BYU Women's Volleyball's latest addition to the coaching staff: Assistant Coach Mike Wilton. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- BYU announced August 4, 2009 that 17-year Hawaii head coach Mike Wilton joined Shay Goulding and the rest of the BYU women’s volleyball staff as an assistant coach. He will serve as the Cougars’ recruiting co-coordinator, oversee opponent scouting and be in charge of defense.
“Our program is fortunate to have Mike Wilton,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our team and staff that without a doubt will benefit us immensely and propel us forward toward our immediate and future goals.”
Mike Wilton joins the BYU women’s volleyball program with over 30 years of experience at the collegiate volleyball level, including 12 years as the head women’s coach at Cal Poly and the last 17 years as the head men’s coach at the University of Hawaii.
With 354 career wins on the men’s side - including a program-best 316 at UH - Wilton has established himself as one of the most successful men’s volleyball coaches in the country. In 32 seasons as a head coach at the collegiate level, he has amassed 637 victories, which includes 283 wins in 12 seasons with the Cal Poly women.
Under Wilton, the Warrior volleyball program rose among the elite with five Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Pacific Division titles, three NCAA semifinal appearances and five top 5 final national rankings. During his tenure, the Warriors posted four 20-win campaigns, won more than 67 percent of their matches and were nationally ranked in all 17 seasons.
Wilton’s system has helped create two National Players of the Year, Yuval Katz (1996) and Costas Theocharidis (2001), 14 All-Americans and 26 all-conference athletes. For his efforts, Wilton has been named American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Coach of the Year twice, in 1995 and 2002, as well as MPSF Coach of the Year in 1995.
In 1996, the Warriors completed perhaps the program’s best season with a 27-3 overall record and became one of a handful of MPSF teams all-time to finish with a perfect record (19-0) in league play. Wilton directed UH to the national championship match against UCLA but fell 15-12 in the deciding fifth game.
Wilton initially arrived in Hawaii in the late 1960s when he played volleyball at Church College of Hawaii, now called BYU-Hawaii. He coached the men’s team there in 1976 before moving back to the mainland and spending 12 seasons with the Cal Poly women’s team, where he posted an impressive 283-137 record from 1978-89. He also led the Cal Poly men’s team for three years. Wilton also served as a volunteer assistant with the UC Santa Barbara men’s squad and took over the Warrior program after one year as a volunteer assistant with the BYU men’s team.
A native of Santa Barbara, Calif., Wilton has been around coaching his whole life. His father, Willie Wilton, was a highly successful men’s basketball coach at UC Santa Barbara and is a member of the Gauchos’ Athletic Hall of Fame.
Along with his wife, Ku‘ulei, Wilton has passed along his love of volleyball to his family. His eldest son, Aaron, was an AVCA All-American with the Warriors and played on NCAA Finals teams in 1995 and 1996. Aaron was on his father’s coaching staff from 2001-05. Daughter Jenny earned second-team all-Big West volleyball honors at Hawaii while youngest son, Mike Jr., played for BYU and daughter Melissa lettered at Utah State in 2002.
“We’re excited to have Mike Wilton join our program,” said Associate Athletic Director Janie Penfield. “His experience with both the men’s and the women’s game will bring increased opportunities for success to our women’s team. We look forward to this coming season.”