“I wanted to start a program that spent all its energy and resources on bringing volleyball to kids that don’t have access to the game. Volleyball is the greatest team sport in the world and offers life lessons that anyone at this level will keep with them for the rest of their lives. I take great pride in seeing what my players have gone on to achieve in their adult lives, and take special notice of how many of them have gone on to coach volleyball. Club volleyball has become so expensive that many kids are left out of the equation and I want KnockOut Volleyball to be the organization that changes how the system works allowing everyone access to the game.”
Coach Coward enters his seventh season as the Pflugerville Panther head coach, his 24th year as a coach and his 16th as a head volleyball coach. He begins the ’14 campaign with a 334-199 career record as a varsity coach. His top team was the ’04 Dripping Springs squad that spent most of that season ranked number one in the state and lost in Regional Finals to Boerne in game five. Coach says, “That team in Drip was tough. Seven of their 32 wins came in situations where they had lost the first two games and had to win three in a row. They never quit. As great as that team was I still look back at that first team of mine with the most fondness. There wasn’t a single player in the program at Hudson Catholic (in ’94) that had ever seen let alone played in a volleyball match when we started the program. Three years later those same kids were in the playoffs it was an amazing feeling.
Assistant Director in Charge of Operations Hello everyone! I’m Coach George Pina. I am the Operations Director for Knockout Volleyball. I am a high school teacher/coach in PfISD. For 7 years, I was a middle school math teacher and volleyball coach before transitioning to high school. Currently, I am the Junior Varsity Volleyball Head Coach at Connally High School. Go Cougars!
I am very blessed to be married the love of my life and my best friend. My wife and I have been married for three wonderful years! We have two beautiful daughters. The oldest is a freshman in high school and the youngest just turned a year old.
I began coaching volleyball in 2008. After my daughter played club volleyball with various programs over the years, my wife and I decided to open our own club program that was geared toward providing solid coaching as well as a great overall club experience. After a successful inaugural year, we put our club on hold to welcome our new born baby girl. At that time, I was introduced to Coach Jeff Coward and the Knockout Volleyball program. From the beginning, I knew Coach Coward created a great concept that is changing the club volleyball scene. I came on board as the 12 Sapphire Head Coach and had a great season! During the year, Jeff and I discussed how my experiences as a former club director could benefit Knockout. I happy about my change from club coach to the Operations Director and I’m looking forward to another great season.
As the O.D, I will have two main focuses. The first is to ensure that a quality experience is delivered to all the players, and that they are provided with the high quality coaching they will need to rise to the next level. The second focus is working with Coach Coward on the logistics aspect that happens behind the scene for the program as a whole.
Director of Personnel, Head Coach
“When Jeff approached me with the idea of starting our own club whose main purpose was to provide everyone, no matter what financial status, the opportunity to play club volleyball, I instantly, without thought or hesitation, said, “Let’s get started!”
The amount of money needed to play club volleyball has become outrageously expensive which has narrowed the pool of people who are able to play. I strongly believe that those limitations are hurting club volleyball because of the insane amount of talent that is being surpassed simply because of money. We want KnockOut Volleyball to be an organization that is all about the game of volleyball, the students and their families, the community, and most importantly, having fun. I can say from personal experience that the lessons these student-athletes will learn about volleyball, themselves, teamwork, and life in general; they will carry with them for the rest of their lives”
Tara Fisher was born and raised here in Austin and has been playing sports since she can remember. She went to Dripping Springs High School and played varsity volleyball and basketball all 4years. She was a dominant, left-handed, right side hitter, and setter. Tara’s senior year she was #1 in central Texas in aces and #3 in central Texas in kills. She was a strong leader and played every game like it was her last, and loved every minute, the good and the bad. She also played for Austin Juniors Volleyball for 6 years. Last year she coached two club teams with great success. Tara has always had a passion for sports, especially volleyball. She was fortunate in the fact that she got the opportunity to play club and go to big camps when she was growing up and it’s her want for everyone to have those same opportunities is why she has helped to start KnockOut Volleyball. Tara is incredibly passionate about what we are doing as a club and cannot wait to share her love for the game of volleyball with a new set of student-athletes. Tara’s love for the game comes, not only from the incredible experiences that take place on the court, but also the amazing experiences, adventures and life lessons off the court as well.
Business and Website Manager
Thia is so excited to be a part of Jeff’s dream of making it possible for everyone to play volleyball. “I’ve spent years watching kids not being able to join club teams, and it effecting their level of play. Now is the time to change that. I have been in the situation of having to tell my child they can’t play club sports because we don’t have the money. This feels horrible. I am so glad we are changing that with volleyball, here in Austin.”
Tournament Registrar and Manager
Linda Polley has been involved with USA Volleyball for 32+ years as an official, coach, and director of a club for economically disadvantaged girls. Her goal has always been to find a way to make volleyball more accessible to young people and to help them develop essential core values. The main objective of any club should be to provide a fun and rewarding volleyball experience to anyone who has the desire to play! Linda’s motto is: “You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R. Buckminster Fuller
A heartfelt and rewarding objective of Linda’s role includes, providing opportunities for young people to enjoy the great sport of volleyball, make new friends, learn new skills, acquire habits of self discipline, learn to cooperate, compete fairly and occupy free time. Her philosophy is; when the game of volleyball is adapted to the age and abilities of the participants, they experience more success, enjoy the activity more, and want to play more often! The more they play, the better they get!
