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Jill Kramer (TCU Volleyball Head Coach)

Jill Kramer

TCU Volleyball Head Coach

Jill Kramer, Director of Volleyball at TCU, joins the guys at FORTitude today. She chats with JW and Brinton about her own volleyball career and what it’s like coaching. She also educates the guys on Volleyball lingo. 


Kramer returned to Fort Worth, where she was the first scholarship volleyball student-athlete in the history of TCU, still holds the school records in kills, kills per set and total attacks. As a player, Kramer was the trailblazer for the program, stepping in as the first in what would become a long line of superstar outside hitters. She was inducted in the TCU Lettermen’s Association Hall of Fame in 2007.


As a coach, Kramer has shown herself to be determined to continue to grow the TCU Volleyball program. She has brought the Horned Frogs to the postseason in four of her five completed seasons.  

Audio Only

Episode Transcription: 

We would have you start the interview. We are we started without you.
Good. You’re just don’t let them know what I said when he was not here but
I won’t but this guy’s pertanian you
you ready JW?
Is he ready? Okay, you ready? Okay.
Are we recording?
I can drink any time. Yeah, like
one session we make sure. Yep. Okay, let’s do it Welcome back to the speaking people and some of those who can read lips. We are Brinton Payne, and I am JW Wilson this our little baby called fortitude. Thanks
for saying that to you or me
was pointed to you. And I said me. Our special guest today is the head coach of TCU volleyball, Jill Kramer. I don’t want you to know we had a pre recording argument, which is pretty typical for our shows. It gets pretty volatile. But it’s all because we love each other so much. But we always figure it out right before the show starts and things discussed movies. Welcome in here. Is
that the way you apologize? I think that was Did you hear?
Or what am
I apologizing for
though? That’s just be no
I was lost? He was talking about argument. I never heard what it was about.
So just pretend you’re following a great
way to start this off.
In case before we get to talking to you. In case you’re wondering why there’s a jar of jelly beans in front of you on the desk. I think we’ve had a couple people text me and said why do you have jelly beans on the desk? I was like well, there’s a story here and I have to share the secret because it’s really funny. Okay, our audio video guys got an MJ Fistral I think you know, Jay Jay sitting over here to our left well, my friend Brinton Payne here decided to play the beat the Bean Boozled trick where you put jelly beans in a bowl and you mix in some bean boozled for those of you aren’t familiar with bean boozled they give you regular tasting jelly beans. They give you some that tastes like cuts. See I had them some notes skunk skunks one of them. Did chole bandage dirty dishwater dead fish? Yeah, well, we did this with these jelly beans. And our esteemed colleague Jake Fitzgerald. Guess he’s a jelly bean aficionado. He has been eating news all week. You can see the dishes a little lower. It was full. But we have not heard hide nor hair. What from Jay whether they’re good or bad. He just eat them. He’s enjoying our time. Jay, we wanted you to know the secret because apparently you’ve eaten some lot of dead fish. Dirty skunk bandaid
jelly beans when you’re six, seven. What is taste really matter? We mix them all together. Yeah, they
taste like something. Oh, yeah. So anyway, the way I spelled our secret. I’m sorry, but it’s actually a funny little thing we wanted to share. So like a jelly bean. Yeah. Okay, Jelly Bean.
I’m good. Well, welcome
to show Jill Kramer. Thank you for joining us. We have a lot to talk about today. Right off the gate. We I know you from school, right? We weren’t at school at the same time. You were the first scholarship player in the history of TCU. Volleyball. Oh, wow. tell you this is a cool story. Tell us how when you got to school and you were a fantastic player. I remember watching you several times. And but what led to that decision? And how did that go in your life?
Yeah, I actually hadn’t heard much of TCU at all, because they did not have a volleyball team before that. Right? So it was the first first team ever and if you’re going, recruiting, you’re doing all these things. You’re not paying attention to a school that doesn’t have your sport, right? Yeah. So I knew nothing about it. My parents were Aggies. Right? And so every place I was looking was out of state and back then San Antonio and San Antonio back then late 90s. You didn’t make a decision until your senior year. That just didn’t happen. Right. And so at least High School at least in volleyball, essential. Toma also love Harville
Nice. Yeah, Laura. Good guy. Yeah. Um,
so anyway, all my all my options were out of state. And as it got closer to time to make a decision, I decided I want to stay in state and I wanted to play yeah, you know, and, and, and being an option I just there to all Americans that were going to play in front of me that I was gonna need to catch up to and I, you know, you want to compete, but like, I knew I wanted to play. I knew I needed to play to be like, really happy. And so yeah, it became TCU I
think full blown at that time. Were you playing on a select team? Yeah,
yeah, I was in. It was just much smaller. Yeah. Like you were only playing if you were going to go play in college. Yeah, this is expensive. It costs so much money. Right. And so your parents were I mean, honestly, your parents were looking at it as an investment for your your college tuition.
How’d you come up here and seeing Fort Worth or been in the Metroplex? playing tournaments? Yes, and stuff like that.
Not so much Fort Worth but Dallas? Yeah, Dallas Arlington. There was a lot like Arlington Martin was really good at the time. And so we did We were up here a lot. And it was it was a time where that like each club had probably one team per age group. And that was it. Yeah. And you were playing every other weekend, pretty much. And you were playing this the same girls every weekend and literally on our weekends off, we would like I would come, I would go to Austin, or I’d go to Houston, or I’d go to Dallas, and I’d hang out with those same people that I was playing against. Yeah, that’s how small the community was. So
it was always on the road, though. Never, never in one place at one time. Yeah,
every weekend, it was something different.
How do they recruit? Hey, we’re starting up a volleyball team. You want to come on? Like, I mean,
yeah, yeah, they came and watch me play some high school matches. And because that was still important, then especially when you’re making a decision as a senior Mm hmm. And I didn’t I the signing date that I went with was in I think the either end of January, beginning of February. I mean, I made a decision, like two or three days before that was your coach, Randy trout.
