Citing family reasons, Elam leaves the Lady Bulldogs after guiding them to back-to-back Appalachian Athletic Conference championships and NAIA National Championship Tournament appearances.
“Union has been a huge part of my life for the past five years,” said Elam, who served as an assistant for two seasons, “and I am so thankful for all the wonderful memories both on and off the court. Our program has had consistent and strong support from the top from President (Edward D.) de Rosset and Athletic Director (Dr. Darin S.) Wilson as well as from the student body and community. All of which has been a vital part of our success.
“I have had the pleasure of working with some of the finest young ladies, and I will hold them all close to my heart.”
Elam’s husband, Brandon, recently was hired as a teacher in Tampa, Fla., and the family is now in the process of relocating.
During her tenure, Elam has taken the Lady Bulldog program to new heights. Compiling a 79-30 overall record, Elam ranks second in program history for wins and first in winning percentage at .725. Only Joanie Albury had more wins as she posted 91 in four seasons.
“We appreciate all that Whitney has done for the volleyball program, athletic department and for Union,” said Wilson. “She has a been a tremendous asset, and we wish her all the best as she begins this next chapter in her life.”
Union won its first-ever AAC Tournament title in 2009 and advanced to the national tournament for the first time as it recorded a 29-5 overall record, setting the program record for best winning percentage in a season at .853. The Lady Bulldogs followed that up with another conference tournament crown and a return trip to nationals in 2010.
The Lady Bulldogs were 40-8 in AAC play under Elam, winning the regular-season crown once in 2009 and finishing second another time.
A search of Elam’s replacement is underway.
Union will open the 2011 campaign on Aug. 26-27 at the Rio Grande (Ohio) Tournament.