Shawn Olmstead Staff Bio | Women's Volleyball Head Coach

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Shawn Olmstead
Women's Volleyball

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Years at BYU

  • 2008-Present

Years as Head Coach

  • 2011-Present
  • Led BYU to a 24-7 overall record in 2013, including a second-consecutive round of 16 NCAA tournament finish
  • Finished the 2013 season with a 15-3 WCC record that included a 10-0 start to conference play
  • His players received an All-American honor, two all-region honors, four All-WCC honors and WCC Freshman of the Year in 2013
  • Led the Cougars to their first conference title since 2005, their best record since 1998 at 28-4 and a finish in the round of 16 at the NCAA tournament, the team's first showing at the tournament since 2007, during the 2012 season
  • Coached four All-Americans, including AVCA first teamer Jennifer Hamson, in 2012
  • Named 2012 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year and 2012 Pacific Region Coach of the Year
  • His players received four all-region honors, WCC Player of the Year, WCC Freshman of the Year, WCC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, four All-WCC honors and two WCC All-Freshman honors in 2012
  • Led Cougars to 21-9 (10-6 WCC) season in 2011
  • Coached players to three all-conference honors, three academic all-conference honors, one all-region accolade and one AVCA All-America citation in 2011
  • Helped the team to a third-place finish in BYU’s first season in the West Coast Conference
  • Led the Cougars to their first 20-plus win season since 2007 in the 2011 season
  • Coached the team to a win against Utah in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Deseret First Duel

View Video of Coach Olmstead


  • Graduated from BYU with a degree in Spanish education in 2005 with a sociology minor

Prior to BYU

  • Served two years as assistant coach for volleyball at Utah State
  • Put together the second-best recruiting class in the WAC in 2007
  • As defensive coach, helped the Aggies rank 25th nationally in blocks per game in 2007
  • Served as assistant coach for one year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Helped Mustangs to 19-6 record in 2005
  • Served as volunteer assistant coach for UVU in 2004
  • Coached with IVA High Performance and at various volleyball camps

Playing Career

  • Played libero for BYU
  • Played at Carpinteria High School in California

Career Highlights

  • Helped Cougars to national championships in 2001 and 2004 and national runner-up finish in 2003
  • Recorded third-most digs in a single season in school history in 2004
  • Started at libero his senior season
  • Had 302 career digs as a Cougar
  • Named high school league's Most Valuable Player during his senior season
  • Set his high school's record of 47 kills in a match


  • Mendoza, Argentina, 1997-99


  • Carpinteria, Calif.


  • Married to Farrah Hofheins
  • Sister Laci played for BYU in 1994 and 1995
  • Has two daughters and a son

View Shawn Olmstead's BYU athlete profile

Shawn Olmstead

Shawn Olmstead was named head coach of the women's volleyball team in 2011. He entered his first season as an assistant coach at BYU in 2008, serving as the recruiting, video and defensive coordinator.

Coaching Career

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.

Playing Career

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.