Jennifer Ei

Head Coach
Florida Atlantic University '00/University of Kansas '06
12th season
299-105 (.740)

Through 11 seasons as Johnson County Community College head volleyball coach, Jennifer Ei compiled an impressive record of 299-105 (.740- winning percentage) and has gained a reputation of producing perennial top-ranked teams in the NJCAA.  

She has led the Lady Cavaliers to national tournament appearances in eight of her 11 seasons, with a runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2010, and third place finishes in 2013 and 2018. Her eight tournament appearance are second only to Kansas Jayhawk Conference and Barton Community College legendary coach Ray Bechard. Also in those 11 seasons, Ei has had her team appear in 93 of 100 NJCAA Coaches Polls, including 52 times in the top five, and five weeks at No. 1, including two weeks in the 2018 season. Her team also finished in the top five in five of the 11 season ending polls.

Ei’s Lady Cavaliers are also perennial powers in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference East Division, winning 80 percent (86-22) of her conference matches over 11 seasons. She also guided her team to the Kansas Jayhawk Conference East Division crown in 2010 and 2015, and runner-up finishes four times.  Her 299 wins currently rank fourth among active conference coaches, and is tied for second most all-time in team history. She also is just the second JCCC volleyball coach to be selected as KJCCC East Division Coach of the Year, earning the honor following the 2010 campaign.

Ei has also mentored 12 NJCAA All-America performers, including seven first-team selections, two AVCA All-Americans, eight NJCAA All-Tournament picks, 36 All-Region/District selections, and 41 All-East Jayhawk Conference selections, including two conference MVP awards and one Freshman of the Year.

E’s teams have also made the grade in the classroom. The past 10 fall semesters, nearly 80 percent of her student-athletes registered a grade point average of 3.0 or better, best among all teams at JCCC. In the 2014 fall semester, all 13 players topped a 3.0 grade point, in 2015, 13 of the 14 players recorded GPAs above 3.0 and last year 13 roster players had a 3.0 or higher. Additionally, 25 of her players have gone on to earn NJCAA Student-Athlete Academic award honors accumulating a grade point above a 3.6, including a record seven in 2015-16, and six in 2016-17.

Even more impressive, Ei has helped 43 of her players at JCCC earn scholarships to four-year schools.

Ei took over the reins of the JCCC volleyball program in 2008, becoming the program’s sixth head coach, and first alumnus. Ei played for NJCAA Hall of Fame coach Jill Stinson in 2002, then served as her top assistant from 2003-07. As Stinson’s assistant, Ei played an extremely vital role in helping build Stinson’s legacy of success, and she was prepared for the opportunity to step in as head coach.

In her inaugural campaign, Ei led JCCC to a 30-4 record and an .882 winning percentage, the best of any first-year coach in JCCC history. She joined Hall of Fame coach Susan Brown as the only first-year coach to lead her team to a national tournament. On the season, Ei had four players selected as All-Kansas Jayhawk Conference performers, including the conference MVP; three were named to the All-Region VI first-team; one earned NJCAA All-American; and two were selected to the NJCAA All-National Tournament Team. Sydney Pemberton, the conference MVP and All-American, was also voted the JCCC Female Athlete of the Year and signed a letter of intent with Pittsburg State University.

In her second campaign, Ei again guided her team to a national tournament berth, while leading her team to a 27-9 record and sixth place national finish, a top-five national ranking in seven of the nine weeks of the poll, and a top-10 spot all season long.  Ei also had three players earn All-Kansas Jayhawk Conference accolades, two earn All-Region VI/District N, and Jordan Lockwood garnered First-Team NJCAA and AVCA All-America honors. She was named to the NJCAA D-II Tournament Team.

In 2010, Ei led JCCC to another memorable season, guiding her squad to an East Jayhawk Conference championship, a Region VI/District M title and a runner-up finish in the NJCAA National Tournament. Her Cavaliers finished 30-6 overall and were ranked among top three teams nationally for seven weeks, including two a No. 1. She also had six players selected on the all-conference team, and she was named the East Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year. She also had three players named All-Region VI/District M and three selected as all-tournament performers at nationals.

In 2011, Ei made it four straight appearances, winning the District N Championship in three straight games over Kansas City Kansas. The preseason No. 1 team in NJCAA Division II, Ei’s 2011 team finished 26-13 and 10th in the National Tournament. She had two players, Emily Hester and Jessica Andersen, named as NJCAA All-American. She also had three players selected on the all-conference and all-region teams.

In 2012, Ei’s team opened as the No. 8 team in the NJCAA, and finished ranked 12th overall with a 28-6 mark. She also had three players named as all-conference and all-region performers. Her team just missed a fifth straight trip to nationals, falling in the district title match.

