John Ellis will begin his 4th season coaching the Jumps and Multis. During the 2016-2017 season, Ellis guided the jumps group to achieve 6 Conference USA Indoor championship finalists, led by a trio of true freshman. Caleb Parker finished 5th in the 60m hurdles setting a personal best of 8.04 seconds and also finished 4th in the high jump, Eric Washington finished 5th in the Long Jump, and Jamari Drake was the bronze medalist in the women's High Jump. During the outdoor season, the success continued as Junior Trista Barry set a high jump personal best of 1.73m to finish 4th at the Conference USA Outdoor championships and qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary round. Ellis also coached freshman Caleb Parker to a 110m hurdle personal best of 14.12 seconds to win the bronze medal at the Conference USA Outdoor championships and also qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary round.During the 2015-2016 season, Ellis guided senior Chris Monroe to an indoor triple jump school record of 15.52m (50'11") to go with his outdoor school record of 15.73m (51'7.25") he set one year prior. Monroe qualified for the NCAA East Regional Championship for the second straight season. Ellis also guided sophomore Trista Barry to her first season as a Conference-USA point scorer in the pentathlon (7th), indoor high jump (5th), and outdoor high jump (7th). In addition to leading the current USM jumpers and multis, Ellis also ensured a bright future for USM Track & Field by recruiting and signing several of the nation's best competitors at the high school and junior college levels.
In Ellis' first season directing the jumps and multi events, Ellis coached Courtland Wells to a 5th place finish at the C-USA Indoor Championship in the high jump and a 2nd place finish at the C-USA outdoor Championship in the high jump. Wells recorded a season best jump of 6'11.5" qualifying for the NCAA East Regionals where he finished 17th. Ellis also guided Chris Monroe to a 3rd place finish at the C-USA outdoor Championships in the triple jump, qualifying for the NCAA East Regionals while setting a school record jump of 51'7.25". The mark broke a 14-year old record. Monroe finished 21st at the Regional Championship Meet.
Prior to Southern Miss, Ellis was a volunteer assistant with the University of Georgia where he worked with sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and multi-event athletes. Ellis has a U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Technical Coaching Certificate as well as a strength and conditioning certificate.
In 2014, Ellis coached Jamario Calhoun to a sixth-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships. Calhoun recorded personal-best distances of 24 feet, 6.5 inches in the long jump and 50-1.75 in the triple jump outdoors and managed to qualify for the NCAA East Regionals in both events under Ellis' direction.
Ellis also served as an assistant to 2014 indoor women's assistant coach of the year, Petros Kyprianou, in the training of heptathlon and pentathlon national champion Kendell Williams, who set the collegiate record of 4635 in winning the 2014 indoor national title. Williams also was the 2014 world junior champion in the 100m hurdles setting a championship record of 12.89. Ellis also assisted in the training of indoor and outdoor high jump national champion Leontia Kallenou, as well as decathlon national champion Maicel Uibo. In 2014, the lady bulldogs finished 3rd place at the indoor national championships.
While earning his Master's degree in Kinesiology, Ellis served as a graduate assistant coach at Western Illinois University from 2011 to 2013. He coached six student-athletes to All-Summit League Conference honors. He guided the Leathernecks to 18 top-10 all-time performances and three school records. One school record holder included Glenn Powell, who recorded personal best marks of 8.18 in the 60m hurdles and 14.33 in the 110m hurdles. Powell was one of five NCAA West Regional qualifiers for the Leathernecks of Western Illinois University. Ellis earned his Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Azusa Pacific University (Ca.). He competed for the Cougars for four seasons, serving as team captain during his senior year. Ellis earned All-Golden State Conference honors in the long jump. During his time at APU, the Cougars claimed five NAIA national team titles (three indoor and two outdoor). The Portland, Ore., native served as president of the APU Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Ellis traveled with the Athletes in Action sports ministry's track and field team that competed in Honduras, Guatemala and Fiji.