Do they have other players that were appealing to you to like, cheat? The guy from kind of? They said that they were Yeah, this person, this person you could be part of? Absolutely.
And it goes back to hanging out with those other girls. Right? It was yeah, it was actually a bunch of people we were playing with and against every weekend who became my teammates,
and you could kind of envision the success of it. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.
And so you joined this this program? You guys get off on a pretty decent start at first. I mean, it was it was rough. But you guys, you guys are building the foundation of something. I’ll try to be gentle.
Yeah, you don’t need to be gentle. But like keepin it real? You
You were excelling out we all who knew you thought you were excelling? Yeah, ended up holding the record for kills. percent kills kills percent in total attack that stood for a while and perfect. Most of them are still in effect today. So you obviously are doing something decent actions, please. We’re going to get to that here in a little bit. So you you’re in earning your BA in marketing in 2000. The same year I graduated, Britain was probably about 20 years past college at that point. Yeah. One thing I saw on your bio, this might be before after, what’s USA Capital One and two certifications? Explain that to us?
Yeah, there are courses that you take to coach with USA volleyball. So And for instance, in 2011, I was an assistant for the women’s junior national team, or with Yeah, women’s Junior under 20. Team Gotcha. And played in the world. They play in the World Championships in person. They’re actually my current assistant Haley Ackerman played on that team. Okay. Yeah. That’s That’s how my relationship started with her. So
so let’s see you graduate. And you go on to start at UTSA. Your first your first game was a grad assistant
and Incarnate Word for a short stint. And started my started my MBA. Okay, I got married during that time to a Dutchman. Right. And so he was calling Well, yeah. And so he was going through a whole visa process and couldn’t work for a year. Was he at school there? Is that how Yeoman is scandalous? He’s a little older than me. So anyway, yeah. So I really we were living on my GA stipend. Oh, wow, that’s tight. And my part time Starbucks job, that’s not an ill said. I was a barista, wow, I can work part time and get benefits for us. Right. And so I didn’t complete my MBA because a full time assistant position came open at UTSA for a whopping $18,000. Which, at the end of that, at, like, at the end of my first year, they come back and tell me like, Hey, we got to give you 6000 more dollars, because this is like a full time, benefits position. And we’re not paying you minimum wage to meet that right now. I was just having so much fun, for sure. Um, I didn’t, I didn’t care.
So and visit your family now in Europe, because we have this money.
We’re gonna live in. How do we meet Mr. William, by the way?
Uh, yeah.
Is that a story you want to share? Yeah,
I mean, yeah, he’s a, he’s a physio, a physical therapist, been trained in the Netherlands, right. And so he was looking for a job and in the States, and he didn’t want to just treat soccer players. He wanted to come to the US and treat all kinds of athletes and so TCU like, gave him a crack at some things as he was. I mean, things were different 25 years ago, right. And I never had shoulder surgery or anything, but he treated my shoulder. He fixed it. And so I married him. Yeah.
Wow. He must have been really good.
is the most common injury in volleyball, shoulders.
Ankle, probably I’d say ankle knee shoulder. Yeah, ankle knee shoulder.
Mm hmm. UTSA is happening your assistant there. You’re learning you’re learning the business of coaching after Incarnate Word. Yeah, in Alabama comes calling. Yeah, right. Yeah. How did that conversation and how that transition happen?
Well, I was when I was UTSA. I was also coaching club, volleyball club, volleyball club. So I directed that as well. And you kind of had to do both. Because we didn’t have a recruiting budget at UTSA and a mid major you didn’t then so you coach, you coach, both. And my, my club team was really good. And not I mean, not because I was their coach, because they had been since they were 1213. And I had when they were 17. Yeah. And they just metal every year. They’re amazing. And so I connected with all these other coaches, and you’re coaching them and you know, like, so I’m the coach at Alabama, Judy Green was recruiting some of our players and we connected and that’s how that happened.
Very nice. Yeah. Your time there were short is what one year? Yeah, two, two seasons. I think she made the NCAA Tournament, one of those years times both times. So that was a first for that program. Right. Mm hmm. So
well, no, we just kept it going. They made it first time. Yeah. Before
a BIOS falling apart. It’s okay. It’s okay. From there. You get recruited to go coach at Virginia, which you stayed for another year? How did how did that transition happen?
That the head the the coach that got the UVA jobs, name’s Lee Mays, and he was an associate assistant head coach, I think they call it at Nebraska. And they had done really well. I think they won national championship there. And he got hired at UVA. Well, I had coached with Lee for a few years on these USA programs like high performance programs. And so you’re coaching high school aged kids in the summer. It’s outside of the season God so yeah, it’s it’s the the hopefuls for the youth junior national teams. We took a team to Europe together. And we’ve really did coach for like two or three years together. So I went to UVA with him. And that was fun. Like helping build a program, right. I think I was there. Two and a half years, three seasons. Yeah.
