Xavier falls, 3-0, to No. 20 Saint Louis in the semifinals of the 2009 A-10 Championship
Xavier's second match of the 2009 XU Invitational
Photos by Doug Cochran
Photos by Greg Rust
Photos by Doug Cochran
Floyd Deaton is entering his 20th season as head coach of the Xavier volleyball team. Over the previous 19 years, Deaton, the winningest coach in Xavier volleyball history, has led the program to 391 victories and has coached 45 All-Conference selections. Deaton has also lead the team to both of its NCAA Tournament appearances, in 2001 and 2007, as well as two Atlantic 10 regular season titles (1998, 2004). In 2007, Deaton's squad posted an 11-2 conference record, marking the fourth consecutive year Xavier had won 10 or more A-10 matches in a season, and the Musketeers made their 10th straight A-10 Championship appearance.
Deaton has been named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year four times during his tenure at Xavier, including 2007 and back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004. He won his first honor in 1998 after leading the Musketeers to an A-10 Regular Season Championship and he was honored again in 2003 after he turned around a Xavier squad that began 2-6 in conference play and engineered a six-match winning streak to earn XU's sixth consecutive berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. In 2004, he led the Musketeers to the most conference wins in school history at 12-2 and claimed a share of the A-10 Regular Season Title, while advancing to the Championship Match of the A-10 Tournament. In 2007, Deaton led Xavier to an 11-2 conference mark, a second-place finish in the A-10 Championship and its first-ever at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Over the past several seasons, Deaton has also created an exciting atmosphere for volleyball at Xavier as the Musketeers have consistently been ranked near the top of the Atlantic 10 Conference and in the state of Ohio in attendance. In 2007, attendance increased by 25% over the previous year to over 500 fans per game who helped cheer on the Musketeers to an incredible 11 wins and only two losses in Cintas Center, and since the opening of Cintas Center in 2000 XU's home court record stands at 76-19 (.800).
Deaton turned around the Xavier volleyball program when he arrived for his first season in 1990. Xavier's five previous losing seasons was all but forgotten as Deaton led his first Xavier team to a 19-17 record. In the six consecutive years following his inaugural season, the Musketeers produced winning seasons under Deaton's guidance.
In fact, the Musketeers have produced 18 seasons of .500 or better during Deaton's 19-year tenure. The 1997 season was the only blemish on Deaton's otherwise perfect stretch of winning seasons as the Musketeers tallied a 13-17 record that year.
The Musketeers did not let this affect them as they bounced back in 1998 and were the Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champions before falling to Temple in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
In 2000, the Musketeers moved up the hill from Schmidt Fieldhouse to the new 10,250-seat Cintas Center. Xavier tied for second in the conference and advanced to the Atlantic 10 Championship Match where they fell in a heartbreaker to George Washington in five games.
Xavier returned to the A-10 Championship Match in 2001 and capped one of the most successful seasons in school history with a 3-0 sweep of Temple to secure its first ever A-10 Tournament Title. The Musketeers then made their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament before concluding their season with a 25-6 overall record.
The 2001 season also saw XU receive its first-ever votes in the AVCA/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll as well as players being named A-10 Player of the Year, Setter of the Year and Rookie of the Year.
During the 2004 campaign, Deaton led Xavier to its best record in conference action since the 2001 season. The Musketeers also advanced to the A-10 Tournament championship match for the third time in the last five seasons.
In 2007, the Musketeers found their way back to the A-10 Championship Match after finishing the regular season with an 11-2 conference mark. XU faced nationally-ranked Dayton in the finale but fell 3-0 to the Flyers. All was not lost as Xavier earned its first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, its second appearance all-time.
Going to Work
Deaton took over a struggling program in 1990 that had only managed a 46-111 record in the previous five years. Deaton was not deterred and led his inaugural team to a 19-17 record. Since hiring Deaton, Xavier volleyball has averaged 21 wins a season. His second year saw the Musketeers put together some of the best results ever at XU. The Musketeers finished the 1991 season with a 28-10 record that included a 14-match winning streak. The 28 wins fell one victory short of tying the school record of 29 wins set in 1980. A 23-win season followed in 1994. Adding to the list of Deaton's accomplishments, Xavier made the transition from the Midwestern Collegiate Conference to the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1995 with an 18-15 record despite facing the stiffest competition in school history. In 1996, only the second year participating in the Atlantic 10, Xavier produced a 21-win season. In his 19 years, Deaton has coached three AVCA All-Northeast Region players, one AVCA All-America Honorable Mention, 45 All-Conference selections (1 MCC and 44 A-10), 12 A-10 All-Rookie team selections, 14 A-10 Academic All-Conference selections and has had a player named A-10 Player or Rookie of the Week 55 times. He has also produced the 2000, 2001 and 2007 A-10 Player of the Year, the 2001 and 2004 A-10 Setter of the Year, the 2001 and 2005 A-10 Rookie of the Year, the 2004, 2005 and 2006 A-10 Student-Athlete of the Year, a 2004 Third Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, the 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America of the Year and seven Academic All-America All-District selections.