Men's Volleyball feature

Shawn Olmstead named men’s volleyball head coach at BYU

(Photo by BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah — Brigham Young University director of athletics Tom Holmoe today announced the appointment of Shawn Olmstead as the new men’s volleyball head coach at BYU. He takes over from Chris McGown, who served as the coach of the Cougars from 2012-15.

Olmstead 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.”

This past fall, Olmstead guided BYU women’s volleyball to its most successful season in school history, going 30-5 and advancing to the 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.

BYU also went 16-2 in conference play to win the WCC title for the second time in the past four seasons. In addition to all the team success, three Cougars — Jennifer Hamson, Alexa Gray and Amy Boswell — were named AVCA All-Americans in 2014.

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.”

From 2011-14, Olmstead led the BYU women’s volleyball program to four straight Deseret Duel titles, two WCC championships, three trips to the NCAA round of 16, and coached five athletes who earned a combined 11 All-America citations. 

“I will certainly miss the day-to-day interactions and relationships I’ve developed with the student-athletes on the women’s volleyball team,” said Olmstead. “I love each one of them and I’m excited to watch their development at BYU. With Heather as the new women’s volleyball coach, I know the program will continue to be successful and represent BYU well.”

Before coming to BYU, Olmstead spent two years as a women’s volleyball assistant coach at Utah State under former BYU men's volleyball assistant Grayson DuBose. While at Utah State, Olmstead served as the program's recruiting coordinator and was responsible for defensive game preparation. Prior to his stint in Logan, Olmstead spent one year as an assistant coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and one year as a volunteer assistant coach at Utah Valley State. He has also coached with IVA High Performance and at various volleyball camps.

A native of Carpinteria, California, Olmstead prepped at Carpinteria High School where he earned All-CIF volleyball honors as both a junior and senior, and was named the league's most valuable player his senior season. He also set a school record by recording 47 kills in a match.

Olmstead attended BYU from 2000-04 where he played libero for the men’s volleyball program, helping the Cougars win national championships in 2001 and 2004, along with a NCAA runner-up finish in 2003. During his senior season in 2004, Olmstead broke the BYU record for digs in a single season (204) and earned Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Tournament honors.

Olmstead served an LDS Church mission to Mendoza, Argentina, from 1997-99. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish teaching from BYU in 2005. He is married to former BYU soccer player Farrah Hofheins. They have three daughters and a son.