Did you recruit? Would you? Yeah, I was the recruiting coordinator. And I would take kids who played with you in the summers. That was like the
mind we would try. I mean, that was a way to recruit. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
from Virginia, then it gets real. You are your heart you are hired, recruited hired at West Virginia to be their head volleyball coach. So now you’re leading the program. You had some good successes there I’d say great in some respects. But now you’re running a program and you’re you’re obviously around the world around the world on the country finding these these kids back to Britain’s earlier point recruiting. What are kids girls at this point? What are they? What do they want in a coach a program at that point? And maybe we’ll talk about more later on. But when you recruiting these girls, what are they? What are they after? Besides just is it just wins? Is it that you the coach? The program? Yeah, what How’s it different from other sports that we might know that you’re I think
it depends on the on the program and being able to, like, sell what you’ve got, you know, have a vision for for what you’re working with at your given institution? Yeah. And finding finding the young women, they’re gonna fit that, right. And so at West Virginia, like I just felt like it was like this little when I went to go go see it. I just felt like it was like this little untapped. Had this untapped potential. They had the same coach for 35 years, right. So and I knew that the athletic director had just gotten hired, his name’s Oliver luck. And we had recruited his daughter, Mary Ellen, when I was at UVA, so I got to know the luck family really well. And I actually took that job the day before the season started on August 9, which was very interesting. So like, my
partner, you start the the process, right, like to
take a bit of luck in their luck. Yeah, little cold, little coal town, you know, mine that you got going to my
town. Morgantown has a lot of character. Yeah. And it’s, it was a lot of fun. It was a place where you could really I had learned as a player. And even when I went to when I chose to go to Virginia, I had other programs that I could have gone to as an assistant that were like, established perennial powers. And that’s not really I like to build and help people see their untapped potential. And anyway, there were some things that there’s some things that WVU that like your, your academic profile is, I mean, it is what it is. And you can get a lot of athletes in there. Yeah. That you can’t get it at a school with maybe a harder admission standards, right. So like, foreign student athletes that didn’t have to take the TOEFL like they there’s, there’s different things that could happen there that are going to be pretty helpful. They had a lot of General Studies programs where you’re not really getting a major you can do all kinds of different things. So it really is. You could it again, it’s finding your niche within the within the environment back
here. To recruit up there, right how much you use and kind of your roots in where you grew up and the relationships you had in the state of Texas to bring athletes up to a
lot. There are a lot. Yeah, yeah. We had a lot of kids from Texas, and especially once we join the big 12. Yeah, we did recruit a lot of Texas, though, when we were in the first few years. We were in the Big East. And so there was a lot of that, but like, especially when we joined the big 12 I mean, we Yeah,
yeah. Were the hot beds and hot and volleyball recruiting Texas, California, West Florida.
Yeah, yes. West, it was no, the Midwest is really good. Chicago, Ohio, Wisconsin, all that area, Minnesota. Big, you know, big 10 Volleyball is really good. What’s the
number one quality you look for in a recruit? Like, what’s the one thing that you’re like? You talked about untapped potential? Can you see me say, you know, what, that’s, I want that one because of this move? Well, some of the talent,
some of it’s also about the position that they’re playing, you know, what their, what their skill set needs to be? I think having a really competitive mindset, and what I’m what I’m seeing more and more of, is making certain before if we’re, if we’re taking athletic ability out of it, right, because that’s just
right. You got to have it in front of you if they didn’t have it. Yeah. But,
but their commitment to learn and grow daily, the difference between young women that come into a program with a with a really fixed mindset on like, I’m good, or I’m bad, or they’re good, or, or, you know, yeah, mad. They have a really hard time when you get to college, just because you like regardless of what happened the day before. You need to come to the gym, and and be around your teammates in a way every day that you’re willing to get better and make changes. Right. And if you don’t have that, like when you’re recruiting, you’re literally recruiting someone’s potential. Yeah, yeah. And if, if, if you’re talking about parents a lot earlier and stuff, if they’re also around parents who are going to help them stay in that, like, fixed mindset, it’s tough. And especially when you’re when you’re in the Metroplex, and if you’re recruiting the metroplex? Yeah, you know, because they’re around their parents, West Virginia, we were on this little islands, you know, like, you’re away from everybody, and you can really kind of like mold them. But now, here what I’ve noticed is different. I actually I really love it is it’s a it’s a bigger family, like your team is a bigger family, just because everyone is so much more involved. It’s easier all the time. And that’s a really cool thing.
helpful in some places, but not so helpful in others. Right. I
think when you do it, right. It’s really, really helpful all the time. Yeah. Like if, because here’s the thing, like, part of part of the beauty of recruiting this area is you get to play in front of your family. Yeah, all the time. Yeah, all the time, not once a year or twice a year, like, all the time you get to be like a hometown hero, you know, and especially with NFL stuff, that is huge. Right? So I think, I think that’s a beauty. And that’s a blessing, ya know, like, and you just, you got to do it right?
Did you find that you played better in front of your family? Growing up?
I honestly don’t even remember. But I do think that is a it is a huge stressor that you’re taking off someone to be able to, you know, be able to go home on Sunday, every once in a while to have have dinner or if you need to, if you want to go home to do your laundry. Yeah, not have your mom do it, of course. But if you want to go home to do your own laundry or something, there’s just this added stress when you go off to college and you’ve got to go through being homesick for the first time that you’ve got it. You know, like, you’ve got to miss out on something that happens. It’s it’s really great with your family or not so great with your family and you can’t just you know, even if it’s Austin or San Antonio or Houston, not just, you know, drive down there. Yeah. You know, for a little stunt. So, I don’t know, I think it’s I think it’s a huge, a huge advantage to be able to recruit the state because of that. Yeah,
I feel so you have successive WVU in the story, I’m gonna butcher because I’ve heard it a bunch of times, but it’s a good one. Okay, I know the story well, but you get a call from a guy named crystal Conti. TCU athletic director. And I don’t know if that’s how it originated but he ends up offering you the job at TCU. In our initial meeting something happens there involving some some alcohol do you call this story? I love the story. I’m hoping you’ll tell it in the in the correct version. Is this a fair request?
I can do that? I
don’t mind. He’s no longer here. We can talk about about him.
