TWIN FALLS — There’s a sign outside of the volleyball office at the College of Southern Idaho that reads, “Build something that will outlive you.”
Former assistant coach Jim Cartisser, who was named the interim head coach of the Golden Eagles volleyball team Friday, said that’s precisely what his wife, Heidi Cartisser, did.
“What (Heidi) did was rebuilt (the volleyball program) in her image,” he said.
The decision was announced at an press conference at CSI. What is usually a joyous occasion — the announcement of head coach — was emotional and somber in the wake of Heidi Cartisser’s sudden death at the age of 44 on Dec. 19.
“This is obviously the last thing I ever wanted,” Jim Cartisser said, “but I think it’s what’s best for this program.”
Joel Bate, athletic director at CSI, said the decision was made quickly “for the stability of the program,” and because he knew almost instantly that Cartisser was the right person for the job.
“It wasn’t just an easy decision to make,” he said. “It was the right decision to make.”
Cartisser has served as an assistant for the Golden Eagles for seven years, including the last six alongside his wife. During his tenure, he helped lead CSI to three national championships (2005, 2012, 2015).
Cartisser said that he and his wife had a “system” in place for how the volleyball team should look and operate, and he said he intends to keep the team firmly grounded in it.
“The vision, goals and expectations, as well as structure, will remain intact,” he said.
The makeup of his volleyball staff, Cartisser said, is still in progress.
Cartisser began his collegiate coaching career in 1994, as a head coach at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Wash. He then moved to Treasure Valley Community College in 1998, where he worked as an assistant coach under his wife for three seasons. He and Heidi served in the same positions at Chicago State University from 2000 until 2004, and he was also the head men’s volleyball coach at Kendall College in 2002 and 2003. His first year with CSI was 2005.
He was also the founder of Club Canyon, a club volleyball team in southern Idaho, and served as director from 2006 until 2014.
Cartisser is the fourth head coach in the history of CSI’s volleyball program, following Jan Mittleider, Stroud and Heidi Cartisser, chronologically.
“This is obviously the last thing I ever wanted, but I think it’s what’s best for this program.” — Jim Cartisser