East Lansing, Mich. -- - Jesse Ortiz has been named an assistant coach in the Michigan State women's volleyball program, as announced by head coach Cathy George. Ortiz replaces JT Wenger, who accepted the head coaching position at The University of Texas-Arlington in late January.
Ortiz comes to East Lansing after three years on the staff at Miami (Ohio), where he helped guide the RedHawks to a combined overall record of 66-26 (.717) and a 39-9 record in MAC play (.813).
"We are very excited to have Jesse join our staff," said George. "He has had a tremendous impact on the programs he has been a part of in his coaching career. We're looking forward to adding his analytical and technical skills as well as his obvious passion for the game to our program. I know that he will be a great addition to our staff and we're excited to have him join us as we continue to prepare for our spring season."
"I am very honored and excited to be the newest member of the prestigious Spartan volleyball program," noted Ortiz. "It has been a dream of mine to be tested at the highest level and to learn from the nation's best. I am excited to work alongside Cathy George and Kristen Kelsay. Cathy has been a shining example of a great coach and representative of our sport."
In 2016, the Ortiz helped Miami post an overall record of 24-6 and finish first in the East division with a 15-1 record after back-to-back top-three finishes in 2014 and 2015. The RedHawks ranked in the top 40 nationally as a team in 2016 in winning percentage, (30th, .774), digs per set (33rd, 16.75) and hitting percentage (39th, .254), and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. His time in Oxford saw nine players earn post-season All-MAC distinction, and team members garnered Academic All-MAC honors 19 times.
Previously, Ortiz was an assistant coach at Ferris State for three seasons. While with the Bulldogs, he served as the team's defensive coordinator, and helped train three All-Americans, six All-Region and 15 All-GLIAC student-athletes. He helped Ferris State to a top 25 ranking and an NCAA Tournament appearance in each of his final three years, culminating in a Midwest Regional Championship and NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance in 2013.
Prior to his time at Ferris State, Ortiz spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Sonoma State. While there he helped the Seawolves to a 76-39 record and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2008-10. Sonoma State was ranked in the top 25 during each of Ortiz's final three seasons and he helped train three All-Americans and eight All-CCAA student-athletes.
Ortiz also was Sonoma State's men's club team coach from 2004-09, where he led the program to three National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA) finalist spots from 2007-09.
Ortiz earned his Bachelor's Degree in art studio from Sonoma State, and earned his Master's Degree in Design and Innovation Management while coaching at Ferris State.
With Wenger taking a head coaching position, it gives George six former assistants who are now volleyball head coaches: Both Colleen Munson (Western Michigan) and Deanne Scanlon (Grand Valley State) were on George's staff at Western Michigan, while Tom Mendoza (High Point), Jason Reed (University of Indianapolis), Mike Gawlik (Central Michigan) and Wenger (Texas-Arlington) served as assistants at Michigan State under George.