Kelly Elliott begins her first season as the head coach of the Union University volleyball program. Elliott becomes the third head coach of the Union volleyball program since its beginning in 1998.
Most recently, Elliott has been an Assistant Professor of Physical Education, Wellness and Sport at Union University from 2007 to the present. She will continue to maintain a teaching load in the Union sports management program. Prior to becoming a full-time teacher, Elliot was a Resident Director at Union from 2004-2007 in the McAfee Residence Complex.
Elliott spent seven seasons (1997-2003) as the assistant coach at King (Tenn.) College under head coach Susie Toomey. Toomey, the mother of Elliott, spent 25 years at King accumulating a 749-229 record, which is sixth in the NAIA in total wins and seventh in the NAIA in winning percentage for a coaching career.
Elliott earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from King College in 1995 where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Elliott also holds two Masters’ degrees. The first was a Master of Education in Counseling from the University of Louisville (Ky.) in 1997, followed by a Master of Arts in Physical Education, Sports Management concentration from East Tennessee State University in 1999.
As a student-athlete, Elliot was a four-year starter on the volleyball team at King from 1991-1994. She was voted into the King College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 as part of the 1994 volleyball team, the only volleyball team to be inducted thus far. Elliott earned numerous honors including Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Athlete of the Year in 1995, first team all-conference in 1993 and 1994, NAIA Scholar Athlete in 1993 and 1994, and earned NCCAA All-District and Scholar Athlete honors in 1993 and 1994.
Elliott’s teams were also very successful as both a player and as an assistant coach. She was a part of four conference championships as a player and seven conference titles as an assistant coach. During her years as assistant coach, she helped lead her team to two NAIA National Tournaments, including one National Team Sportsmanship Award. Elliott also won four NCCAA District Tournaments and played in four NCCAA National Tournaments (two third-place finishes) as a player.
Coach Elliott’s desire is to see the members of the Union volleyball team grow as players, but more importantly, as young women. She views her role of coach as one to challenge and mentor team members spiritually, academically, and athletically.
Elliott and her husband, Michael, reside in Jackson and are the parents of Isaac and Anna. They are active members of Englewood Baptist Church, where Michael serves as the Minister to Families with Children.
Ariel Apolinario is in his first season as the assistant volleyball coach for the Union University program. Apolinario comes to Union after a very successful playing career at Newman (Kansas) University and most recently, King (Tenn.) College.
Apolinario is a 2010 graduate of King College with a degree in Spanish and a minor in coaching.
Apolinario accumulated a vast knowledge of coaching volleyball during his college years. From 2007-10, he was a head coach in the Northeast Tennessee Volleyball Club. On his team of middle school girls, one-hundred percent of his players made their school's volleyball team. From 2006-09, Apolinario travel throughout Texas and Flordia teaching volleyball skills and team camps during the summers. He worked at Rice (Texas) University, the University of Houston (Texas), University of North Texas, University of Texas and the University of Tampa (Fla.). In the summer of 2009, Apolinario worked as a camp instructor for the University of Miami (Fla.) basketball camp.
Apolinario played two seasons at King where he was named all-conference, team MVP and team captain. At Newman, he was also an all-conference performer. Apolinario holds three records at King, including career kills, career blocks and career hitting percentage.
In high school, Apolinario played volleyball and basketball at Miami Senior High School. He helped lead his basketball team to the 2005 6A Florida State Title. He was a district tournament champion twice with basketball and once with volleyball. Apolinario was named first team All-Miami Dade, and was the Miami Dade County preseason player of the year.
Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Apolinario is son of Carlos Apolinario and Laudelina Vera. He has a sister, Misleideis and a brother, Anniel.