I don’t know what’s happened to the moonshine. I don’t know when he told me we would drink it one day, but we never did. So I think culture is important, I think when you’re in a space and that’s why I loved about being and in Tuscaloosa and in Charlottesville, and in Morgantown, which like Charlottesville is very different from both Tuscaloosa. Yeah, like it’s night and day. Yeah. But I think like, you know, really living into the culture and each one of those environments is really exciting. And I I actually really just adored that culture at West Virginia. I really did. And and the people there, you know, they’re, they’re great and all right. Yeah. No, they’re not. Um, but, but those, you know, like, Bob Huggins, I love that guy Dale willfully. I don’t know if y’all see him doing stuff. Oh, and Schmidt like, all those guys. They’re they’re just awesome. Right. And so anyway, yeah, it went down that they did interviews at the final for that year. Actually, I think Haley Ackerman again, my assistant I have right now Haley Ackerman was actually playing that night in the Final Four. But, um, this was supposed to be like a, I don’t know, it’s one of those like, turn and burn for them. Like they’re bringing somebody in every 30 minutes or hour. And we ended up we ended up talking for like, three hours. I mean, we’re there for a long, long time. And it was close to Christmas. And so I had brought just a bottle of moonshine as a Christmas gift
jar or bottle. A bottle. Okay, apple pie, I
think yes, Apple or peach. But, yeah, so at the end of it, I just put it on the table. And I said, Merry Christmas, y’all. Yeah, just living into the culture deal. Just living into the culture. Greatness, indeed. So I was in a good space. I was really happy at West Virginia. I don’t think I would have left for anywhere. But
here. The time the money, the money was just too great. I get it. Yeah. So for sure. Well, so you become the third head coach in the history of program. you’re off and running. Right. So now you’re recruiting in a place you obviously know, well, and you’ve spent time playing? Yeah, that’s got to feel fantastic. What what is your your initial experience coaching here? Is that Is it overwhelming? How are we doing with that? It has its times
right. Like it? I think, I mean, Jamie and David probably say the same, you know, there’s a handful of assistants on the on the football staff. Right. Yeah. It um, you have this feeling of responsibility that is so great. You know, and, and I think managing that is because a season ebbs and flows, right. And, and you want to keep your eyes going in the right direction all the time. And like, you’re human, it doesn’t always happen. Right. And so, but you, I think you do have an affinity for, for the program in a totally different way. For sure. But I do. Absolutely.
I love what you said about kind of, you know, talking about the players and coming in New Day each day. So do you do that the same? I mean, I think that that’s probably one of the most important things in your line of work, and then teach those kids to
Yeah, I think you’re like a dealer and hope, you know, pretty much very good. I have a vague, it’s on my mantle in my home is lit up all the time, just as hope, because I think that that’s the biggest the biggest thing you’re doing as a coach, right? And, yeah, and just humanity in general, just as a fellow human, right. And so I think helping young women see their full potential, like I talked about earlier, and I think volleyball is a vehicle a little bit for me of it is undoubtedly more about every one of these young women leaving TCU in a way where they feel like they can go out and conquer the world and whatever, whatever they want to do. Yeah. So. And that’s very important to me, like if, if, if we’re recruiting someone and they’re not passionate about something, academically, or if they are, if they are so passionate about volleyball, that like they’re going to be a coach, right? I mean, that’s one thing you can be really passionate about your sport, and it’s going to take you to coaching Yeah. But if they don’t have that, they have got to be passionate about something outside of sport. And as a as a volleyball staff, our our goal is to help them leave with whatever degree they want to be leaving with Yeah, that is really important because you know, there’s more and more professional opportunities being provided every day for volleyball literally. But right now that you know, really they have to go overseas to go play and so they need to have the degree to anybody needs to right to fall back on because injury or whatever, but they so that’s really important. And sometimes, sometimes it’s not the best sometimes the avenue they choose to go academically is isn’t absolutely the best thing for your team. Right? Sometimes it’s not sometimes they have to miss an hour of practice or a day of practice a weaker but it’s our jobs as staff to work through that and bring them in at a different time of day and
punish them accordingly. Yeah, glad you brought up education, Jill because one thing you’re known for is Your girls generally speaking all get their degrees respective degrees and they’re solid in the crowd classroom. Absolutely admirable job in that regard. It’s something I’ve liked about you since you got started coaching. You’re very good about getting your girls to go to school, go to class and get their degrees. Like I said, That’s awesome. Congrats on that. Thanks. Now back to TCU. Real quick right out of the gate you get here in 2015 You go to the NCAA, but you your first birth the second second in school history. You do this in a pretty awesome fashion you swept number two, Uta, it’s your first schools foot first went over top five program. You remember all this? Yeah. This has been? It’s been a few years? Yes. Yes. Then next year, you get the second birth, you’d be Wichita State in the first round. That was your 100 for your 100. When you call that, that was an exciting moment around Fort Worth, when that happened. Your strength of schedule that you’re in 2016 was number one, your RP is a call RPI environment schedule.
for the RPi hardest strength of schedule in the entire country, which is incredible. You still take it to the NCAA tournament, or you beat Wichita State. And up into the end of the year, we were ranked 21st in the country. Very next year, your third straight in IVC. Birth. So your three in a row, you’re just you’re just going crazy. Is are things piling on, like recruiting getting harder, your worlds obviously blossoming? Well, they’re at that point. Yeah, you have that you have some you, whatever you’re doing is working. What would you say to us that you have like secrets? Why are you so successful in this regard?
