COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 3, 2017) – Erin Virtue, currently the women’s volleyball associate head coach at Northwestern University, has accepted a position with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team as a consultant assistant coach working with Karch Kiraly, the program’s head coach, for the 2020 Olympic quadrennial.
“Erin has done strong work coaching and supporting USA programs over the long haul, but she’s much more than that,” Kiraly said. “She’s dedicated to helping the people around her be the best version of themselves, and doing so with integrity and skill. Since that’s a prime aspiration here, that makes Erin a great fit, and makes us excited to see where our work together can lead.”
“I am truly honored and humbled to be called up to work with Karch and staff throughout this quad,” Virtue said. “I am excited to learn under Karch, as well as provide my best efforts for our USA athletes and the entire USA program in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games.”
Virtue is no stranger to the USA gym as a player and coach within USA Volleyball’s High Performance pipeline. She served as head coach of the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team that captured silver at the 2016 NORCECA Women’s U18 Continental Championship and qualifying Team USA to this year’s FIVB Women’s U18 World Championship.
As part of her work within USA Volleyball’s High Performance pipeline, she observed the coaching methods employed by Kiraly with the U.S. Women’s National Team and implemented the same fundamentals within the youth program she led. In total, Virtue has spent 11 seasons coaching in the High Performance program, mentoring athletes in the Select (U16), Youth (U18) and Junior (U20) age groups.
Virtue, who will continue working at Northwestern in the split role, is in her second season working with the Wildcat volleyball team.
“I would like to thank Northwestern Athletics, specifically head coach Shane Davis and vice president of athletics and recreation Dr. Jim Phillips, for their support in this endeavor,” Virtue said. “I am committed to working to help both programs in any manner possible. It should be a fun four years!”
Virtue has the full support of Northwestern as she embarks on this dual coaching role.
“The opportunity to coach the United States National Team is an honor,” Northwestern Head Volleyball Coach Shane Davis said. “Erin’s hard work and dedication have earned her the respect of the volleyball community. We are so proud of her and thrilled that she will be representing the United States, while at the same time continuing to help build a nationally competitive program at Northwestern.”
Virtue served as an assistant coach at University of Michigan for five years before arriving at Northwestern. She helped the Wolverines reach the national semifinals in 2012 in her first season, along with playing a large role in Michigan having the 12th best recruiting class as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com the same year.
Virtue has been recognized nationally for her coaching ability. She is one of only three coaches to earn the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association’s “30 Under 30” award three times, which is presented annually to honor up-and-coming coaches at all levels.
Prior to Northwestern, Virtue served four years as an assistant coach at University of Cincinnati and helped the program to a 101-36 record during her tenure. She began her coaching career in 2006 at Loyola University Chicago where she handled recruiting and worked with the setters.
Virtue, who was an AVCA honorable mention all-American setter while playing for University of Illinois from 2001-2005, was on the U.S. Women’s National A2 Team in 2004 and trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team until moving into the coaching realm in 2006.