The 2018 season marks the fifth year with Jolene Shepardson at the helm San José State University women's volleyball program.
Shepardson has led the Spartan program back to heights that have not been seen in over 10 years. The 2017 team finished the year with a 17-12 overall record and 9-9 Mountain West mark. It was the first winning season for the volleyball program since the 2006 season. The nine MW wins was also the most for San José State since joining the conference in 2012.
With upsets on their mind, the Spartans defeated MW champion Colorado State at Spartan Gym in 2016 and 2017. The 2017 win stopped the Rams 15-match winning streak and gave SJSU its first win over a ranked opponent since 2001. The 2016 team defeated Colorado State for the first time since 1998 and ended the Rams’ 31-MW match winning streak.
San José State has recorded a winning non-conference record each of the past four years and won the Spartan Invitational in 2016 and the Drake Invitational in 2017. The 2017 team got off to an 11-4 start, the most wins through the month of September since 2001.
In the classroom, seven Spartans have earned 12 Mountain Scholar Athlete accolades and 14 players have earned 27 Academic All-Mountain West honors in four years. Jamie Hirai and Julie Sam were honored as first team Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Shepardson took over the program at Bakersfield in 2011 season and coached a 0-31 team in 2010 to an 8-18 record in her first year. The improved number of 10.5, determined by adding the difference in victories between the two seasons to the difference in losses and dividing by two, was the sixth-best improvement in the NCAA. The 2012 team continued the upward progression, finishing with a 14-17 record in the team's final season as an NCAA Division I Independent.
Her 2013 team ended the season with a 21-12 overall record and 12-4 mark in the Western Athletic Conference, setting a school record for the most wins in a season. The team finished second in the WAC regular-season standings and advanced to the championship match of the WAC Tournament. Three Roadrunners earned first or second team All-WAC honors for their play, and four players received Academic All-WAC honors.
Shepardson spent the 2010 season as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech. The Hokies played in their first NCAA Tournament match in school history that season and advanced to the second round to play eventual national champion Penn State. Two Virginia Tech players earned All-America honors (Felicia Willoughby and Cara Baarendse).
Prior to her time at Tech, Shepardson was an assistant coach at recruiting coordinator at American University in 2009, coached with Front Range Volleyball Club in Colorado from 2006-08 and was a volunteer assistant coach at Winthrop (2005) and at Regis University (2004-05).
As a collegiate player at the University of South Florida, the former Jolene Patton helped the Bulls win two Conference USA Regular-Season Co-Championships (2000 and 2002) and make two NCAA Tournament appearances those seasons. The 2002 team advanced to the second round of the tournament, sweeping Florida State in the first round before losing to host Florida 3-1.
Shepardson graduated from the University of South Florida in 2002 with a degree in psychology. She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified Personal Trainer.
She and her husband, Aaron, have two daughters Mirabelle (6) and Marielle (3), and two sons McCoy (4) and Major, born on July 6.
Aaron Shepardson, Associate Head Coach
Aaron Shepardson is in his fifth season as the associate head coach for the San José State women's indoor volleyball team in addition to serving as the Spartan beach volleyball head coach.
Shepardson has improved all facets of the game for Spartan players. San José State was one of the top-five blocking teams in the Mountain West in 2016. Nandyala Gama was an honorable mention All-MW selection in 2016 and was one of the top blockers in the conference at 1.23 per set. She recorded the second-highest season block assists total at San José State with 128, while her 137 total blocks are tied for sixth-best in a season.
As head coach of the beach program, Shepardson has grown the program from inception to its fourth season. After a struggle to win in the beginning, the Spartans have posted at least seven wins each of the past two years and upset nationally-ranked California three times.
He came to San José State after three seasons with similar responsibilities at CSU Bakersfield. In indoor volleyball, the Roadrunners went from a winless program prior to his arrival to setting a school record for single-season victories with 21 in 2013. CSU Bakersfield reached the 2013 Western Athletic Conference championship match.
In beach volleyball, the Roadrunners played their first season of sand volleyball in 2013, finishing with a 5-7 win-loss record. CSU Bakersfield played half of its 12-match schedule against top-five ranked teams nationally.