Well, there I mean, there were a lot of people that did some pretty hard work before I got here, right? Like, I think the the previous staff did a good job with we had a lot of rising juniors and seniors, and I think they just needed a little nudge, you know, a different nudge. And, like, the work that they did the previous two years, you know, it’s a big part of it, I think, getting their heads in the right direction, we brought in a couple of transfers that were significant at that point in time. Some of them could play immediately, some of them couldn’t. Because of transfer rules, the senator came with me from West Virginia, who is very, very good. And our her Scout side was amazing, my first year here because we had, like a, like a couple kids can play so. And then they got to they got to be a part of everything. And they could tack it on in 16. So 17 We lost Gosh, eight nine kids because to graduation, so then you’re in this rebuilding and a mix of transfers and and players who hadn’t seen any playing time in the previous years. And kind of what I what I learned from that, because then you know, in the next couple years, those those young men may become juniors and seniors in need to play significant roles for us. And I hadn’t had a time where there were a lot of freshmen who weren’t playing and I don’t I didn’t feel like we did a good enough job as a staff, developing them, and and more importantly, continuing to build a relationship and are in their confidence. Because they weren’t playing. Yeah, right. Yeah. So um, I’ve changed some things, looking, you know, just trying to evaluate that we changed some things to where if someone’s not playing as much their freshman year I spend I make, make it a point to spend a lot of time with them outside of the court. So maybe I’m meeting with them and watching video or I’m, I’m there. I’m their point person for academics so that they know that, you know, I’m, I’m paying attention to right, right. I might not be on the court, but pay attention to him. Yeah. So that’s something that I would have done different. You know, that’s something I would have done different but no, no secret sauce, just, you know. So you have watching it, like a new day every
day. Very good. So you have another successful season in the in the NCAA Tournament berth in 19. Your postseason record, overall, seven and four, which is fantastic. 19 you have the first sell out in program history for the season. Here we are today. Yeah. Before we go on with what’s happening this year. Yeah. Some of the best players you’ve coached in your in your tenure.
Oh, you mean, my entire tenure? Here?
Let’s go. It’s our tenure.
entire tenure. Um,
clearly that Senator you brought from West Virginia, right one of them.
Senator center is basketball. Sorry. Well, I’m just trying to like we won’t we won’t take in the all the USA kids, right because they make it go to Cisco TCU. The Ashley Smith amazing. Um, she’s actually go into UT Southwestern now for I think it’s called UT Southwestern Medical School. Yeah, right.
So that one? Yeah, no,
she got in there. Yeah, she’s amazing. Okay. She was like, the All American Girl, you know. So, Ashley Smith. Natalie Gower was an all American here as well. Liam Perrine is the Senator that came from from West Virginia did did an amazing job here. There’s a young woman who I coached UVA before I left Mackenzie Adams. She’s playing professionally in Turkey right now played in Italy last year in a league like cheese. She could be on the national team at some point, potentially. Absolutely. McKinsey comes in coaches camp for us every year. So it’s important, all those relationships are really, really important. Yeah, you know,
so it’s the European scene just booming. I mean, is it huge volleyball, like,
ah, yeah, really big. I mean, but in the US, I mean, high school. You know, high school volleyball is only second to membership in track and field. Like it’s the second most played sport in the country among young women in high school.
It’s so minimal on the perfect, right, like, it’s just they just
started this, this. I mean, they’ve tried over and over and over again. But it just hasn’t stuck. And hopefully there’s a couple leagues that’ll that’ll stick last year. Athletes Unlimited started one, Katie Carter, Hector Gutierrez, his wife played in it. She volunteered for us before, you know, gotten the gym with our, our young women, and now she’s commentating, she’s the color for our matches this year. So, so that that was actually in Dallas. You know, it’s played in the State Fair area, right. I think they’re gonna have it again, and that same venue, and they’re starting a new one. I just tweeted about it the other day, I think it’s called love. And it’s run on the principle of I think they’re gonna run it alongside of some youth clubs, which I think is all along I feel like that’s the way it should have gone that’s a little bit of the build up of European soccer, right? Yeah. Like those. I think that’s pretty awesome.
Yeah, how come you think it hasn’t taken by Kijiji?
I really don’t know I think you know, some of it is just money like we’re gonna invest in it and I think getting used to it and it being a part of something that you can actually go watch and do and if somebody can just stick with it long enough. I think you can build the fan base and we just haven’t been able like actually when I graduated I think they were starting one at the time and it just it was it was it probably stuck around a lot the longest don’t hold me to that that’s a guess. But it just didn’t quite make it
the Olympics have to help it like I remember we watched a lot I think Olympics help beach a lot okay, you know even the endorsed like we noticed it oh yeah, like much more said this time around than before like I took an interest in it I
know you were watching it sir. No, I
said we were watching the indoor not the indoor not okay.
Anyway, let’s pretend for a second that my partner doesn’t know much about volleyball. Yeah, we don’t really have to pretend but sure. There’s certain there’s some things in some terminology that we wanted to ask you so we can clear up some things for those who might not know everything about volleyball.
Yes, I jumped out of order member Okay. As I told you you
know center we know that so what is a setter?
A setter is like a quarterback Okay, that’s the best way to describe it. So you’re trying to play she usually has the second contact same color jersey, not the same color jersey and everyone will try to pass or you know, get the first ball to the center and then she will distribute the offense. Libero Libero that, that is a passing and defensive player only can play in the back row cannot attack so cannot not attack the ball above the top of the tape. Even from behind the three meter line. 10 foot line.
Dutch origins of this name a no Italian
it means free.
I’m kidding. I was going with your hands. Well, I’m just trying to show that I know I know what I’m talking about Italian so is that word?
Okay, specialist.
defensive specialist is this defensive specialist?
This is when I don’t actually really know I think I did but the person on the court that’s got the different color Jersey Yeah. What is this person that’s libero. That’s look a little bear. I said it wrong. Yeah, it’s libero.
Yes. Actually, I don’t know how you say it in Italian. So you’ll have to look that does
need some arugula. No, that doesn’t make sense. But you said a Libero is designated by the jersey, different jersey.
Okay. And so you can switch that from set to set.
It’s interesting. You say, though, that the definition is free when they’re not really free? Because they can’t go oh,
I don’t know. But they do not count as a substitution, which means that they are that’s the free part. They can come in and out of out of the game freely. Okay. I’m sorry. I should have clarified that but that’s
perfect. But they cannot freely roam the court, right? That’s not the
Cannery Row, but they really go in
and out. Okay,
what is the person who hugs the net? The tall person, okay, have a designation.
If they’re in the middle of the court? They’re the middle blocker, no blocker. Yeah. And they’re kind of like they’re the first line of defense for us. Okay, and so They’re going to make what we would call a blocking call. We have hand signals for a blocking call, right and so, so that the back row in the in the pin blockers we call pin for pin is another term for antenna. It’s the Yeah, you know the candy stripe red right up stripe. So those are pin blockers left side, right side.
