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July 1, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Filling out his full-time staff, South Carolina head coach Ben Somera announces the hiring of Michelle Collier as assistant volleyball coach today. Collier takes the lead in developing the Gamecock outside hitters.

“We are really excited to have Michelle join our staff and have her and her husband Rafael join our volleyball community in the Midlands,” said Somera. “Michelle brings with her great experience as a professional player, college student-athlete and coach at the Division I level, and I am looking forward to working with her and having her share her experience with our players and staff.”

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to join a great program with a wonderful staff,” Collier said. “I look forward to share my experience and love for the game with the team and learning from them. My family is looking forward to moving to Columbia and becoming a part of the Midlands community.”

Collier has spent the past two seasons at the University of South Florida, where she has helped the team to a top-half finish in the BIG EAST during each of her two seasons. Prior to her start in coaching, Collier played professional volleyball for four years in a global tour that took her to Cyprus, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, Spain and The Netherlands. Among the many accolades that she accumulated include the Indonesian League MVP and Cyprus’ Best Foreign Player.

Arguably the greatest player in USF history, Collier ranks fifth in NCAA Division I history with 2,729 career kills and sits in the Bulls’ top-10 in numerous career and single-season categories. She holds the top spot in USF history in two career categories (kills and digs, 1,747) and set three single-season marks during an amazing 2000 season. After coming back from an injury that forced her to the sidelines in 1999, Collier compiled 760 kills, 1,873 attacks and 6.28 kills per set.

In 2004, Collier was honored by Conference USA as its player of the decade. That honor came after earning All-America honors in 2002, two C-USA Player of the Year awards in 2000 and 2002 and the C-USA Freshman of the Year plaque in 1998. She led the Tampa, Fla., based school to three of the program’s seven NCAA Tournament appearances, as the Bulls went 120-48 during her three years. They won two C-USA titles and one C-USA tournament crown during her four playing years. Collier is the only volleyball player in USF history to have her jersey retired.

The Recife, Brazil, native is married to Rafael Silva, who has played in the top divisions of both Brazil and Spain during his professional volleyball career.