His other major college indoor volleyball experiences include serving as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech (2010), American University (2008 and 2009), Winthrop University (2005) and the University of Denver (2002). Winthrop won the 2005 Big South Conference championship. Shepardson also was a volunteer assistant the University of Florida in 2004. He began his coaching career as a student assistant at Baylor University in 1996 and held that position for two years.
Shepardson was the head coach of the Front Range Volleyball Club - Mountain Division from 2006 to 2008. He also was the assistant coach for Front Range's 18-Open National Championship team in 2002.
A native of Littleton, Colo., Shepardson graduated from Baylor in 1998 with a degree in psychology. He played on Baylor's men's volleyball club as an outside hitter and setter and was a member of the USA Men's National Volleyball team in 2000 and 2001. In 2003, Shepardson played professionally in Indonesia and Belgium.
He and his wife, Jolene, have four children – Mirabelle (6), McCoy (4) and Marielle (3), and Major, born on July 6.
Taylor Gregory, New Assistant Coach and Recruiter
Taylor Gregory joined the San José State volleyball program in January of 2019 as an assistant coach.
Gregory was a two-time All-Amercia honoree for the 49ers – 2016 AVCA second team and 2015 Volleyball Monthly third team. He finished his career (2013-16) ranked fifth in school history with 500 total blocks. Gregory led the country in blocks per set as a freshman (2013) and was second in blocks his junior year (2015). He was named to the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team for the 2013 FIVB U21 World Championship. Off the court, he served as the President and Vice President of the Long Beach State SAAC.
On the coaching side, he was a volunteer assistant coach at Seattle U for the 2018 women’s team. Prior to that he worked at Team Rockstar Volleyball Club where he was the head coach for the 16 Mizuno team and served as an assistant coach for various teams. Gregory was the assistant coach for the men’s team at Golden West College for the 2018 season.
Gregory graduated from Long Beach State in 2016 with a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology. He is married to current Spartan volunteer assistant coach Delainey Gregory. She was a four-year player for the Long Beach State indoor and beach volleyball teams.
Delainey Gregory, New Volunteer Coach Beach and Indoor
Delainey Gregory joined the San José State volleyball program in January of 2019 and will serve as an assistant coach for the beach program.
The former Delainey Aigner-Swesey was a four-year starter at Long Beach State (2010-14). During her indoor playing time, she was a 2013 first team All-Big West honoree, a 2011 honorable mention selection and a member of the 2010 Big West All-Freshman team.
Gregory also played on the 49ers beach team for four seasons (2012-15) and was a member of the 2013 AVCA National Championship team and the 2015 AVCA National Runners-Up team.
She was an assistant coach at Seattle U for the 2018 season. Prior to her stint in Seattle, she was on the coaching staff of the Forza1 North Volleyball Club, working with the U17 and U18 teams. She was the head coach of the Golden West Volleyball Club and worked with the Serrano High School girls team.
Gregory graduated from Long Beach State in 2015 with a bachelor of science degree in biology. She is married to current assistant coach Taylor Gregory. He was a two-time All-American for the Long Beach State men's volleyball team.
Tiffany has lived in the bay area for 20 years! As Director of Operations, she will be coordinating social media, marketing, fundraising, organizing camps, banquets, and travel. Before joining the Spartans, Tiffany was an assistant coach over setters, and the lead recruiter, social media marketer for Foothill College Volleyball. She is a person who notices the benefits of a program and turns that content into marketable Instagram posts. Her marketing delivered 6 confirmed recruits for Foothill College volleyball before her departure. She emailed coaches, scouted talent, and followed up. She began her fitness and coaching career as the co-manager of the fitness center at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia. After returning from Moscow, she taught physical education in San Jose, CA before becoming a NASM certified personal trainer. After teaching P90X and Insanity group fitness, Tiffany began personal training with the City of Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, and finally a corporate audience including the Santa Clara Towers, Zooka Creative, and currently for Ghirardelli Chocolate. Beside personal training, Tiffany coaches volleyball for the Mountain View Volleyball Club.