But do they rotate after every serve? Right? Yeah, they rotate,
but they can switch. Okay, once the ball is served, they can go wherever they want once the ball serve.
Okay, yeah,
I hope you don’t feel cheapened by these law. His line of questioning.
This is actually this all the time? I mean, it says like, you can I know no Rules of Hockey? None. I would not know what’s going on. What is it Dig? Dig is when they when the other team attacks a ball at you hits a ball that you write spikes of all that you have you want to call it? It’s the first play on the ball. Yeah, that would be considered a dig. Trot the blog, but like, you know, that’s your tool. A tool is when you attack right and you utilize the block to score a point. So if I hit the the blockers hands and it bounces off of the block into a point where it like, I mean, it’s out of balance. Yeah, you could play a tool, like but like a real tool, like kill from a tool is when you use the block to score which
sometimes is one of my favorite things. So you know if somebody referred to a tool
Oh, you’re getting you’re getting fish and fish? I did.
Let’s let’s progress on my favorite joust
job. Okay,
what a video game from the are you too old for that are too young, just video game? arcade game?
Just say yes. A lot of time playing video games. Too young, you’re definitely the same age. Yeah, I’m so jealous. Actually. We’ll do this in practice sometimes. So instead of like Rock Paper, Scissors or to see like who serves first or who gets the whatever who gets the ball first. I’ll toss a ball up. So if it’s if the volleyball is 5050 So like half of the balls on one side of the net half, like right above the net, you have two blockers go up and push on the ball at the same time. That’s a joust and you’re trying to win the joust. Right so you’re trying to be the you’re trying to have the bigger push in score the point
Have you ever been involved in a jazz before Britain?
Only when he was a gladiator, right?
I did go to medieval times one time for a birthday and I do remember that sport. Never been there. You haven’t never if you get kid, you know, it’s when you’re young kind of thing.
I can’t take my cats. Yeah.
Everybody’s favorite. And it was it’s such a popular term that a company was formed because of its site out. Right. Yeah, site that what yeah, what is site?
So a site out? Excuse me, when the other team is serving it you? If you win that point, at some point, it’s a site
out because you can only get a point when you serve.
No, that that would have been when I played that was the rule. Why did they change it? Actually, for TV? Those those matches could last forever. Yeah. And when there’s a point scored every time I mean, my my thought is TV it changed internationally first, but I think it had a lot to do with just the time of the match. Yeah, it can be a little bit more not static, but it can be a little bit more defined. Each set takes about 20 minutes typically. So so basically like there there’s a difference between side out and a first ball side out so the first of all sight out is when you pass set kill immediately or shot you see a lot more that amends volleyball.
Wait so inside out would be they serve it. It comes over I give it to my setter JW sets it my person slams it point immediately. So like I would sit for you know rally involve essentially it’s like a point scored when there’s no rally involved. Correct. Okay,
well done. That’s that’s
J dub. Appreciate it
in the last last one for this is bonus question. You’re doing great by the way. Jelly Bean will solve problems. Oh, and if it’s a bad one, we need some description of what flavor that that was the short tearing up before the shoelace.
The band aid JW did have a band aid towards him at one time we
got here. Is it normal?
It’s bad. No, it’s not. It got worse when I swallow it. Is it hot?
Is it spicy? Is it’s fine?
We’ve got we’ve been up there is there just say it because he probably answered yes higher
blow out a flavor.
Yes it’s got a diaper blow eyes probably. Yes. Congratulations, you have
a blowout.
Oh my gosh, I can’t even read it. It’s so small.
hope I don’t get any more tickles in my throat.
Thank you for trying to bamboozle us will challenge
it just it was timing it had to be a timing thing last question right time. What’s the kill? Kill is when you attack the blow doesn’t have to just be an attack. It’s anytime you there’s a point scored on the other team where it hits the ground. Yeah, so like your center can
dump. Are you about to faint right now?
Well, I’m okay but like it’s still there. Yeah, yeah. is not going away with
a dump
so if your setter like on the second contact, yeah, takes the ball over and scores that can be a kill, but it would be a dump kill.
This is going so robber one. Yeah. Good.
Yeah. Birth robber dump. Kill
two. Right. Congratulations, you have passed this test. Thank you for showing up. Yeah, your your career. What’s the best coaching moment you’ve ever had?
A I love to say it was it was here. But I’d have to say it was like we went when we moved from the when I was at West Virginia, when we went from the Big East to the big 12. We were not prepared for that. With the players that we had. And we had a lot of freshmen, we went over, like didn’t win a conference match that see, actually, we almost be T went to five with TCU at home. And yeah, didn’t quite pull it out. But the second year, our first conference match was against Kansas State at home. And it was it was the 14th anniversary of the program. And actually, that week, one of our starting starting outside hitters, who was from Montana, lost her mother. And so it was a really challenging week for our team. And, you know, everyone was wantedly like you wanted to you crack that and win that match. But like, I think the bigger part of that was our team coming together for that kid. You know, and winning that match was just probably Yeah, probably just that that that group was really special group.
That’s very, that’s very rich. That
kind of stuff is it’s more important to me then. Sure, you know? Sure. Yeah.
Now everybody’s favorite question. You’re your worst coaching moment. Oh,
so there’s a lot of them. Um, and
while you’re thinking, gee, Jelly Bean, Bean Boozled Mo,
it? Yeah. I mean, it’s a coach. There are, there are some, and I think you try to put them out of your head and you try to learn from them. Um, but I mean, I do remember also being here with that same team and a different guy. When I was at WVU, and at TCU for the first time, and we weren’t performing, and I got really upset with them. And that was probably one of my worst moments. I would have to say,
fair enough. Yeah. Thank you for giving that some thought. It’s never an easy question. Yeah. All right. Currently, the home frogs this season are I believe eight nine. Last night. You had a three one victory over Kansas State Kansas State. Excuse me? Yes, you are eight and three at home this year, which is great. And you’re on the road. Your guys are struggling your 00 and five to five the conference. Like you said you won last night tonight. Today’s Friday, you have a game another second match against Kansas State. Yeah, how do we how are we approaching tonight’s game?
