CSU's 3-0 road win at Wyoming in the Border War on Nov. 2, 2012.
The Colorado State women's volleyball program has become synonymous with consistent winning under the guidance and tutelage of Head Coach Tom Hilbert, who enters his 17th season with the Rams and his 25th overall as a collegiate coach in 2013. With eight Mountain West Coach of the Year awards to his credit, in the league's 14-year existence, it is clear why Hilbert's program has risen to the top of the MW and become a stalwart on the national stage as a perennial top-25 team.
Under Hilbert, who was inducted in the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame as the Hall of Honor recipient in 2006, the Rams have developed into one of the top programs in the nation, qualifying for the NCAA tournament each year. Overall, CSU has played in 18 straight tournaments, a school record for consecutive postseason appearances in any sport. The stretch also includes five Sweet 16 appearances in Hilbert's 16 seasons.
A deeper look inside Hilbert's coaching record reveals some remarkable achievements. The head coach has amassed a 182-31 record in Mountain West play and has led the Rams to10 regular-season conference titles and five conference tournament championships, including four straight regular-season titles.
He ranks 11th among active Division I head coaches in winning percentage (.766), and in 2010, Hilbert became the winningest coach in CSU history, in any sport, with his 353rd win Nov. 4 vs. UNLV. The win surpassed former men's basketball coach Jim Williams' mark of 352 victories. In 2009, Hilbert eclipsed the 500-win mark for his career, becoming one of 20 active head coaches with 500 or more victories. At the time, Hilbert also ranked as one of just two on that list with fewer than 22 years of head coaching experience. Entering 2013, Hilbert ranks 19th on the active list for most victories, and of those in the top 20, Hilbert has done so in the fewest games. His 353rd win to become the winningest CSU coach came just more than one year after Hilbert distinguished himself as the winningest volleyball coach in CSU annals, surpassing the 300-win mark as a Ram and moving ahead of Rich Feller, who won 299 matches from 1983-96.
Hilbert has coachedeight players to AVCA All-America honors, and two to Volleyball Magazine All-America. In 2012, Hilbert helped guide senior outside hitter Dana Cranston to an AVCA All-America third team selection. It marked the second consecutive year that a player under Hilbert's direction was named an AVCA All-American. In 2011, senior Katelyn Steffan and junior Megan Plourde were both named to the AVCA All-America third team, marking the third time in program history that two players were selected in the same season. During 2011, Hilbert also earned the AVCA West Region Coach of the Year, his first since taking over the Rams in 1997, and was honored at the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
While at CSU, Hilbert has an overall record of 403-104 (.795), becoming the first coach to eclipse the 400-win mark at Colorado State after the Ramsdefeated in-state rival Northern Colorado on Nov. 13, 2012. Overall, Hilbertis 577-176 (.766) in 24 seasons as a head coach. He has led his teams to 20 or more wins every season since 1992--a span of 21 straight years--with the 1999 Rams setting the school's single-season record for winning percentage after going 30-3 (.909). He has also turned CSU's home court, Moby Arena, into one of the most hostile in the nation, compiling a 211-27 (.887) all-time record in Fort Collins, in addition to bringing in attendance figures that set a MW single-match record in 2011 (6,750) and continuously rank in the top 15 nationally.
Hilbert also has 39 wins against nationally ranked teams to his credit, including defeats against No. 5 Nebraska and No. 13 Oregon in 2011, and No. 1 UCLA in 2000.
Before coming to CSU, Hilbert led Idaho to the Eastern Division title in 1996 (its first season in the Big West), and in the Big Sky Conference his teams won either the regular season or the tournament championship from 1992-95.
Hilbert accumulated a 174-72 (.707) record at Idaho, and he coached the Big Sky's only All-American at the time in Mindy Rice. Hilbert also guided Idaho to its first national ranking, and the Vandals were the first Big Sky institution to ever be nationally ranked.
Prior to Idaho, Hilbert spent five seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, from 1984-88.
A native of Norman, Okla., Hilbert earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing from OU in 1984. He also received a master's in sports and recreation management from Idaho in 1993.
Hilbert has resided in Fort Collins for 15 years and has a daughter, Myles, who will be 12 in September.
AWARDS & HONORS 2011 AVCA West Region Coach of the Year 2011 Mountain West Coach of the Year 2009 Mountain West Coach of the Year 2007 Mountain West Coach of the Year 2003 Mountain West Coach of the Year 2003 Mountain West Coach of the Year 2001 Mountain West Coach of the Year 2000 Mountain West Coach of the Year 1999 Mountain West Coach of the Year 1998 WAC Coach of the Year 1995 Big Sky Coach of the Year 1994 AVCA Northwest Region Coach of the Year 1994 Big Sky Coach of the Year 1993 AVCA Northwest Region Coach of the Year 1993 Big Sky Coach of the Year 1992 Big Sky Coach of the Year