“I am very excited for the opportunity to share my knowledge, experience and passion for volleyball with young women who I feel will take what they learn, not only into volleyball, but into life.”
Elise has been playing volleyball since middle school and hasn’t stopped since. Even in middle school, Elise was one of the shortest players. However, she received MVP, through developing and establishing good setting, defensive, and even hitting techniques at that early age. It was then quite a challenge to find the right volleyball club that would not judge based on height, but see the talent and skill in each individual player. She found that, joining Metro Volleyball Club in San Antonio, at age 12. She played setter and defensive specialist and was part of a regional winning team, playing with the same 4 or 5 girls until she was 17. Four of the six starting players and their parents decided to start their own club/teams, and created two teams called San Antonio Elite, who Elise played with until age 19. They ran a 5-1 rotation, with Elise playing defensive specialist and outside hitter. During this time, she also played Junior Varsity and Varsity volleyball and soccer for MacArthur High School in San Antonio. She played mostly middle back or libero, and due to hustle, was also an alternate setter. As a senior, she received the Erica Leatherwood Athletic scholarship for being a top female athlete.
Elise continued to play sand volleyball and attend open gyms, on campus, at UTSA, then Texas State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Since moving to San Marcos, TX, she found and joined an adult volleyball league at the San Marcos Activity Center, winning 3 championships and one second place, with multiple teams, in the 8 years she has been playing there. She currently plays with a fun, winning, co-ed team called The Honey Badgers.
Elise is also a full time certified Yoga Instructor in San Marcos, TX, teaching at Red Dawg Hot Yoga and Texas Health and Racquet Club. She is excited to bring her love and passion for volleyball to the Knockout team. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge, experiences, and skills with the young ladies of Knockout, hoping to instill good character and trust, respect for self and others, and above all joy for volleyball and life.
Nicole’s interest in volleyball started at the age of 12 while she was in middle school. She was known for hustle and going after the balls that were considered “unreachable” by some. She played high school volleyball at Dripping Springs High School under Coach Coward. As a sophomore Nicole was the team captain on the junior varsity team. A well rounded athlete, she played volleyball, basketball, softball and ran track.
Nicole continues to play volleyball in adult leagues and understands what perseverance does for you, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.
Susan has been the varsity coach for the past nine years at Round Rock Christian Academy. Her team won 30 or more matches the past three years and won the state championship in 2012. Susan led the Crusaders to playoff appearances in all nine years.
As a player, Susan was a four year academic all-district and three time all district selection at Round Rock High School. Susan was also a two time All Central Texas selection as an outside hitter and was named to the Insite.Com all state volleyball team her senior year. Declining multiple out of area options, Susan played her freshman year in college at SCAC playoff qualifier Southwestern University in Georgetown before pursing her academics at the University of Texas in Austin.
“I’m so excited for the wonderful opportunity to be part of something that is so special, I love volleyball, love coaching and love the opportunity to share that experience with the players,” said Susan.
Susan played on Austin Juniors Mizuno teams from age 11 through Age 18 and participated in five Junior Olympic Open Division national tournaments as well as national qualifiers.
“I love volleyball for what you learn about both the sport and life from the sport. Remembering that volleyball is fun,” Susan said.
Coach Kenna's interest in volleyball began in Middle School and quickly turned to a passion. She was a varsity starter for three years at Round Rock Christian Academy, playing a variety of positions under Coach Susan Hart's leadership. Her team went to playoffs her senior year, and she received a variety of district honors and academic awards throughout her high school career. During college, she continued to play recreationally as often as she could.
After moving back to Austin, Kenna wanted to get involved in the local volleyball community again and was asked by her previous coach, Susan Hart, to join her at Knockout. Kenna has assisted with 2 seasons and is excited to continue helping girls fine-tune their skills and grow as players and teammates.
Coach My name is Bilyesia Cooper and this will be my second year coaching with KnockOut! I began playing volleyball in middle school and continued through high school and played one year of club. Volleyball has always been fun and challenging for me. You can always continue to develop and grow in so many ways! As a coach, my goal is to help the girls develop and grow their volleyball skills on the court and show them the beauty of the game! I am excited to see what this season brings! #GoKnockOut
Coach My name is Jalah Mcgruder I'm from Pflugerville,TX, and this past year I graduated from Pflugerville High School. I've been playing volleyball since elementary school and always enjoyed it. I played club volleyball for Thunderstruck and Magic Volleyball clubs. I've always had a deep passion for the sport. When Jeff came to me offering me a position to coach, I was so excited to have the opportunity to be able to teach the sport I love. All I want is for kids to be involved and improve in this sport. I think the purpose for KnockOut Volleyball is a amazing thing and opportunity for young girls to improve their game. I'm so excited for this upcoming season.
