BYU women's volleyball head coach Heather Olmstead has guided the Cougars to annual national contenders and regulars atop the West Coast Conference in her seven seasons at the helm. In all, Olmstead currently holds the highest winning percentage of any women's volleyball coach in NCAA Division I history and second-highest in any division (min. three seasons) at .896 thanks to a 191-22 overall record. She's also the third-fastest coach all-time to reach 100 Division I wins, doing so in just 111 games.
The 2018 AVCA National Coach of the Year, Olmstead and her staff’s development of players has led to 16 All-Americans, 23 All-Region honorees and 26 All-WCC honorees in addition to a national player of the year candidate, the 2018 AVCA National Freshman of the Year, and multiple WCC awardees.
Olmstead led the 2018 team to one of the greatest seasons in program history, ranking No. 1 for 11-consecutive weeks as they won their first 27 matches, including against then-No. 1 Stanford. BYU was awarded its highest-ever NCAA Tournament seed at No. 4, then reeled off wins against Stony Brook, Utah, Florida and Texas in front of standing-room-only crowds at the Smith Fieldhouse to qualify for the Final Four before falling to eventual champion Stanford in the national semifinals.
BYU's 31-2 (.939) record led to the highest win percentage in program history and a No. 4 final national ranking. Other program records included six All-Americans, six All-Region citations, five All-WCC honorees, three Academic All-District awardees and one Academic All-American in addition to national coach and freshman of the year awards and sweeps of the region and conference awards. The Cougars finished the season ranked No. 1 in defensive hitting percentage and No. 3 in hitting percentage after ranking first most of the season.
Olmstead led BYU to Sweet 16 appearances five times and WCC titles six times. The Cougars have won at least 26 matches each year (17 during COVID-19) and have never lost more than two conference games in a season under Olmstead.
Olmstead has also contributed internationally, including serving as head coach of the U.S. Collegiate National Team - Japan in May 2019 and as the assistant coach on the U.S. team that won gold at the 2015 Pan American Games.
The Carpinteria, California, native was named head coach in June 2015 after serving four years as an assistant coach at BYU from 2011-14. After reaching the Sweet 16 in 2012 and 2013, Olmstead helped the Cougars reach the 2014 national championship match as an unseeded team, the highest finish in program history.
Olmstead was an assistant coach for eight seasons before coming to BYU, first at Utah State from 2003-05 and then Utah from 2006-10.
As a player, Olmstead was a libero for four seasons at Utah State from 1998-01, helping the Aggies finish in the Top 25 and reach the NCAA Tournament each of her last two seasons and setting the school's single season digs record her senior year. She then played professionally for two seasons before returning to USU as an assistant coach. Olmstead has a bachelor’s degree from Utah State in family and consumer science.
BYU Head Coach Highlights
- Record in seven seasons of 191-22 (.896) overall and 115-9 (.927) in the WCC
- Holds the highest winning percentage of any women's volleyball coach in NCAA Division I history and second-highest in any division (min. three seasons)
- Third-fastest coach all-time to reach 100 Division I wins (111 games)
- AVCA National Coach of the Year (2018)
- AVCA Pacific South Region Coach of the Year (2018, 2020/21, 2021)
- Four-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year (2015, 18, 2020/21, 2021)
- 2018 NCAA Final Four
- Five NCAA Sweet 16 finishes (2015, 16, 17, 2020/21, 2021)
- Seven NCAA Tournament appearances (2015, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20/21, 2021)
- Six West Coast Conference championships (2015, 16, 17, 18, 20/21, 2021)
- Top 25 ranking every week (131-straight polls), including ranking No. 1 for 11-straight weeks in 2018 and never falling lower than No. 16
- 1 AVCA National Freshman of the Year (Heather Gneiting)
- 1 AVCA National Player of the Year Finalist (Roni Jones-Perry)
- 16 All-American citations
- 1 Region Player of the Year
- 2 Region Freshmen of the Year
- 23 All-Region citations
- 26 All-West Coast Conference citations
- 5 WCC Players of the Year, 3 WCC Freshmen of the Year and 4 WCC Defensive Players of the Year, 1 WCC Setter of the Year
- 3 Academic All-American
- 10 Academic All-District citations
- 16 Academic All-WCC citations
- Top 25 finishes 24 times in NCAA team statistical categories and 25 times in individual categories
- Head coach of the 2019 U.S. Collegiate National Team - Japan
- Assistant coach of the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the 2015 Pan American Games
- Utah State women's volleyball assistant coach (2003-05), helping the Aggies to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005
- Utah women's volleyball assistant coach (2006-10)
- Helped Utah to an MWC title and two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 in 2008
- Coached the Intermountain Volleyball Association High Performance team at the Global Challenge in Maribor, Slovenia (2006)
- Served as head coach of the IVA HP Select Team in Florida (2010)
- Started four season as a libero at Utah State (1998-01)
- Ranks No. 9 at USU in career digs
- Set the USU single season digs record
- Advanced to two NCAA Tournaments and a pair of Top 25 rankings
- Played for the United States Professional Volleyball Team (2002-03) and in the European Professional Volleyball League (2003)
BYU Head Coach Record
|Year||Overall Record||WCC Record||WCC Regular Season||NCAA Tourney Record||NCAA Tourney Finish|
|7 seasons||191-22 (.896)||115-9 (.926)||6 titles||14-7 (.500)|