Damian Elder served as an assistant coach for five seasons, joining the staff at South Carolina in March 2006 before earning the title of associate head coach in June of 2009. He helped lead the staff's efforts in recruiting, practice management and instruction and coordinated the program's sand volleyball efforts.
During his time in Columbia, the Gamecocks made great strides to return to prominence in the Southeastern Conference. The 2008 squad led the league in hitting percentage and ranked second in digs, a vast improvement over the fifth-place finishes in each category the year prior. That team also saw its members pick up five postseason awards, with three earning AVCA All-South Region honorable mentions.
The sand program under development thrived under Elder's watch. In the spring of 2009, the Gamecocks claimed the Commissioner's Cup at the second SEC Beach Volleyball Coaches' Championship at Siesta Key, Fla. The Garnet and Black's Jordan Bradosky and Hannah Lawing finish second in the gold bracket, while Bridget Denson-Dorman and Ivana Kujundzic triumphed in the silver bracket. That bettered the Gamecocks' second-place team finish in 2008's event in Gainesville, Fla. The 2010 squad saw Megan Laughlin and Taylor Bruns capture the silver bracket championship, while Teresa Stenlund and Brandi Byers finished second in the bronze flight.
Elder came to South Carolina from Stanford, where he served for two years as a volunteer assistant coach for the Cardinal women's program. Elder assisted on the 2004 NCAA championship staff and helped coach AVCA Player of the Year and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team member Ogonna Nnamani.
Prior to Stanford, Elder was an assistant coach at Fresno City College in Fresno, Calif., where he helped his team finish second in its conference with a 25-6 (.806) record. From 1996 to 2003, Elder was a head coach at the Fresno Volleyball Club and served as club director from 1999 to 2002.
Elder got his coaching start at Bullard High School in Fresno, acting as the varsity head coach from 1997 to 2000. His teams compiled a 111-19 overall record during his tenure, good for an .854 winning percentage. Bullard H.S. was crowned section champions in 2000 and placed third in the California Interscholastic Federation Division I State Volleyball Championships.
A graduate of Fresno State, Elder earned his Bachelor of Arts in English in 2002.
The Elder Timeline