Rob Neilson enters his third season as a coach at BYU. Neilson has been coaching volleyball at summer camps since 2000. He played for and coached under former BYU coaches Carl McGown and Tom Peterson.
Neilson married Sarah Wheatly in September 2006.
Playing Career: He was the starting setter for two years with the Cougars in 2005 and 2006. As a junior in 2005, Neilson earned All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Honorable Mention status while also being named Academic All-MPSF. He started every match in his junior and senior year. Neilson was named the USA Today/AVCA National Player of the Week in his junior season from his play against Hawaii.
As a senior, Neilson earned All-MPSF Honorable Mention and Academic All-MPSF honors for his second consecutive season. All totaled, Neilson played in 314 career games for BYU which is seventh in BYU history. He was a member of BYU's 2004 National Championship team.
Education: BS degree in neuroscience from BYU in 2006
Hometown: Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Daniel brings more than 10 years of professional coaching experience with him to BYU. He coached professionally from 1996-98 with The Utah Predators where the team went undefeated in 1998 when Daniel was head coach.
He was an assistant coach at Penn State in 1990, at Utah valley State College in 1991 and at the Salt Lake Community Center from 2005-08.
In the national spotlight, Daniel helped lead the 2000 Womens National team to victory as the adjunct assistant coach. Hes also won the intermountain region for USA volleyball in the 12s, 13s, 15s, and 18s age groups.
Locally, Daniel has also made his mark. As head coach for the womens volleyball team at Pleasant Grove High School, Daniel turned a failing program into a top-10 organization and helped capture two state championships for the school.
Playing Career: Daniel graduated from Orem High School then attended BYU where he played outside hitter. He also attended PSU for one season where he played and coached.
He played for BYUs club team in 1989 and on the AVP (Pro Beach Volleyball), with Olympian Jake Gibb, between 2000 and 2002. Daniel was also named the No. 1 outdoor volleyball player in Utah in 1994, 95, 96 and 2002.
Education: Graduated with a BA in Psychology from BYU.
Hometown: Pleasant Grove, Utah
Family: Married to Erin Measom, who played volleyball at Colorado State. The couple has five children.
Personal: Vinci began working with the sport of volleyball in a small club called Pallavolo Casteggio as manager and then assistant coach as a 13-year-old. In this club he worked with various teams, one of which won a championship and advanced into the regional category. He has worked with both the mens and womens Division II Italian Professional teams and went to the 2008 Olympic Games with the Mens Italian Senior National Team.
Here in the United States, Vinci has worked with the BYU mens and womens volleyball teams, as well as USA Volleyball. He was an assistant coach with the Mens Junior National Team at the 2009 FIBA World Championships in India.
A native of Milan, Italy, Vinci is double-majoring in business and Italian while also earning a minor in music.
He is the son of Francesca and has sisters Deborach, Alessia, Angelica and Ombretta.
Blain Empey enters his ninth season as the athletic trainer for the BYU men's volleyball team. Empey has been at BYU since 1994. He is also the athletic trainer over swimming and diving and the cheer squad. Empey teaches athletic training and has done a variety of clinical work.
Empey graduated from BYU in 1991 with a BS in athletic training and went on to earn a MS in physical therapy from Columbia. He is married to Cindy and the couple has one son, Jakob (8).
Responsibilities: Current: Athletic Trainer over men's volleyball, swimming and diving and cheer. Professor of athletic training classes (PE 320).
Previous: Athletic Trainer over men's and women's tennis. Assistant program director.
Prior To BYU: Lehi High School and a variety of physical therapy clinics.
Education: BS from BYU and MS from Columbia
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
Family: Wife Cindy and one son, Jakob (8).