Feb. 25, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. –
South Carolina Director of Athletics Eric Hyman announced today the hiring of Scott Swanson to lead the Gamecock volleyball program. Swanson will be the 11th head coach in the 38-year history of South Carolina’s volleyball program.
“We are thrilled to announce that Scott Swanson has been hired to lead the volleyball program at the University of South Carolina,” Hyman said. “Scott has had a tremendous impact in the volleyball community, working with USA Volleyball and as a head and associate head collegiate coach. His accomplishments in recruiting nationally recognized student-athletes, including three top-five classes, and his strong background in training will serve the South Carolina volleyball program well. We look forward to his leadership among our student-athletes.”
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to be the next head volleyball coach at the University of South Carolina,” said Swanson. “It will be an honor to coach in the SEC, and I look forward to working with this team of hardworking young women very soon.”
Swanson comes to Columbia after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach then associate head coach at Minnesota. A perennial power, the Golden Gophers went 125-46 during Swanson’s five years in Minneapolis. He helped the Gophers to the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Championship national semifinals and two regional finals, while they made the NCAA Tournament in all five seasons. The program continually finished among the best in the Big Ten, one of the top conferences in the nation. The 2006, 2008 and 2010 teams all placed second in the league behind Penn State.
During his time at Minnesota, Swanson coached five All-America players, including 2009 first-team middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer. Three times during Swanson’s tenure, PrepVolleyball.com named the Gopher recruiting class among the nation’s top 10, including the top-ranked class in 2009.
His Minnesota teams were strong blocking teams, including a school-record 3.54 blocks per set during the 2007 campaign, which stood fifth in the nation. The Gophers finished no worse than 35th in the country in blocks during Swanson’s five years.
“I think the people at South Carolina are going to find that Scott is an excellent coach,” said former Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert. “He has all the skills. He does everything well. He’s competitive, understands how to win, and no one is going to outwork him.”
Swanson also spent time serving as an assistant with USA Volleyball’s A-2 Junior National Team, helping the USA Red team to second place in the 2008 USA Adult Open Championships.
South Carolina will be Swanson’s second head coaching job, as he spent four seasons at the helm of the UTEP program from 2002-05. While going 50-61 during his time in El Paso, Swanson had the Miners on the right track with a 21-10 record in his final season in Orange and Blue. That was just the fourth winning season for the program since 1991. Swanson coached three all-conference players as well as an honorable mention All-American, Kari Stacy, at UTEP. He also signed one high school All-American during his tenure.
Prior to his first collegiate head coaching job, Swanson served as an assistant coach at his alma mater Arizona State for six seasons. During his time at ASU, the Sun Devils went to two NCAA Tournaments after a three-year absence from postseason play. He also served as recruiting coordinator for the Sun Devils and helped coach one second-team All-American and two Pac-10 All-Freshman Team members.
His squads have all excelled in the classroom, coaching two Academic All-Americans at Arizona State while watching his Miner team improve its GPA from 2.4 in his first year to a department-best 3.2 in 2005.
Swanson got his start as an assistant high school coach at Mountain View (Ariz.), where he led the junior varsity program to a 17-1 mark. He took over as the lead coach for the Arizona East Valley Juniors club in 1993, leading his 16-1s team to a national runner-up finish while earning 1995 Cactus Region Coach of the Year accolades. He also spent a year at the helm of the Camelback High School program.
The Arizona native played club at ASU, serving as captain at one point. He coached the team in 1995 and assisted with it in 1996. Swanson graduated from Arizona State in 1997 with a bachelor’s in family studies and human development and is married to the former Erin Meier.