Feb. 10, 2014
Botsford's Bio | FGCU Release
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Colorado State assistant coach Matthew Botsford has accepted an offer to become Florida Gulf Coast's head volleyball coach. FGCU made the announcement Monday morning.
Botsford spent two seasons in Fort Collins as an assistant coach, helping the Rams to consecutive Mountain West championships.
"It's exciting to get a head coaching opportunity like this," Botsford said. "At the same time, it's difficult to walk away from a phenomenal program and tremendous group of players and staff that I've invested so much into."
At CSU, Botsford specialized with the middle blockers and was the Rams' scouting coordinator. He directly mentored four all-conference middle blockers, including three who earned AVCA All-America consideration.
Calling blocking schemes for the Rams, CSU ranked 13th in the NCAA in blocks per set in 2013, averaging 2.84. Samantha Peters, the Mountain West Player of the Year, ranked among the top 25 players nationally in both blocking and hitting percentage.
"Matt is a very energetic coach," CSU Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. "He has great presence on and off the court, and is well-liked. It's sad to lose a coach like him, but you're also happy for him because he has aspirations to move on in this vocation, and he has earned that. I want to be a good mentor to everybody who works here; I have no interest in holding anyone back."
While working under Hilbert, Botsford learned a style that he hopes to emulate at FGCU.
"The support CSU gets - from the administration to the community to the fans - is very special," Botsford said. "Tom has created that, and I've been able to learn under a phenomenal coach who is a great steward of the program.
"He is a mentor, promoter, marketer, he's in the community . . . he wears so many hats, and it's impressive for me to watch. I hope to eventually build Florida Gulf Coast up using the Colorado State model, and with work effort and dedication like Tom."
Prior to his time in Fort Collins, Botsford spent more than a decade as a Division I assistant coach, making stops at Indianapolis, IUPUI, Miami and Notre Dame. In 2011, he was the head coach for Lindesberg Volley, a professional club team in Sweden. In his only season, he led Lindesberg to its first Swedish Elite Series title, the championship for Sweden's top league.
A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Botsford graduated with a degree in social studies education in 1998 from Tri-State, where he was a four-time all-conference and academic all-conference player. He led the Thunder to its first NAIA/MIVA championship, and finished his career as the school's all-time leader in kills, blocks and digs. He received his master's degree in business administration from Indianapolis in 2004.
In addition to his role with the indoor team, Botsford will oversee - and have the opportunity to coach, if he chooses - the Eagles' sand team.
FGCU's indoor team went 14-19 this past fall, including 9-9 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Former coach Dave Nichols resigned after six seasons.
Botsford is the sixth former assistant under Hilbert to currently hold a Division I head coaching position.
Colorado State is coming off a record-breaking season, in which the Rams set multiple program marks, including 27 consecutive victories and a .933 winning percentage (28-2). CSU won its fifth consecutive Mountain West title, earned a trip to the NCAA tournament for the 19th straight season, was ranked as high as No. 9 nationally and finished seventh in the NCAA for average attendance.
A search for Botsford's replacement will begin immediately.
"We'll find a great candidate to replace Matt," Hilbert said. "Colorado State is a program people want to be a part of, and we'll have a great pool of candidates to fill that spot. We'll look for someone who has the same skillset that Matt has, and we're always looking for great recruiters and coaches who want to be Rams."