Director of Volleyball Operations
Erikka Gulbranson has spent 25+ years in the sport of volleyball with her experience ranging from playing, coaching, directing and managing youth, collegiate and international teams.
College Coaching Experience
CSU Bakersfield – Grad. Asst. Women’s Volleyball, 1994-1996
Director of Southern California’s Largest Grass Tournament Series
University of Idaho – Second Assistant/Recruiting Co. Women’s Volleyball Coach, 1996–1997
Utah State University – First Assistant/Recruiting Co. Women’s Volleyball Coach, 1997-1998
University of Southern California – 1999-2001
Director of Operations / First Assistant/Recruiting Co. Women’s Volleyball Coach
Vanguard University of Southern California – 2001–2007
Head Women’s Volleyball Coach, Recruiting Co. and Associate Sports Science Professor
High School and Clubs Coaching Experience
High School Coach, Thousand Oaks HS Boys, 1991
Porterville Volleyball Club – Coach, 1991-1993
Kern River Volleyball Club – Coach, 1993-1996
Sports Shack Volleyball Club – Coach and Assistant Director, 1999-2001
Nova Volleyball Club – Owner, 2001-2007
Texas Tornados Volleyball Club – Training and Camp Director, Coach, 2009-2014
Redwood Middle School – Assistant Coach, 2016-2017
First Assistant Coach, USA Youth National Team, Poland, April 2003
First Assistant Coach, USA Junior National Team, Canada, January 2004
Head Volleyball Coach, USA Youth National Team – World Championships Macau, China, July 2005
First Assistant Coach, USA Junior National Team, Mexica, July 2006
First Assistant Coach, USA Youth National Team, Serbia, December 2007
USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation Program Level I, II, III, June 2005
USA Volleyball C.A.P. Impact Teaching Status, January 2006
USA CAP Level III – National Teams Coach, June 2006
Description of coaching experiences:
Other USA and International Coaching Responsibilities:
- Head Coach WJNTA2 Developmental Camp in Colorado Springs
- Head Court Coach and Asst. Director and Evaluator for USA High-Performance try-outs
- Coaching experience at major international events such as NORCECA, World Championships, USA Volleyball Nationals, Volleyball Festival and BringItUSA International Volleyball Tournaments.
- Coordination of team training and match preparation with scouting and pre-match analysis
- International team travel coordination and supervision
US Embassy Sports Envoy Ambassador
2008 Brazil and 2011 Peru – Traveling throughout the country training children and adults in the sport of volleyball as well as meeting with government representatives to educate and compel them to include all ages, boys, and girls in sport.
2006 Nigerian Volleyball Project – From May 16-25, 2006 Erikka joined six other American mentors in the Nigerian Volleyball Project (NVP) as they instruct a select group of Nigerian coaches and nearly 500 Nigerian athletes, both male and female, with ages ranging from 12-19. The project, which is sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Institute for International Sport, will begin with a one-day coaches clinic administered by the American mentors to the group of Nigerian coaches. After the clinic, the two groups of coaches will join forces in running two separate two-day instructional camps for the young athletes.
After serving as a Head Coach and Trainer for the Youth and Junior National Teams, Erikka developed a High-Performance Coaches technical training manual, used to train all National Team program staff in the Nation. During this period her personal sports training business, Advanced Sports Training, was hired to travel throughout the nation to train coaches and players with the new USA Volleyball Training methodologies, all while teaming up with former Olympic Team Coach Toshiaki Yoshida in 2005 to write the book “Inside Out of Passing.” Recently in 2014, the “Inside Out of Passing,” was translated into Polish with the help of Grupa Codex and given to all Volleyball Trainers and Physical Education Coaches throughout Poland.
She was also the University of Southern California Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator/Director of Operations – 3x Consecutive National Champion – responsible for recruiting class (FAB 4 – April Ross Beach VB Olympian, Nicole Davis – Indoor VB Olympian, Katie Olsovsky Indoor National Team, Keao Burdine AVP Player, and several All-Americans.
She graduated from Cal State Bakersfield with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1995 and received her master’s in education in 1997. She was a four-year letter winner with the Roadrunners (1991-94), participated in 3 Elite 8’s, 2 National Championships and was named to the Elite Eight All-Tournament Team at the 1994 NCAA Division II National Championships. She holds the Cal State Bakersfield career record for service aces (193) and set the single-season mark with 70 aces in 1994, broken in 2015. She is now second on the career digs list with 1,437. Later, while coaching at Bakersfield, she helped coach the team to a California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship, a NCAA Division II Southwest Regional Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight during both seasons.
