Jim Saari, our highly experienced and effective college recruiting coordinator, has had a life long passion for athletics. In high school he was a place kicker for the varsity football team and a point guard on the basketball team. But that wasn't enough for Jim. He played juniors tennis during the summer and qualified for the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl International Tournament held at Coral Gables, Florida as a 14 year old.
While at Ohio State University he played four years of varsity tennis while pursuing and earning bachelor degrees in both History and Journalism. After graduation, Jim went to Europe and played professional tennis achieving a world ranking of 239 as a clay court specialist. With his contract fulfilled he returned to OSU to work on a Masters Degree in Sports Administration, which became a major turning point in his life.
As a Grad Assistant Jim became involved with the OSU volleyball program. He learned the game by shagging and hitting balls at players under the tutelage of Woman's Assistant Coach Shelton Collier. Coach Collier went on to be the Head Coach at Pitt and Georgia Tech and is currently at Wingate University, a DII power house. The following year Jim Stone (currently the USA Volleyball Youth National Team Head Coach) took over the woman's program and kept Jim on the staff as a Volunteer Assistant. In 1981 Jim Smoot, Head Coach of the men's team, hired Jim as an Assistant Coach, where he helped the team reach the NCAA Final Four in '82 and '83. Jim was mentored by some of the best!
After his time at OSU Jim coached at the University of Utah, Western Wyoming College, the University of Nevada and finally at the University of South Florida, helping South Florida win 5 consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championships from '86-'91. He was the recruiting coordinator and head of player development for all of those programs.
In 2006 Jim was on his way to a Head Coaching job in California when he made a stop in Carson City to visit his parents who had retired there. While visiting he got the word that the coaching position was no longer available due to budget concerns. Coincidently, Jim was in contact with Steve George, who preceded him at USF, and lived in Carson City. Steve was refereeing high school matches and the Club Director at SSVC. After 22 years of coaching at the DI College level Jim decided it was time to be with his family and accepted Steve's offer to coach and be the recruiting coordinator for the club.
During his time as the SSVC Recruiting Coordinator Jim has helped over 125 players earn over 6 million dollars in athletic, academic and need based scholarships, while fulfilling their dream of playing college volleyball.
Jim is holding summer office hours at our Reno Facility (4675 Aircenter Circle , 89502) on Tuesday's from 4:15 till 6:30. If you have any questions regarding recruiting or want an appointment text Jim at 775-250-1755 or via email at [email protected]