Well, you know, this doubleheader stuff is a little bit different. So a doubleheader I don’t mean the same day like we’ll play the same team on back to back days. And that’s really different. That’s an it’s, it’s honestly just not you know, it’s a product of COVID. And we needed to do it. And the reason we’re doing it two years is so that for competitive equity, but it’s not meant it’s not how volleyball was meant to be played. It’s just not.
How does it mess you up? Because it’s it on the second night all the time, or sometimes?
I know, like, and it’s, you know, baseball has got to struggle with that too. You know, I know they play like what three games in a row? It’s same team and but here’s the thing like you see what you see the team once all year, so if you have somebody out, you’re seeing them that same way both times and oh, no, usually.
It’s not like two games here. Then two games there kind of thing.
Yeah. Well, and here’s the other part of it is we use play Wednesday, Saturday, and who knows how we come back to it. I think we’ll be we’ll be spread out in some way shape or form but really, sport is entertainment. Right? Sports Entertainment. And volleyball actually gets really good attendance and especially in the Metroplex. Yeah, I mean, there So many volleyball fans, there’s so many young young girls playing Yeah. We have a ton of teams that come and it’s the reason we moved into Shoal is because we just outgrew the rychel. Like, only seats 1200. And that’s why we could sell it out. Right. So. So basically, you are not going to go to a movie on back to back nights. You’re not going to do that. Yeah. You know, like, you might go to ACL because it’s got a different performer every night, right? But you’re not going to go watch the same concert two nights in a row? Like, why would you go watch the same match two nights in a row, unless you’re a parent or family member, it’s just not going to happen very often. Yeah. So I think that that’s this side of the entertainment piece. And we’ll flip back to something different. But I just don’t know what but the cool thing for a staff is that you are you’re scouting one opponent during the week. I mean, it’s we spend a lot more time focused on our team and training our team, what we need to work on, and it is like opened our eyes to some of that of like, hey, we need to be better about making our team better and not put so much focus on, you know, so much focus on how we’re going to go against the opponent, but basically what it looks like today, you know, we take regardless, we were gonna approach every match the same. And so, you know, we had, we’ve got, you know, some of our players have school today, classes at different times. And so they’ll come in at different times today, and they’ll, they’ll have a recovery session today. They will sit down with with our assistant coaches and go through scouting a different way, like what changes do we need to make offensively and defensively from last night? And you know, you treat that the same way? Win or lose? Right? Yeah, just because you won doesn’t mean there’s not adjustments that you’ve got to make. Yeah. And so we’ll look at all those things with them. And then, you know, they’re there, you know, at 630 match, they’ll be there at 130. Today, from then on prepping for the match. So,
you know, when GW mentioned the record on the road, now that you talk about playing like back to back, it makes a lot of sense, right? Well, you’re not just you’re in a foreign environment like yeah, all these things. Well, so
let me tell you like, so our road matches have been Texas, who’s number one, we’ve played them twice. Wisconsin, who I don’t know, I’m, I’m a voter for that. And I don’t remember exactly what they are. But I think they’re in the top Wisconsin, I think some top four right now. I’m just Minnesota is in top 10. Yeah, those are those are four of our road matches. So yeah, and Iowa State, those could have literally could have gone either way. Yeah, um, first, first. And I will take responsibility for like, we played. We played Minnesota, Wisconsin, first weekend, and we didn’t go back on the road till our till our matches against Iowa State. So had I, I would have maybe put one midweek match in there. So we could get back on the road again. But you know, whatever. So hindsight, right? I just want to learn, learn and grow. But I was saying 23 All you know, and we in first set, we have a chance to go up where in the net, we make another right? We get we get it handed to us in the second set, but then third set, same. We’re right in it. It’s like we were up, I think yeah, I think it was like, we were up by a lot. I think it was like 20 to 18. And it just, we just couldn’t put it away, right. Like we’ve talked about this a lot. Like, we’ve got to have it there’s no one person on our team that is going to put the team on their back and go that’s not how this group is. And actually like the most successful teams I have ever coached have not been that way. It is really hard to put that on one person. And there’s a lot that comes from that that I think as a coach and a team you don’t want to deal with Yeah, and so and I’m thankful that our that this team is not that way like they they can like each of them have the talent and ability to step up at any given time they really do is just confidence that they need to gain from that so and I think we’ve done so much better with that lately. Night to we come back against I was staying we got five and sit like really, really played hard that like this team. This team has no quit. They really don’t. Yeah, and and that’s the thing, like well, we’ll leave the we’ll leave the gym. And I feel really good about them regardless of what’s happened because I know that they’re going to come in and work hard the next day like they’re the they’ll put the effort in, right. They really got to do the
same this year. Is it like
are you know over in classification? Not really. We’ve got three we’ve got one grad transfer. We’ve got who’s been like such a great teammate, like amazing teammate. She’s a special special person. She’s getting her certificate and supply chain while she’s here. We’ve got a fifth year. Danny Dennison, who who now is the program record holder for digs for your digs. So she She’s our Libero right now and she’s done great. And then we’ve got a defensive player Who’s getting her degree and finishing her degree in graphic design this year who’s a true senior and they’ve been great for us. But our junior class is huge. There’s like eight or nine and but here’s the thing like Junior classes this year aren’t your normal Junior classes? Yeah, they’ve had a year and a half that they haven’t really had real training. And so it is different like it’s just different. Yeah, and I don’t know if everyone feels this way like if every coach feels that same way. But I do I mean that all of these all these girls have two more years. They’re juniors but they’ve got two more years to play and I believe least where it stands right now they’re staying the majority of them so that’s pretty cool.
