LEXINGTON, Kentucky – UMass Boston Associate Head Volleyball Coach Michael Houlihan has been named a recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) 2013 "Thirty Under 30" honor after helping to lead the Beacons to their fourth straight Little East Conference title and second NCAA Regional crown this past fall.
A member of the UMass Boston's coaching staff for the last four seasons, Houlihan has played an integral part in making the Beacons volleyball program one of the most recognized and respected programs in Division III volleyball. Houlihan was one of only two coaches from New England to be named to this prestigious list and is the first coach from the Little East Conference to ever be selected.
"I am very honored to receive such a prestigious award. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a very supportive program, department, and university that has allowed me to continue to be involved in a sport that has given me so much," said Houlihan.
This past season, Houlihan alongside Head Coach Terry Condon guided the Beacons to their fourth straight Little East Conference regular season and tournament championship. As the underdogs going into the NCAA Regional Tournament, the Beacons shocked everyone as they ran the table defeating a heavily favored Connecticut College in the semi-finals and the Bowdoin College team in the championship.
The regional championship marked the second in three years for UMass Boston, which played perhaps one of the most challenging schedules in the country, facing multiple nationally and regionally ranked teams such as Christopher Newport University and Southwestern University (Texas).
Since coming to Boston, Houlihan has been instrumental in the recruitment of some of the top players in the country. In total he has coached three AVCA All-Americans, four AVCA All-Region honorees, and five NEWVA All-Region selections, which included a two-time Player of the Year and a Rookie of the Year.
Houlihan also went on to say, "I would like to thank Terry Condon, thank you for everything you have taught me and all the opportunities you have given me over these past four years. I am been very fortunate to learn from a great teacher and to have great players that have had such a great impact on my life."
The AVCA "Thirty Under 30" award was created in 2009 to honor up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport. To qualify for the award nominees had to be 30 years old or younger in 2012. The list of winners will be featured in the upcoming May edition of Coaching Volleyball 2.0.