In 2013, JCCC was the preseason No. 6 team, and by Sept. 25, they had moved up to No. 3, where they remained the rest of the season. 2013 also saw Ei record a career-best 31 victories while leading her team to a third place finish at the national tournament. The season also saw the development of two of the best hitters in the country. Preecy Seever was selected first-team NJCAA and AVCA All-American, NJCAA All-Tournament and East Jayhawk Conference MVP. Lori Angello joined her on the first-team NJCAA All-America and Jayhawk Conference teams.

In 2014, JCCC started the season rank No. 3 in the NJCAA, and they remained in the top 10 in every poll but the season ending poll, where they finished 13th. Ei led JCCC to a 23-12 mark and runner-up finish in the District Tournament. She also coached three all-conference picks and Brianna Pontius was selected as a NJCAA D-II honorable mention All-American.

Once again in 2015 the Lady Cavaliers proved to be quite formidable on the court as they tallied an overall record of 35-7, won the East Jayhawk Conference and District M titles and placed fifth at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. Johnson County got the season off to sizzling start, winning 18 of its first 19 matches, including nine wins against nationally ranked programs. The Lady Cavaliers finished the campaign 14-5 overall against ranked teams. Following the season, a total six Lady Cavaliers’ athletes earned all-conference recognition, five were selected All-Region VI/District M and two garnered All-America honors. Maren Mair, who also was selected the conference Freshman of the Year, was a first-team All-American, and Tori Kerr was named second-team All-American and NJCAA All-Tournament.

The 2016 season was not a typical campaign for an Ei led team. The Lady Cavaliers posted the lowest finish in conference play in program history, tying for sixth place, but rebounded in the postseason, sweeping both Cowley and Neosho County to capture the Region VI/District N title and advance to the NJCAA D-II National Tournament. After a first-round loss, Johnson County came back to win three straight and take ninth place overall.

In 2017, Johnson County finished below .500 for the first time in the Ei era, posting a 15-17 mark, and tied for 4th in the conference. However, Ei’s team may have had one of the toughest, if not the toughest, schedule in the country. Johnson County had 22 of their 32 matches against nationally ranked opponents, including a No. 1 ranked team in both Division I and Division II. The Lady Cavaliers were 7-15 in those matches. 

Last season, the team was unranked to open the campaign, but by the end of September they were the No. 1 ranked team in the NJCAA Division II.  Ei’s team went on to post a 30-8 record, win the Region VI/District M title and advance to the NJCAA D-II National Tournament, where they placed third overall. Postseason honors also came the Lady Cavaliers way. Four athletes earned all-conference and all-region honors and three were selected NJCAA All-American. Jade Askren became just third setter to be selected All-American, and first to be name to the first-team. Second-team honors went to freshman libero Rylie Barnum, and sophomore middle hitter Anna Hester earned honorable mention honors. She was also selected to the national all-tournament team.

During Ei’s time as Stinson’s top assistant, the team posted a 144-36 record, good for an .800 winning percentage. Ei helped the Cavaliers land 2005 NJCAA Tournament MVP and NJCAA and AVCA All-American Lauren Kracl, along with All-Americans Emily Escher, Katie Latenser, Jackie Swab and Sydney Pemberton. In all, she coached eight All-Americans, 23 All-Region selections, 25 All-East Jayhawk Conference picks, including two season MVPs and five NJCAA All-Tournament selections during her years serving as Stinson’s assistant.

The team honors are just as impressive. JCCC qualified for the national tournament four times, winning a national title in 2005, placing second in 2007, and finishing ninth in 2003 and 2006. In 2007, JCCC won the conference title with a perfect 9-0 record, and was ranked in the top five in seven of nine weekly polls. The 2003 squad also recorded a perfect 9-0 mark to win the conference title.

Ei also has served as head coach to two highly successful area volleyball clubs, the Olathe Volleyball Club and Mid-America Volleyball Club, as well as the Lauderdale Juniors Volleyball Club and Deerfield Beach Juniors Volleyball Club in Florida. Ei also has served as an assistant coach at both Cardinal Gibbons High School and Zion Lutheran High School.

A standout volleyball player at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Ei helped her team win three state volleyball championships, one on her birthday. She was three-time all-conference performer, earning honorable mention honors her sophomore and junior years, and first-team honors her senior campaign. She also garnered all-state honors her senior year.

After graduating, Ei attended Florida State University and Florida Atlantic University; however, she did not compete in volleyball. Following the 2001-02 academic year, Ei’s competitive spirit began to burn again, and she enrolled at Johnson County in the fall of 2002. Ei was one of seven highly touted newcomers expected to contribute in 2002. She played in all 28 matches for the Cavaliers that season. She finished the campaign with 120 digs, 52 kills and 10 service aces. Her efforts helped JCCC to a 14-14 mark. Ei capped the year by earning NJCAA Academic All-America honors, one of only 17 JCCC volleyball players in history to earn that status.

Ei earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University in exercise science, and a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Kansas.