BYU hires within, names Olmstead new head coach

The reigning National Coach of the Year will stay at BYU but switch teams.

BYU announced Monday that women’s volleyball coach Shawn Olmstead will transition to become the school’s new head coach of the men’s volleyball team for the upcoming season.

Olmstead had served as the BYU women’s volleyball head coach since 2011 and led the program to the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals three times. In addition, he was named the 2014 National Coach of the Year as the Cougars advanced to the NCAA Tournament finals for the first time in school history.


“We are pleased to announce Shawn as our new men’s volleyball coach,” BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe said in a statement. “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.”

Olmstead will replace former men’s volleyball head coach Chris McGown. McGown announced last month that he was stepping down from his coaching position to spend more time with his family and pursue other business options.

BYU in four seasons under McGown twice reached the NCAA Tournament finals. The Cougars also return a majority of starters from last year’s team that advanced to the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.

“I’m excited for this new challenge and the opportunity to continue to learn and grow as a coach,” Olmstead said in a statement. “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.”

While this will be Olmstead’s first college men’s volleyball head coaching position, he does have experience on the men’s side.

Olmstead as a libero helped BYU win the national championship in 2001 and 2004. He also set the program’s single-season record with 204 digs in his senior season.