Jodi Steffes Welp is entering her ninth overall season on the Clemson volleyball coaching staff and the sixth year of her second stint as an assistant coach. Welp was a four-year Tiger letterwinner from 1998-2001 and was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame in the fall of 2009. She served her first tour of duty as an assistant coach from 2003-05 and returned in the spring of 2008, where she now acts as a recruiting coordinator.
Welp handles the majority of the staff's recruiting efforts, maintaining a database of prospective student-athletes and evaluating their skills and fit with the team's needs. She will also plan a recruit's official visit, which includes arranging meetings with various athletic administrators, academic advisors and university faculty. Additionally, her office responsibilities involve opponent scouting and breaking down game film.
During her Tiger playing career, Welp was Clemson's first four-time All-Region honoree and was a three-time All-ACC second-team member (1999-2001). She was named the 1998 ACC Rookie-of-the-Year and that same year was named to the ACC All-Freshman team.
Throughout her career at Clemson, she was named to seven all-tournament teams. Welp ranks seventh on the career list for most attempts (3,600) and ninth in kills (1,422) and service aces (132). She is also fourth all-time for defensive saves with 1,309 digs and was named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary team in 2003. As one of the program's most versatile players, Welp is one of only four members of the All-Around Club of players who accumulated at least 500 kills, 1,000 defensive saves and 200 total blocks over her career.
She is just the third volleyball player to be inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame, joining Denise Murphy and Cindy Stern. Welp's invitation came in just her third year of eligibility.
During her first stint as an assistant at Clemson, Welp helped the Tigers to a 20-win season in 2004 while helping Leslie Finn to become just the second player in program history to collect All-America honors. Finn holds the school records for kills in a career with 1,906 and career kills per game average at 4.19. Welp helped coach former player Brittany Ross to all-conference honors as well. The outside hitter played just two seasons before a medical situation ended a promising career.
Ross was named to ACC All-Freshman team in 2004 after she recorded a then school record 472 kills and 127 defensive saves. (Jeannette Abbott broke the mark the next season with 515.) With the graduation of Finn, Ross then led the Tiger offense with 525 kills during her sophomore season to earn an All-ACC Second Team selection. Ross twice tied the school record for kills in a single match in 2005, posting 32 kills in back-to-back matches in the final month of the season.
With her responsibilities the recruiting efforts, Welp also helped to bring to Clemson recently graduated seniors and fellow Illinois-natives Meghan Steiner, Leslie Mansfield and Jeannette Abbott. Steiner was named an Honorable Mention All-American in 2007 while Mansfield made her mark on the program as one of its greatest all-around players. Abbott concluded her career in 2008 and her name is splattered across the Clemson record books. Welp was also a member of the staff that inked Danielle Hepburn, who graduated in 2008 as arguably the program's most decorated player. Hepburn was named the ACC Player-of-the-Year as a senior and became just the second player in school history to be named to an All-America team.
Hepburn left the program with the career record for and three of the top five single-season hitting percentages. She also holds school records for block assists and total blocks over a career and ranks in the top 10 for kills. Hepburn's hitting percentage ranked among the top 15 nationally in 2007 (.395) and 2008 (.391) and she had a pair of top-five marks for blocks per set over her career.
Welp helped recruit 2009 grads and four-year starters Didem Ege, Kelsey Murphy and Lia Proctor as well as the current group of incoming freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Murphy, who attended the same high school as Welp (Providence Catholic), was a three-time All-ACC First-Team selection, while Ege and Proctor have also earned all-conference honors during their careers, including Ege's 2009 Defensive Player of the Year honor. Proctor made great strides in her last season as she improved in nearly every statistical category on her way to All-ACC honors.
Welp helped lead that group of then-juniors and their teammates to a 23-10 record and an NCAA appearance in 2008. Clemson advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships for the second straight year, marking the first time in school history the Tigers won a match in the national tournament in back-to-back seasons. Clemson finished third in the conference with a 14-6 record.
She then helped lead Clemson to a 23-10 mark in 2010 and a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Clemson had four players named to the All-ACC and All-East Region team, including Sandra Adeleye, who earned the honors as a freshman. Adeleye was also named the East region Rookie of the Year.
She has also aided in the development of young players on Clemson's roster, with Sandra Adeleye (2009), Alexa Rand (2009), Hannah Brenner (2010), Mo Simmons (2010) all named to the ACC All-freshman teams. She also helped Serenat Yaz to All-ACC honors in 2011.
In 2012, the Tigers won 21 more matches, and she helped Sandra Adeleye become the first player in Clemson history to be named All-ACC four times.
Welp, a native of Elwood, IL, graduated from Clemson in 2002 with a degree in elementary education. While completing her student teaching, Steffes served as the head coach of the Walhalla High School volleyball team. She coached the team to the regional playoffs in 2002.
She married Alex Welp, a former Director of Operations for the Clemson Men's Basketball program, in the summer of 2006. The couple spent time outside of collegiate athletics in Virginia and Illinois before returning to the Upstate and now resides in Easley, SC.