Michael Houlihan is entering his sixth season as the head coach and 10th 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. In the fall of 2016, Houlihan was officially given the reigns as the Beacons solo head coach.
During his 10 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 eight 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 leaders in assists in setter Cassy Hanneman '12, in kills in Shannon Thompson '13, in blocks in Julia Murphy '17, and in digs Elizabeth Glavan '17.
During his time on the harbor campus, Houlihan has coached six AVCA All-Americans, four of which earned multiple honors. The Beacons have also emerged as the top squad in the New England with team earning 17 All-Region honors. The Beacons have dominated the Little East Conference yearly awards every single season he has been on the bench. In the fall of 2016, Murphy and Glavan became the first players in conference history to be named the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year for four straight seasons, as well as being named four-time First Team honorees.
In his first season as the new leader of the Beacons squad, Houlihan continued the program's winning ways claiming their eight tournament title and ninth regular season crown in Little East Conference history. The Beacons advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament once again as they were led by a talented veteran core of players.
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.