April 26, 2012
By Nic Hallisey
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Colorado State volleyball Head Coach Tom Hilbert added the final piece to his 2012 staff Thursday, completing it with the addition of Matthew Botsford.
Botsford, who has 13 years of collegiate assistant coaching experience under his belt, not to mention several stints internationally, both as a coach and player, joins the CSU staff after one season as the head coach for the Swedish club team, Lindesberg Volley.
“Hiring Matt Botsford is a great move for Colorado State volleyball,” Hilbert said. “Matt has recruiting experience in two major Division-I programs and is a great coach as well. His coaching skills fit into what we need on the staff.”
In his first season with Lindesberg, Botsford led his team to its first-ever appearance in the finals of Sweden’s top league. There, Lindesberg knocked off the defending champions in the semifinals, before sweeping the championship match to win the Swedish Elite Series. With the title, Lindesberg qualified for the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup. Botsford coached players from all over the world, including athletes from Poland, America, Ukraine and Sweden.
“Colorado State volleyball has proven to be one of the elite programs in the college game.” Botsford said, “I couldn't be happier to have an opportunity to join this staff and these players. Tom Hilbert is a coach I have admired for quite some time, and I am looking forward to working alongside of him and contributing in any way that I can."
Hilbert said that his new assistant will work primarily with blockers and middle attackers.
What led Botsford away from Sweden after a successful first season, however, was the prestige and promising future in Fort Collins.
"When speaking with Tom about this position, I was most impressed with his drive and passion as it relates to the future of CSU volleyball,” Botsford said. “The staff and players are completely dedicated to that vision, and with the support of the university and community, there are no limits to what can be accomplished."
Botsford has spent more than a decade as an assistant at the collegiate level, coaching several universities, including Notre Dame and Miami.
From 2008-10, Botsford coached three Fighting Irish All-Americans—Jamel Nicholas, Christina Kaelin and Serinity Phillips—and dealt with the development of the outside hitters and middle blockers, and the coordination of off-campus recruiting and scouting. During his stint, he also helped sign a pair of top-25 recruiting classes. Notre Dame won the Big East regular-season title in 2009, advancing the NCAA tournament.
In four years (2004-07) as an assistant for Miami, Botsford tutored a trio of All-Americans in Val Tipiana, Frannie Savage and Karla Johnson. He also helped recruit Arielle Cook, Miami’s first-ever Fab 50 recruit.
Prior to 2004, he was an assistant for three seasons (2001-03) at IUPUI, helping lead a number of players to success on the court, including two-time Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year, Rebekah Pallikan. He also was the interim head coach at his alma mater, Tri-State University, for the both the men’s and women’s teams in 1998, followed by a one-year stint with the University of Indianapolis (1999).
Aside from the college game, Botsford has spent time as a coach with Circle City Volleyball Club (Ind.) and Prairie Heights High School (Ind.). He also served on the coaching staff of the USA Volleyball Girls Select A1 Team for the 2007 USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He returned to help lead the program in 2008 and 2009, as well.
Botsford played collegiately at Tri-State University from 1995-98, and led the Thunder to its first NAIA/MIVA championship. He was a four-time all-conference and academic all-conference selection, and finished his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leader in kills, blocks and digs. In 2006, he was inducted into the Tri-State University athletic hall of fame.
His playing career continued overseas, as he spent three years on the Midwest Professional Volleyball Association (MPVA) beach volleyball tour. In 2000, he was named the Extreme Volleyball Professionals Rookie of the Year, and a year later was named to the MPVA “Dream Team”, which consisted of the top six players on the tour.
Botsford won a bronze medal at the 2002 USAV Open Championships in Dallas, Texas, and was selected to the all-tournament team while competing for the Surf City Volleyball Club.
In 2003, he played for the Vingaker Volleyball Club in Sweden, and was one of the team’s most prolific players, leading the squad in blocks and hitting percentage throughout the playoffs. He guided Vingaker to the finals of the Swedish Elite Series and a berth in the European CEV Cup for the first time in the team’s 30-year history.
He graduated from Tri-State University in 1998 with a degree in social studies education. He received his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Indianapolis in 2004.
Botsford replaces Bri Frech, who spent five seasons as an assistant coach for CSU before leaving during the offseason for personal reasons. In January, Brook Coulter was signed to replace associate head coach Jesse Mahoney, who took the head coaching position at the University of Denver.