HIRAM, OHIO — Hiram College head volleyball coach Ellen Dempsey will step down from her current head coaching position to assume an administrative role at the College as an Associate Director of Athletics. She will also maintain her position as Senior Woman Administrator in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Dempsey, who recently completed her 11th season at Hiram, is the program’s all-time winningest coach with a 267-113 record. This past fall, the Terriers posted a 27-9 overall record and finished second in the North Coast Athletic Conference with a 13-3 mark. Hiram qualified for the NCAC Tournament for the 11th consecutive season and advanced to the tournament title match for the 10th straight year. Also in 2011, Hiram earned a spot in the NCAA Division III National Tournament for the fourth time in program history, all coming after Dempsey took over the program prior to the 2001 season.
Dempsey has taken a program that hadn’t had a winning season in over a decade to the upper echelon of the North Coast Athletic Conference and all of Division III. In her stellar career coaching at Hiram, her teams have posted eight seasons of 20 or more victories, including a school-record 33 wins in 2006 in which the Terriers captured the NCAC Tournament Title and made what was at the time, their second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Dempsey has coached 18 All-Conference players, including six first-team award winners, in addition to six AVCA All-Region and three AVCA All-Americans. She has had three players named NCAC Newcomer of the Year as well as three players named NCAC Player of the Year. In addition, Dempsey has been named the NCAC Coach of the Year on four separate occasions (2001, 2003, 2005, 2009).
“Ellen has dedicated herself to developing a championship level volleyball program at Hiram,” said Hiram Athletic Director Tom Mulligan. “Her coaching success is well documented. Equally impressive has been her efforts to help young people strive for success off the court. In her new role she will be able to impact the lives of many Hiram students for years to come.”
Overall in 19 seasons as a head volleyball coach, Dempsey has a 457-271 record. Prior to being named head coach at Hiram, Dempsey served as Assistant to the Director of Athletics at the University of Maine in Orono. Prior to that, she spent six seasons as head coach at Ohio University in Athens where she won a school record 86 matches from 1994-1999 and took the Bobcats to the Mid-American Conference Tournament for the first time, posting two twenty-win seasons along the way, as well as the school’s first winning record in 19 years.
Before her experience at Ohio University, Dempsey was an assistant coach at the University of Maryland from 1990-1993, where she helped the Terrapins claim the 1990 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. Dempsey also headed the volleyball program at Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University) where she was named the 1989 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District II Coach of the Year. She began her career as the head coach at Lansing (MI) Community College from 1984-1985 and was an assistant coach at Northern Michigan University from 1986-1987.
Outside of the collegiate ranks, Dempsey was an assistant coach for the south squad at the 1994 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival and was a court coach for the 1993 Junior National Team.
Dempsey graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor of science in natural resources in 1986 and earned a master’s degree in exercise science at Northern Michigan University in 1988.
Current assistant coach Scott Carter will serve as interim head coach until a new head coach is hired.