Erikka grew up locally, is a volleyball and softball alumni of Thousand Oaks High School as well as So Cal VBC and Zuma Bay VBC. She is married and holds an M.S. in Education, a B.S. in Physical Education, and a California Teaching Credential. She spent 10 years in several So Cal school districts teaching physical education and developing fitness and sports curriculum for elementary schools. She is also a USAV C.A.P. III certified teaching instructor and National Teams Master Coach.
Professionally, Erikka’s spent 25 years coaching volleyball at international, college, high school, and club levels. She’s traveled to over 30 countries while coaching, teaching and mentoring athletes in the sport of volleyball for the U.S. Embassy Sports Envoy Programs, as well as USA Volleyball National Teams and Bringit USA Sports Agency. Erikka worked alongside former USA Olympic Volleyball Coach, Toshi Yoshida, to co-write the book “Inside Out of Passing” – a highly respected resource in the coaching world today. After graduating from CSU Bakersfield with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and a Master’s Degree in Education: Curriculum & Instruction, she was credentialed to teach Physical Education out of Vanguard University.
Erikka looks forward to mentoring, coaching and training athletes into “Full Circle Athletes”.
All individuals deserve the opportunity to call themselves an athlete. I want to influence people to discover their inner athlete through the exploration of sport and achieve personal goals through hard-work, perseverance, and a commitment to continual learning.
- 20+ years directing, coaching, training, and managing students, athletes, and professionals in multiple sports settings: Elementary, Middle, High School, College, National, and International Teams
- USA Volleyball CAP/Impact Cadre Level 4 – Seven years of head and assistant coaching with Youth, Junior, High Performance camps and Senior National Teams. Traveled to over 30 countries working with volleyball in various programs such as Sports Envoy, through the U.S. Embassy as a Sports Ambassador.
- AAU Positive Coaching Alliance: Level III Certified
- 15+ years of college coaching experience: DI, DII, and NAIA as Head & Assistant Coach, Director of Operations, and Recruiting Coordinator at USC, U. of Idaho, Utah State, CSUB and Vanguard University
- California Teaching Credential – Single and Multiple Subject from Vanguard University; MA Education: Curriculum and Instruction; Degree in Physical Education from CSU Bakersfield.
- Teaching – 8 years Adjunct Professor in Kinesiology and Movement Education at Vanguard University; 7 years with Special Needs & K-12 Physical Education in multiple Southern California School Districts
- Four-year starter, Captain, CSUB Volleyball, competing in two consecutive NCAA Volleyball National Championships. Invited to tryout with USA Volleyball following senior year of college.
- Grew up in Conejo Valley participating in multiple sports: Conejo Valley Little League Baseball player (Little League Hall of Fame Recognition), Southern California VBC/Zuma Bay VBC player, Thousand Oaks High School volleyball and softball
- Leadership – Sports gave me the opportunity to effectively lead and express myself. Making mistakes in sports taught me valuable lessons on how to work with others, build relationships, and help teammates through tough situations with a focus on benefitting the team.
- Gratitude – Sport has been an amazing building-block for my life that helped me become the person I am today. Participation in sports develops confidence, self-esteem, and resilience; qualities I am thankful to own as a permanent part of my life.
- Diligence & Perseverance – Get it done, no matter what! Failure is a critical piece of learning and growing into an athlete who can compete at the highest level. True achievement and growth takes winning and losing into perspective in order to reach the next level.
- Curiosity and Interest – Exploration and discovery of oneself as an athlete is imperative to development. Learning happens in multiple ways through a variety of coaches exercising their strengths.
- Playfulness – If sport is not fun, it is not worth doing. Competing should be hard and push the limits of development, but when it is pursued with passion great things happen.
- Ambition – Desire and determination defines success.
- Commitment to Excellence – “We are what we repeatedly do…” let’s commit to the highest level in everything we do to become the person we strive to be.
- Personal Growth – Improving awareness and identity develops talent, facilitates growth, enhances quality of life, and contributes to the realization of dreams. Being a part of SA will enable me to continually pursue personal growth.
- Responsibility and Self-discipline – NO EXCUSES. I own behavior regardless of circumstances. My goal is to push athletes beyond their comfort level to achieve new levels of success in life and sport.