Erica Lear returned to her Tennessee roots in February 2014, this time as an assistant coach for the Tennessee volleyball team.
Lear is a former UT standout and was head coach Rob Patrick's first recruit. She donned the Orange & White from 1998-2001, and joined UT staff after serving as an assistant coach at Memphis during the 2013 season.
Lear is involved in all facets of on-court coaching responsibilities, as well as working specifically with the setters. In addition, Lear assists with recruiting and film.
Prior to Memphis, Lear served as an assistant coach at Emory University, where she specialized in training setters and middle hitters. With her guidance the Eagles won the University Athletic Association championship and advanced to the regional finals. Lear coached four all-conference players, including three All-Americans and the UAA Rookie of the Year at Emory.
A native of Columbus, Ind., Lear began her coaching career at Emory volleyball camps in 2003, and was later named the head coach of an A5 Volleyball Club team. She guided her team to a 16-2 mark with a regional final appearance, and in 2005, coached the A5 Volleyball Club 16s team to nationals.
She competed professionally in Denmark, and in 2006, led her team to the Danish Professional League Championship title.
At the completion of her collegiate career at Tennessee, Lear was the Lady Vols' all-time leader in assists with 5,069 career helpers. Over her four years donning the Orange & White, Lear averaged 12.87 assists per set, which still stands as the all-time mark in Tennessee history. She was a three-time all-SEC performer, and recorded at least 1,000 assists in each of her four seasons at UT. She is only one of two players to average 1,000 or more assists in all four years of her career. Lear boasts the top mark of assists in a single-season during the non-rally era, dishing out 1,523 helpers in 2000. She also holds the Tennessee single-match record for assists, handing out 88 helpers against Arkansas on Oct. 6, 2000. She was named an AVCA All-Region honoree in 2000.
Lear earned her bachelor's degree in English with a double emphasis in creative writing and technical writing.