Coach Moffett is a native Houstonian, where she began her volleyball career and earned a scholarship to Huston-Tillotson University, formerly Huston-Tillotson College. Coach Moffett was a welcome addition to the team and carved her legacy into Huston-Tillotson’s volleyball team’s history early on.
An undeniable talent and valuable attribute, the coaching staff recognized Coach Moffett’s versatility on the court and shifted her position from playing the Middle, which demonstrated her vertical leap, and became the Outside Hitter at Huston-Tillotson College. Both positions strengthened her as volleyball player and made her more of a competitive threat.
Coach Moffett is a natural athlete and has excelled in a number of sports; including: basketball, volleyball and track. Although sports have long been a part of her life since early childhood, volleyball is where she flourished.
Coach Moffett’s love of the game has been manifested throughout her thirteen years of coaching. To see her coach is to witness the execution of her passion for the game and her girls. She thrives on building her athletes and motivating them to push beyond their imagined boundaries to discover their own limitless potential, both on and off the court.
Coach Moffett has a warm and inviting spirit and is an essential component to our program. She is excited about joining this club and looking forward to being a true inspiration to the team.
Mona was three time recipient of All SWAC first team or second team honors as a volleyball player at Texas Southern University. Mona loves the technical aspects of the game and she is a great motivator. Mona is very astute in her volleyball knowledge. She is not only able to articulate what she wants from her players but she is also capable of demonstrating her desires as well. Mona said, “I’m very excited to have joined KnockOut Volleyball in its first year because I have been part of helping develop this great program from the very start. This is going to be big and I’ll get to say I helped make it happen.”
Laura is excited to be joining the Knockout family! She has coached for a few years in Colorado and Utah and is new to Texas! Originally from Ohio, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Miami University and earned her Master's degree in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Denver. While she played volleyball, basketball, softball, and soccer in high school, volleyball is her favorite sport to coach. In high school, she was a setter, defensive specialist, and often served for players who just couldn't serve quite as effective of a floater. Not only is she coaching the 12s Rowi team, but she is also Knockout's Mental Skills Coach. She will be working with a few of our teams on the mental side of the game throughout the season.
My name is Jeanette Rodriguez. I have played volleyball for as long as I can remember. Age 8 I played in my first co-ed (adult) tournament and we won! Since then I have never put the ball down and that's where I began my passion for the game of volleyball. I played all for years for Manor High School and was named the districts New Comer of the Year in 1999 as the Varsity setter! This is my 3rd year coaching club volleyball (various teams). But I am thrilled to be here with Knockout!
My passion shows on and off the court, when I play and when I coach. It's instilled in me to always lead by example and teach and play the game to the best of my ability. Side note little cool piece of history on me: I can officially say I have peppered (back and forth) with Misty May-Treanor and her teammate Veronica Walls-Lee (Long Beach State). And I was on the beach court with Holly McPeak and Nancy Reno wayyy back in the day!! What an experience!
Being a part of Knockout Volleyball has been an honor as I believe in their mission and hope to provide the girls on the court with the same leadership skills and knowledge not only in volleyball but in life, in general. GO KNOCKOUT!!
Coach Volleyball has always been a huge part of my life. I started playing club volleyball when I was just 10 years old, so it stole my heart at a very young age. By my sophomore year at Pflugerville High School, I found myself playing on the varsity team, earning the MVP award in 2007 and 2008. I later graduated and went on to play collegiate ball at Stephen F. Austin State University, where I earned a starting position as a freshman. In 2012 I was faced with a difficult decision and had to end my volleyball career due to excessive knee injuries. I knew I wanted to remain involved with the sport that I loved, so I started coaching camps for the club I played for all throughout high school. Eventually I was given the wonderful opportunity to coach for Knockout Volleyball and it has by far been the best coaching experience I have had. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to coach and lead young girls who share one of the same passions that I have.
Coach I grew up around the sport with older siblings playing it and fell in love with the game. I played at PHS for Coach Coward, was varsity captain. I continued my career to the collegiate level in Tennessee for two years till I had to give it up for medical reasons. And now I am so happy to get to work with all the amazing young girls in this program that is really making a difference to the game!
Coach Coach Bailey - Coach Bailey is one of Knockouts newest additions. Bailey grew up in Austin and went to McCallum HS. Throughout high school she found a passion for volleyball at both the high school and club level. At McCallum high school she found her role as a defensive specialist/libero and taught herself how to set. During her two years on varsity, Bailey contributed at least 10 digs a match and helped the Knights win district in 2013 and 2014. As senior year came to an end, Bailey decided against playing college volleyball in order to attend her dream school. Since 2014, Bailey has attended the University of Texas at Austin in the Liberal Arts Honors program. During her first year, Bailey's passion for volleyball never waned. During her second year, Bailey pursued this passion as a coach. Last year she coached for TCS and this year she is the head coach of 15 Kiwi. In May Bailey will graduate with a BA in Sociology from The University of Texas.
"Coaching doesn't end on the court. A successful coach will develop amazing athletes as well as amazing people."
Bailey's passion extends far beyond a volleyball court or tournament. We all expect to become better players; coach Bailey also expects for her team to become better people. In the long run, Bailey would like to develop a coaching style that perfects the development of skills as well as character.