PROVO, Utah -- Brigham Young University director of athletics Tom Holmoe today announced the appointment of Heather Olmstead as the new women’s volleyball head coach. She takes over for her brother, Shawn Olmstead, who guided the program from 2011-14 and will now head the men's volleyball team at BYU.
Heather joined the BYU women’s volleyball staff as an assistant coach in 2011 and was later promoted to associate head coach in January 2014. Over the past four seasons she helped guide the Cougars to four consecutive Deseret Duel titles, two WCC championships, three trips to the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships, and coached five AVCA All-Americans.
“We are pleased to announce Heather as our new women’s volleyball coach,” said Holmoe. “She has been an integral part of the continued success and development of our nationally recognized women’s program over the past four seasons. Heather is passionate about volleyball and has an incredible desire to help our student-athletes improve. As a former collegiate volleyball player and coach for three different programs over a 13-year period, she understands the profession well and knows what it takes to be successful. We are excited to have her lead our women’s volleyball program.”
This past fall the Olmsteads led BYU women’s volleyball to its most successful season in school history, going 30-5 and advancing to the national championship match at the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. In doing so, the Cougars became the first unseeded team in NCAA history to make it to the final match, upsetting No. 11 Arizona, No. 6 Florida State, No. 14 Nebraska and No. 2 Texas along the way.
“I’m humbled and excited to lead the BYU women’s volleyball program into the future,” Olmstead said. “I would like to thank President Worthen, Vice President Richardson and Tom Holmoe for the confidence they have in me to continue the rich women’s volleyball tradition both academically and athletically at BYU. I’m extremely honored to continue to develop relationships with the wonderful young women on our team. I’m excited to get in the gym and continue preparing for the 2015 season.”
Shawn takes over from Chris McGown, who served as the coach of the Cougars from 2012-15.
Shawn has been the women’s volleyball head coach at BYU since 2011. In four seasons he led the Cougars to a combined 103-25 record and three trips to the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships, including a national runner-up finish in 2014.
“We are pleased to announce Shawn as our new men’s volleyball coach,” said Holmoe. “He has an incredible love for volleyball and has put together an outstanding resume as both a coach and as a former student-athlete. In just four short years, Shawn guided our women’s volleyball program back to national prominence, including a spot in last year’s national championship match. He has been successful at every level, and I’m excited to see him make the transition to coaching our men’s program.”
For his efforts, Olmstead was named the 2014 AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year, All-Pacific South Region Coach of the Year and WCC Co-Coach of the Year.
“I’m excited for this new challenge and the opportunity to continue to learn and grow as a coach,” said Olmstead. “I’m passionate about BYU volleyball. Some of my greatest memories, experiences and life lessons were as a member of the men’s volleyball program. I was fortunate to be a part of two national championship teams as a player at BYU.
"I understand the commitment, competiveness and team chemistry that it takes to win at that level. Chris McGown and his staff have done an outstanding job and I’m fortunate to be taking over a program that is one of the best in the country. I look forward to developing new relationships and continuing the success that BYU volleyball has enjoyed over the years.”