By Dulce Carrillo
Elliott Walker, the new East Los Angeles College women’s head volleyball coach, has the Huskies looking forward to the new season through optimistic eyes.
Recommended by former head coach Trisha Marx, he admits that this will be a difficult season, but feels good about the team’s future.
“This season will be a transition season,” says Walker, who wants his team to develop the skills they already have, and to discover new skills in the process.
Marx is a personal friend of Walker and wanted him to take over the team while she takes a break from coaching and welcomes her newborn daughter.
Walker graduated from Verbum Dei High School, an all boys’ catholic school, where he didn’t play volleyball primarily because there was no team, but that didn’t stop him.
He played in a recreational league and also in elementary and junior high.
He’s been coaching volleyball for more then 25 years now, most recently at Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Boyle Heights.
He managed to make playoff history while coaching at Salesian, another all boys’ catholic high school, leading the team to the CIF championship.
Walker was able to get the most from his players at Salesian, even though the team was undersized and played against much larger competition.
According to Los Angeles Times on-line video, “Salesian High’s volleyball team plays above its head,” mentioning that the boys were not your average 6’3 volleyball players.
The team averaged about 5’9” but still made history with their skill, desire and with the support of their coach who believed in them from day one.
Walker takes everything that comes in his life in a positive manner.
He has been teaching the team how to encounter everything with courage and to thrive to become the best.
“The ladies will be competing with other teams who will have the height and training as professionals but I want them to learn that skills and having the passion to play, will give the other teams a good competition,” said Walker.
He also got the team to follow his “commitment to excellence,” philosophy.
“I want the ladies to first dedicate themselves with school and volleyball. Discipline by understanding the tasks and to finish with being trustworthy on the court and outside the court,” said Walker.
Walker considers himself a coach and an educator.
He believes that everyone is expected to take risks and stay positive at all times, even when things don’t turn out as expected.
He earned his masters degree in Education in Curriculum and Technology from the University of Phoenix and his bachelors degree in Liberal Studies from California State University Los Angeles.
“Education is the key,” said Walker.
Without the education he earned in life, he wouldn’t be the person he is today.
He encourages all of his student-athletes to chase their dreams.
Nothing is impossible and negativity should be taken as a challenge that will motivate his players to compete.
Walker trusts his athletes and describes them as dynamos.
He also hopes that by the end his first season, the Huskies will continue to follow his philosophy of commitment to excellence and use it in their life after volleyball.