staff.
Before her time at Georgetown, Cullen spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, working specifically with the defense and outside hitters. Her other roles at Pittsburgh included recording stats on the bench and serving as Camp Director in the 2011 volleyball summer camps.
Prior to her coaching experience, Cullen started on the DePaul volleyball team for four years, being named the program's Most Outstanding Player in 2009. As a freshman, she started as setter, but moved back to the outside hitter position for her remaining three years. Cullen finished her college playing career with 1,151 digs, 964 kills, and 509 assists.
The Sycamore, Ill. native also impressed in the classroom as a Blue Demon, being named to the Big East All-Academic team and the DePaul Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll all four years. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications with a 3.68 grade-point average and went on to earn a Master's degree in Professional Studies in Sports Industries Management at Georgetown.
Herman is no stranger to UConn volleyball, as she assumes the position of assistant for the second time. The Toledo, Ohio native played professionally for two seasons for VT Aurubis Hamburg, which is a member of Germany's 14-team premiere league known as the Bundesliga. She received MVP honors during two matches while in Germany.
Prior to spending the 2011 season with UConn, Herman trained with the U.S. National Team during the summer of 2009 and competed with the team on their Tour of China during February of 2010. She also competed with the U.S. A2 Team, earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Adult Open Championship in 2008.
A graduate of Ohio University, Herman was a two-time All-American during her time with the Bobcats. She led Ohio to three Mid-American Conference regular season titles, three MAC tournament championships, and four NCAA tournament appearances in her four seasons of collegiate play.
Herman was named the MAC Player of the Year as a junior and senior and was also named MAC Freshman of the Year in her inaugural season. She finished her career as the Ohio and MAC all-time leader in kills. She graduated with a Bachelor of Health Administration in June of 2010.
"They both bring a wealth of knowledge and skill in all phases of the game which will benefit our program greatly," said Grunwald of his new assistants.
"We have been together only a few weeks and the transition has been seamless," Grunwald said. Our systems and philosophies are mirrored in each other and that makes for a fun and exciting environment for our players."
UConn opens the 2014 campaign with the UConn Classic, beginning on Aug. 29 in Gampel Pavilion. Indiana, Central Connecticut and New Hampshire will participate in the annual tournament.