Jeff Grove has been with the Wildcats the last 11 years as an assistant coach under Suzie Fritz after returning to the program in 2002. He helped orchestrate the rise of the Wildcat program as an assistant alongside of Fritz from 1997-99 and has continued to play a big role in its success.
Over the last 11 seasons, Grove has helped lead the Wildcats to a 218-128 overall record and a Big 12 title in 2003. He also coached two-time Big 12 Conference Liberos of the Year Laura Downey-Wallace and Angie Lastra as well as First Team All-Big 12 and AVCA All-American Lauren Goehring.
Since Grove's return, the Wildcats have remained one of the top programs in the competitive Big 12 Conference and reached the NCAA Tournament eight times. He serves as the team's top assistant coach and helps in the development of all phases of the program with specific duties as defensive coordinator. During his time as defensive coordinator, K-State has finished in the top three in the conference in blocking four of the past six years. He coordinates and evaluates all statistical and video applications for the program as well as coordinating tape exchange and creating opponent scouting reports.
"It's very unusual to have the opportunity in the coaching business to work with someone as long as Jeff and I have. He is a man of strong character and commitment and is philosophically a great fit for K-State and the way we want to do things," Fritz said. "He has tremendous technical knowledge, understands training at a high level and is excellent with statistical measurement and analysis. I trust in and have the highest respect for him, both as a person and a volleyball coach."
As the defensive coordinator for the team, Grove has coached a number of great defensive players in K-State history, including the most prolific libero the Wildcats have had. Lastra finished her career atop the career digs list with 2,032. She holds multiple school records, including digs by a freshman and senior and digs in a season. Lastra also was the first libero to be named Big 12 Player of the Week before the conference created an award for both offense and defense.
Grove has made the Wildcat defense tough to break making the opponent's attack less efficient. Counting Grove's first and current stints on staff, the Wildcats have held their opponents to a hitting percentage under .200 in nine of his 14 seasons, including a low .164 in the team's Big 12 Championship run in 2003.
In July 2008, Grove coached at the USA High Performance Championship in Tucson, Ariz. He served as an assistant coach for the Junior National A2 Team and worked with some of the top young talent in the nation.
During Grove's first tour in Manhattan, he was one of the original members of Jim McLaughlin's staff at K-State and a significant component in building the successful Wildcat program of today. He helped guide the team to a 60-34 overall record from 1997-99 and three consecutive bids to the NCAA Tournament. He was responsible for coaching the outside hitters, including K-State's first All-American Dawn Cady and former Team USA alternate Kim Zschau. He also assisted with team travel and recruiting.
Before joining McLaughlin's staff, Grove spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Wyoming from 1993-96. During his tenure on the Cowgirl staff, the program posted a 54-64 (.458) overall record and a 25-33 mark in conference (WAC) play. In 1994, the Cowgirls posted a 17-13 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He began coaching at Wyoming in 1993 after a one-year stint as the lone assistant coach at Weber State in Ogden, Utah.
At Weber State, Grove helped the Wildcats to a 6-21 overall record and 5-9 mark in the Big Sky Conference in 1992. That season, the team placed fifth in the Big Sky and two members earned honorable mention all-conference honors. Following the season, he served several months as the team's interim head coach, managing the program in all facets until a new head coach was hired. While at Weber State, Grove also coached the Ogden (Utah) Junior Olympic volleyball program. Grove began his coaching career at his alma mater Azusa Pacific while still an undergraduate. He served as the lone assistant coach for the women's team to help build the program into one of the top NAIA teams. He also was a player/coach for the men's club team. He also has experience at the Olympic level serving an internship with the U.S. National Volleyball Teams.
A native of Goleta, Calif., Grove earned his bachelor's degree in communication with a minor in business administration from Azusa Pacific in 1991. He is married to the former Julie Abbott and the couple has two children, Kaitlyn and Jonathan.