Erin Kopec is the ninth person affiliated with the volleyball program to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. Kopec was a highly decorated player for Upstate from 2000-03 and helped lead the Spartans to the program's top performances in the Division II era. By the time she graduated, she broke the school's all-time assists record, a record she continues to hold with 5,262 assists.
It didn't take long for Kopec to make her mark at Upstate. She was named the Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year in 2000 after leading the Spartans, then the USC Spartanburg Lady Rifles, to a 24-win season, a 12-3 mark in the conference, and the program's first trip to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. She finished the year with 1,321 assists.
With Kopec as the floor general, the Spartans made a return trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2001. Upstate finished the year with a 25-8 overall record and a 10-2 mark in the conference. She earned her first of three all-conference honors from the Peach Belt after totaling a single-season school record 1,466 assists, topping the single-season record of 1,463 set by her head coach, Jennifer Calloway, in 1994.
The West Chicago, Ill., native led Upstate to 96 wins in four seasons as the Spartans' setter. She currently tops Upstate's career assists per game list at 11.05 per set. She ranks third all-time with 191 aces and seventh all-time with 1,036 digs. She tops the single-season assists list and has three of the top four single-season totals in school history. Her 68 assists against Eckard in 2001 is the second-most assists in a match in program history.
A standout on the court, she was also a standout in the classroom. She was a three-time honoree on the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll. She was named the USC Upstate Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2004. While Kopec finished her collegiate playing career in 2003, she has remained active in volleyball.
She is currently an assistant coach at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Ill., a team ranked in the top 10 nationally throughout the fall. She is working on a teaching degree and will receive her teaching certificate in the spring of 2011 fro Aurora University. She currently lives in West Chicago, Ill.
Prior to her work at St. Francis, she served as assistant coach at Mater Dei High School for two years under Fred Rakers, father of Upstate coach Jennifer Calloway, while serving as a substitute teacher. She also coached club volleyball in St. Louis and worked for Hertz Rental Car and EverBank World Markets.