All things being considered you’ve done a great job so I’m so after tonight, you go to Texas Tech. Yeah. Baylor,
we have a by this coming this coming weekend where we get to do some community service and some excellent Halloween. Halloween, we get to have some trick or treating. come good. Come by. Come by. Ryan place is the best place to go trick or treating. Oh, yeah. I’ll have the frog setup at my house and everything. I have diabetes. Joe. I can’t. I’ll have I’ll have something for you. Don’t you work shirts? Yeah.
Anyway, you go. You’re going to Lubbock. Baylor comes to town. Yep. And you go to Kansas. Before we get to the finish the finish of the WVU right before Thanksgiving. Yes. Biggest rivalry for the frogs. You guys.
I mean, normal. Baylor. Baylor. Yeah, absolutely. There’s
some, some trash talking going on at all. Do they do that?
I don’t know. I don’t know if they do. But Baylor has been very, very good. Sure. Like, we kind of had their number at the beginning. And we’ve kind of it’s kind of flipped. But that will, we’ll get it back. You know, it’s part of how it ebbs and flows with your state of recruiting and where your teams at. And, you know, the youth are the you know, and they’re a group that has really, I mean, they probably more than anyone to set the gold mine with COVID. Like they had so many seniors last night last year, and they’re they’ve got they’ve got a lot, right. Yeah. And you’re gonna see that from like, there’s gonna be a lot of recruiting of, you know, like, if you talk to Jamie, there’s, there’s gonna be a lot of recruiting from the port. I’m sure football is doing it to a lot of sports.
Right? As we wrap this up, Jill, the portal has become a nuisance in college sports. We lose people all the time you gain people all the time. What is the portal in the shortest possible answer me? Yeah, sure. How has that affected your life adversely? Or positively?
Ah, it kind of it probably takes you as a coach out of it. You know, I you know, you don’t really you don’t see it coming as quickly. I got to tell you, you know, it’s just an easy, it’s an easy way to go about it.
So don’t get me on the team for plants and whatever. They just, they’re just going the wrong person
in their head outside of your program. And that’s it, but, and I know, we didn’t get to talk about it. Maybe we do it another time. But oh, yeah, I think in IML is I think it’s amazing. I think we’ve got a lot of great opportunities for TCU. And I think Jeremiah has hit it out of the park with with our business school dean, like it’s just been
awesome. You know, it’s funny that you say that because there’s from folks we’ve talked to there’s been some apprehension on the from the established sports and kind of the highly printed but then other sports like this, like that you think can bring it up. Like it’s interesting. It would be interesting to poll and see how many not is established sport or not. It’s not that your sports are established. I’m not saying it that well. It’s not a revenue sport. Right. Right. Right. Like something like that.
No, it’s just I mean, I’ve, I just think, I mean, I’ve been in I’ve been in Tuscaloosa. I’ve been in the I’ve been in Morgantown had been in these small towns, and we’re just in like that. We’re in this prime location. Yeah. For young women to be able and I mean, for Instagram, it TCU it goes, I think it goes football has the most, you know, followers, and then maybe baseball and I think it’s volleyball. Yeah. outstand I mean, it’s, it’s, but it’s because of like, of our audience. Yeah. It’s the people who utilize social media.
So um, I did notice I’m one of these photos. And that’s your that’s it that deals with your last question. You’re onto question. Yeah, this one right here. Well, this so I’ve noticed you’re wearing three quarter tops shoes there. You did have high tops on another photo and those are ankle braces. Okay, and then you have high tops so his high tops your thing like do you wear him as a coach or
No, I wear heels. Oh, you clearly have not watched a match.
Well, do you have to wear a dress code for coaches? Like can you
it’s all different i i went with like athleisure last year with COVID because I was just
with my tops or
I don’t even know it was I don’t even know it’s weird
like a low top or what is the like or for the
shoe? Yeah, it’s a pretty like you were ankle braces usually or tape but now my my During my uniform I guess or is I like to get it’s the it’s the like the one time I get to dress like a normal person yeah you know and I really like shoes so okay a lot of hills
we always ask the guests this no family stuff we had somebody break that last time okay we first we straight up said no family are banished from the show for you know in a great like political answer they start talking family that story. So lost right now that’s to your life that’s unfamiliar. They can’t say you know like
that’s why this is on the screen just to help if you needed a little help. Jill in 2007 was inducted in the TCU Hall of Fame. A big moment in note, no doubt indeed. But if there’s something bigger
please thanks for letting her answer the question. I’m
just setting up the slide here. So you have some context.
He’s got a couple of answers for me coming up to jail, so I don’t know. I
don’t really I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.
Well, that’s why we have you here to tell us the best day of your whole life
and I can’t I can’t use my marriage. Oh, you definitely cannot. Even if even if I drove to Vegas and got married at 5am I still can’t use that I think that’s not right. We could
hear the story just five it’s yeah, no,
I mean I mean, we had to get married right? We we had no social security number. Okay, Vegas is the only place you can go okay, we got to do this this week. Or you got to go back
when it’s gonna happen is the locale
the county courthouse, I had no money little sample under the stars. No, I wasn’t a black turtleneck. And we drove for 18 hours straight
day non stop what it is to Vegas from from
here and from here
from San Antonio. 1818 or 21. Something like that. Yeah. Like honestly,
what was the split? Married at that time? So
how do we celebrate the moment do we gamble? Do we go dancing? What do we do? We went to
I hop on the strip and love them.
And each meal ordered was pretty fresh and fruity.
No, I love contract griddle cakes and my thing.
Yeah, that’s
so Western time in Morgantown. You can’t take Morgantown.
Thank you,
Jill Kramer. Thank you for joining us to check out the TCU women’s volleyball team there. They’re worth your time. Absolutely.