Shawn Olmstead was named head coach of the men's volleyball team in 2015. He entered his first season as an assistant coach for BYU women's volleyball in 2008, serving as the recruiting, video and defensive coordinator. In 2011, Olmstead was named the BYU women's volleyball head coach.
Olmstead saw his most successful season as head coach of the Cougars in 2014. He coached BYU to the national championship match of the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. The Cougars became the first unseeded team in tournament history to make it to the final match. To get there, BYU upset No. 11 Arizona, No. 6 Florida State, No. 14 Nebraska and No. 2 Texas. The Cougars also won an outright West Coast Conference title after Olmstead led his squad to a 16-2 league record. Olmstead coached three All-Americans in 2014, including Jennifer Hamson, Alexa Gray and Amy Boswell.
In 2013, Olmstead coached his team to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament for a second-consecutive year. Olmstead and the Cougars defeated Arizona State and No. 11 seeded Hawai'i on its home court before losing to No. 6 seeded USC. The Cougars placed second in the West Coast Conference after narrowly losing a five-set battle at San Diego for the league title in the final regular-season match. 2013 saw Alexa Gray pick up All-American, All-Pacific South Region First Team and All-WCC honors with five additional Cougars receiving regional and conference accolades.
Named West Coast Conference and Pacific Region coach of the year for 2012, Olmstead led the Cougars to their first conference title since 2005 and best season record (28-4, 13-3 WCC) since 1998. Olmstead and the Cougars hosted the first two rounds of the 2012 NCAA tournament before losing in the round of 16 to No. 5 seeded Oregon. (Oregon went on to play for the championship againsts Texas.) All-American Jennifer Hamson raked in awards, including two All-America honors, All-Pacific Region First Team and WCC Player of the Year. Four of Olmstead's starters received All-America awards and All-Pacific Region awards, and five Cougars received postseason conference recognition.
In 2011, Olmstead coached the BYU women's volleyball team to a 21-9 season, its first season with 20 or more wins since 2007. The 2011 season marked BYU's first time playing as a member of the WCC. Though picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches' poll, Olmstead helped the Cougars to a No. 3 ranking, tied with Saint Mary's, to end 2011. The team narrowly missed a spot in the NCAA Tournament, which BYU last attended in 2007.
Olmstead came to BYU with four years of coaching experience, most recently as an assistant coach for two years at Utah State under former BYU men's volleyball assistant coach Grayson DuBose. While at Utah State, Olmstead served as the program's recruiting coordinator, putting together the second-best recruiting class in the Western Athletic Conference in 2007. He also was responsible for defensive game preparation, including breaking down opponent film and preparing scouting reports. His efforts helped the Aggies rank 25th nationally in blocks per game in 2007.
Prior to his stint at Utah State, Olmstead spent one year as an assistant coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, Calif., in 2005 where he also served as the recruiting coordinator as well as organizing team travel. He helped the Mustangs achieve a 19-6 overall record, improving from 5-24 the year prior to Olmstead's arrival.
Before coaching at Cal Poly, Olmstead spent one year as a volunteer assistant coach for the women's program at Utah Valley State College. He has also coached with IVA High Performance and at various volleyball camps.
Olmstead attended BYU and played libero for the men's volleyball program, helping the Cougars win National Championships in 2001 and 2004 along with a national runner-up finish in 2003. During his senior season in 2004, Olmstead recorded the third-most digs in a single season in school history and earned Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Tournament honors. Olmstead started at libero his senior season, collecting 230 digs that year to put his career total at 320.
A native of Carpinteria, Calif., Olmstead prepped at Carpinteria High School where he earned All-CIF volleyball honors as both a junior and senior along with being named his league's Most Valuable Player during his senior season. He set a school record by recording 47 kills in a match.
Olmstead graduated from BYU with a degree in Spanish Education in 2005 along with a Sociology minor. He is married to the former Farrah Hofheins, and they have two daughters and a son.