“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Ellis as we round out our staff for 2024,” Ross said. “He has a track record of developing elite pole vaulters at the NCAA level. Tennessee has a rich and storied tradition in the pole vault, and we’re excited to see what Kyle can do to help add on to that legacy.”
Ellis joins the staff at Tennessee after working four years as an assistant coach at Memphis where he coached the Tigers’ jumps and combined events. Prior to Memphis, he served as an assistant coach at Texas A&M (2018-19), Wisconsin (2014-16) and his alma mater, Eastern Illinois (2009-14).
During his time in West Tennessee, Ellis’ Memphis athletes achieved four American Athletic Conference (AAC) individual titles, 23 conference medals, three school records and 18 all-time top 10 performances in program history. This past season, pole vaulter Cole Riddle set the AAC indoor record with a clearance of 5.64m (18-6) before securing All-America honors at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque.
Ellis also coached four-time AAC medalist Alyssa Morello in the pole vault at Memphis, whose best clearance of 13-10.5 ranked No. 2 on the Tigers’ all-time program chart.
“It is truly an honor to have an opportunity to coach at the University of Tennessee under Coach Ross,” Ellis said. “Historically, I have some big shoes to fill following legendary coaches Jim Bemiller, Russ Johnson and others. Not to mention, the UT vaulters that brought back Olympic gold and silver, national championships and NCAA records. This is a dream come true for me.”
The Oklahoma City native spent the 2018-19 campaign as a volunteer coach at Texas A&M, where he guided Jacob Wooten to a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships with his mark of 5.73m (18-9.5). Wooten secured a pair of SEC silver medals that season with marks of 5.64m (18-6) and 5.55m (18-2.5) and the indoor and outdoor conference meets, respectively. Ellis worked with a pair of former NCAA champions, Lindon Victor and Audie Wyatt, as part of an elite post-graduate group during his time in College Station.
At Wisconsin, Ellis coached 2015 World Championships qualifier Zach…