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Michael Houlihan is entering his fourth season as the head coach and eighth with the UMass Boston volleyball program. Houlihan was promoted to the role of co-head coach in August of 2013 after serving as the associate head coach in 2012 and the assistant coach from 2009-2011.
During his seven seasons with the Beacons, Houlihan played an integral part in transforming UMass Boston into one of the most successful programs in the history of university. While on the bench, the New York native has helped the Beacons to six Little East Conference Tournament championships, a NCAA New England Regional crown in 2010, 2012, and 2013, and three appearances in the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament.
On top of the team's success, Houlihan has also worked with some of the top players in the country including the program's all-time leader in assists in setter Cassy Hanneman '12, and the all-time leader in kills and the program's first and only three-time All-American in Shannon Thompson '13. Thompson also finished her career as the only player in UMass Boston history to be named a four-time First Team All-Little East Conference, and three-time LEC Offensive Player of the Year.
Last season, the Beacons retook their rightful place atop the Little East Conference, as they cruised past Keene State College and Western Connecticut State University in the tournament. The Beacons once again played some of the top competition in the country, which included the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and Elmhurst College. In total four players went on to earn all-conference honors at the end of championship season, with juniors Julia Murphy and Elizabeth Glavan once again earning AVCA All-Region and All-American honors.
The 2014 season, saw Houlihan's Beacons reach the 20-win mark for the eighth straight year, as well as securing their sixth-straight LEC Regular Season title. He would also coach the conference Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year for the second straight year in Elizabeth Glavan and Julia Murphy. The duo would also go on to earn AVCA All-Region, and All-American honors under Houlihan.
In 2013, he coached the program's first LEC Defensive Player of the Year in Glavan, who also went on to earn the program's first AVCA All-Region honor as a libero. In total Houlihan has mentored 24 All-Conference selections, 24 NEWVA and AVCA All-Region honorees, and seven All-Americans.
Due to his tremendous dedication to the sport of volleyball, Houlihan was named the program's first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) "Thirty Under 30" recipient which recognizes the top up-and-coming coaches at all levels of the sport, and was featured in the May 2013 edition of the AVCA Coaching Volleyball 2.0.
Prior to coming to Boston, Houlihan coached the Midlakes High School Varsity Boys Volleyball team in New York. Houlihan also spent time as the head coach for the 14's All Long Island Boys Club Team. Throughout his career, Houlihan has worked at a variety of collegiate camps and has also created and implemented individual training programs for players of all ages. Amongst the many camps he has worked at are the University of New Hampshire, the University of Delaware, and the University of Rochester.
Before stepping into the coaching world, Houlihan enjoyed a four-year career for the Nazareth College Men's Volleyball squad. He later graduated from Nazareth with a business administration degree in sports management. While working at UMass Boston, Houlihan earned his MBA.
Houlihan currently resides in Dracut with his wife Mel, their puppy, and their son Liam.