LCSC volleyball coach Pruitt to step down
Jerry Pruitt, head women’s volleyball coach at Lewis-Clark State College for the past 1½ seasons, has resigned to accept a high school teaching position in Utah.
Pruitt’s resignation is effectively June 30 and the college has begun its search for a replacement, according to LCSC President Dene K. Thomas.
Pruitt says he’s wanted to become a high school teacher for a some time and felt at this time in his life presented the perfect opportunity.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Lewis-Clark State College and it is with a heavy heart that I leave,” Pruitt says. “I’ve thought about this for a long time and this is something I really want to do.”
President Thomas says she understands Pruitt’s decision, but is sorry to see him leave.
“Jerry has done an excellent job here and we wish him the best,” says Thomas. “I want to make this clear: I fully support Jerry’s decision and I wish him well.”
Pruitt, an assistant volleyball coach at Lewis-Clark State College during the mid 1990s, took over as head coach in October of 2003 after previous coach Jason Zoeteman resigned in the middle of the season for personal reasons.
In 2003, the Warriors went 27-9 and advanced to the championship game of the Region I Tournament before falling one victory short of the national tournament. Pruitt led the team to a 9-2 record with the only two losses in the Region I tournament.
After losing several players from that team, Pruitt and the Warriors battled injuries and inexperience to finish with a 9-19 mark, including a 4-10 record in Frontier Conference play. The team featured two seniors and the rest were all sophomores and freshmen. This year’s squad also will be young as Pruitt signed six freshmen earlier this month.
This was Pruitt’s second stop at LCSC. He previously served as an assistant under former Warrior coach Kip Yoshimura. Prior to coming to LCSC, Pruitt spent 1½ years reunited with Yoshimura at Gonzaga University, working as an assistant coach.
Pruitt left Yoshimura’s staff at LCSC in 1996 when he was named head women’s volleyball coach at Francis Marion University. He guided the Patriots to three consecutive Peach Belt Athletic Conference regular-season titles and an 87-12 record, using his ties to the Lewiston-Clarkston area for recruiting. He was named the PBAC Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1998. In 1998 Pruitt guided Francis Marion to its first NCAA Division II Tournament appearance.
Pruitt came to Gonzaga after working two seasons as the head coach at Radford University in Virginia. Pruitt guided the Highlanders to consecutive Big South Conference volleyball regular-season titles and a 47-18 record. He was named Big South Conference Coach of the Year in 1999 and Virginia Sports Information Director's Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2000. His 2000 team compiled a 28-7 record, advancing to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Pruitt is a 1992 graduate of Weber State University, where he served as student assistant coach for the women's volleyball team while playing three seasons for the men's club team. From Weber State, Pruitt moved on to work as an assistant coach at LCSC.
Thomas says she is conducting a national search for the next coach and hopes to move quickly in the hiring process. She would like to have a coach named by the end of July.