Jeff Carroll Continues to Inspire Excellence
Years ago, a local athlete gathered the neighborhood youth in a schoolyard huddle. The hometown hero gave playing advice to a group of admirers. Listening with wide eyes was a young Jeff Carroll, but he wasn’t just listening to the words of the local athlete; He was watching, absorbing his techniques and passion like a thirsting sponge. The seeds of coaching took root within Carroll and later blossomed into one of the most successful coaches in the history of Montana high school volleyball. Now, just a few months since announcing his retirement from teaching and coaching, Carroll is cultivating a new career, through Coach Jeff Carroll’s Consulting, that draws from his experience, passions and that first day in the schoolyard.
“(My influences) inspired that competition that lies deep inside all of us,” Carroll recalls. “For me, it was wanting to better myself so that I could better other people.”
To say this passion has yielded success for Carroll within the sporting arena would be a vast understatement. In the last 34 years as a coach at Billings Senior, he has been named Montana High School Volleyball Coach of the Year on 12 separate occasions. Amongst a list of coaching honors, he has led his teams to more state championships than any other high school volleyball program in Montana. Still, throughout all of the accolades, his personal goals have always been rooted in something much deeper than wins, losses and awards.
“I didn’t judge my success by championships or wins as much as by whether coaches will recruit my players,” says Carroll.
In fact, Carroll says his most fulfilling accomplishments are linked to the doors he’s helped open in his players’ lives. With 80 of his players going on to play collegiate volleyball, Carroll estimates that his student-athletes have gone on to accrue upwards of $4.25 million in scholarship money. These are the types of accomplishments Carroll relishes: character growth, sparked ambition and realized potential. Still, anyone who thinks his recent exit from formal coaching will change these priorities hasn’t spoken to Carroll.
“I don’t want to retire; I want to ‘re-Fire,’” he explains. “I feel like I’m starting my coaching career over again…Now, it’s like I’m coaching to coach. “
Carroll has now transitioned into a new role, tapping into his passion to bring out greatness in others through his new company, Coach Jeff Carroll’s Consulting.
Although his announcement to retire from formal coaching has been fairly recent, preparation for his new leadership company began long ago. After attending a Global Leadership Summit in 2003, Carroll says he caught the “leadership bug.” Soon after, he started developing leadership courses at Billings Senior High, where his love for building leaders was affirmed. Last year, he received executive coaching credentials through the Townsend Institute, all-the-while focusing on his own personal growth.
“What I look forward to,” Carroll explains, “is becoming more of the man that Proverbs 20:5 says: ’The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.’ I want to become a better man of understanding.”
Carroll will offer leadership appointments through his website, CoachJeffCarroll.com, and will provide leadership guidance to a range of clients in both individual and group sessions. Still, if you ask Carroll about his ideal client, he won’t hesitate to give an astute description:
“They’re humble, they’re hungry, they’re smart…that’s the ideal client.”
Fittingly, this is an apt description for a familiar young character, one who once sat in the schoolyard observing with wide, observant eyes fixed on his hometown hero.