Q & A with Tiger Shelton

William Jessup's New Women's Volleyball Coach

William Jessup University (WJU) opened their Rocklin campus 15 years ago and throughout those years they have made a dedicated effort to develop their facility academically as well as athletically. The expanding athletics programs at WJU now include 14 conference sports where they compete in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Recently, WJU hired volleyball powerhouse coach Tiger Shelton to take the reins as the head volleyball coach. He brings a wealth of experience and a love for the game that is sure to ignite a flame in the players and fans alike!

Q: Can you share your background on your coaching career at the collegiate and club level?

A: I started as a high school coach growing up in San Diego in 1980 at Hoover High School with Oscar Graybill who was my coach and mentor. I asked him one day why he was so passionate and into this game, he told me then that he needed to give back and that I needed to do the same thing. I took him very seriously. I have coached women's volleyball in California and North Carolina for four decades. Some highlights were when I spent 15 years as head coach at Ripon Christian School and we won five consecutive CIF Championships. I was a part of a Charlotte Latin team out of Charlotte NC, that was coached by my wife and I,where we won a State Championship! I've also coached for the High Performance Program for 10 years and even coached aboard in Italy, Slovenian, Hungry and Czech Republic while coaching at the Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia.

Q: How does coaching at the college level differ from club volleyball?

A: I have spent many years with club players getting them ready for college, now I'm asking them to come to my college that is kind of strange being on the other side. College is a different animal altogether. The kids are paying club coaches to do something and in college we are paying them to come to us. The attitude and the commitment are completely different because of the amount of time you have with your players and how much you become a family. Being a coach at a college is much more than the game you coach. It's a full commitment to that kid and their family. You are taking over where the family left off. Helping that player take the next big step into what they want to do in life and the teachable moments are coming at you every day which you have to take that seriously. Your players will go the distance if they trust in you and know you care more about them then you do the game.

Q: Do you have a favorite motto or mantra that you use to motivate your players?

A: In the game, in life in anything,,, it's not whether or not you are going to encounter obstacles or issues, big problems, it's when.... How are you going to react and get through it? Every day you get a choice to make a decision are you going to be the victim or the survivor?

Q: This is your first season with WJU, what are you looking forward to with this team and program?

A: To build a program with a culture that everyone is proud of. I want kids to come into a safe environment knowing they can TRUST their coach, team and school. The culture in athletics and education is changing. How we interact with players is way different then the way we were coached or taught to coach. We need to change with it. I'm looking forward to being a part of the change. That's why a guy at the age of 59 decides to take on his first head college coaching job!

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job and why?

A: Being at William Jessup is pretty rewarding in itself. I am a Christian and I love the ability to be myself, I don't hold back at Jessup because it is a Christian School. Every minute at practice i get a chance to instill Christian values on a kid. It's up to them to choose if it's right for them or not but I know I'm trying to live a life My Father would be proud of. I feel pretty good walking away from practice. My players hold me to a pretty high standard as well. But the best part is being a part of every player on my team's life. They are what has kept me young.

Placer Valley Tourism would like to give Coach Shelton a warm welcome and we have no doubt he will inspire many more players for years to come! If you like volleyball, be sure to check out the WJU Warrior team. Coach Shelton promises they won't disappoint with their sportsmanship, skills and spirit!