Appalachian State University head volleyball coach Matt Ginipro announced the hiring of Eli Valentin as an assistant coach on Tuesday.
“Eli has been a valued member of my camp staff since I arrived in Boone in 2007,” said Ginipro. “So, when this last
minute opening happened, he was one of the first people I thought of to be our new assistant coach.
“Eli brings a ton of coaching experience with him from his time at Hillcrest High School where he helped them win a state title. He has the ability to coach any position on the court, but I know our defensive players and serve receive group will really benefit from having him in the gym. On top of his coaching experience, Eli is very high energy and full of positive attitude which I know our players will respond to immediately. “
Valentin joins the Mountaineers after spending two years as an assistant coach at Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, S.C. where he helped lead Rams to a Class 4A state championship in 2011 while amassing a school-record 53 wins. In addition to the 2011 campaign, the Rams finished the 2010 season as the No. 3 squad in South Carolina and made a state tournament semifinal appearance.
“I am excited to join the Mountaineer staff this season. I have been a long time friend of the program and this is a dream come true to be working with an amazing coaching staff and representing the Black and Gold. I am looking forward to getting to learn from both Matt and Gregg. The team has been extremely welcoming and I am ready to see this wonderful group put in the work and dedication necessary to be successful.”
While at Hillcrest, Valentin trained South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year and three-time all-state selection Kylie Haun as she set the school record for single-season and career kills as well as single-season digs, career digs and service aces. He was responsible for practice planning, scheduling, serve receive training and all scouting reports while also mentoring all-state setter Ashton Lowder as she set the school record for career assists.
In addition to his work in the high school ranks, Valentin also served as the head coach for Carolina One Volleyball Club in Greenville, S.C. where he was responsible for teaching all fundamental skills while also planning practices, scheduling matches and scouting opposing teams. Valentin is no stranger to Appalachian State as he has spent the past nine years as a coach at App State’s summer volleyball camps where he has worked with top high-school talent including time as an instructor in the advanced camp/top court sessions.
He also has extensive experience outside the volleyball arena as he served for nearly five years as the Director of Hispanic Outreach at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Greenville where he was responsible for creating and maintaining budgets, leading fundraising efforts and supervising all programming staff for the outreach. Valentin also collaborated with numerous community-centered agencies and organizations to spread the mission and objectives of St. Francis’ outreach efforts, including the oversight of the ESL afterschool program.
A 2007 graduate of nearby Lees-McRae College, Valentin was a four-year letterwinner for the Bobcat volleyball squad as a libero/setter. As a senior, he was named team captain and finished as the national leader in digs per set during his final year.
Photo Courtesy: Matt Ginapro, ASU Athletics