Schedule Features Six NCAA Participants From 2013
Six-Member Class Garners National Recognition
Oskam, Klare, Foti Are Newest Members Of XU's Volleyball Team
Pfeffenberger Rejoins XU Staff After Three Seasons At ND
Bessler Joins The Smith Sisters To Set A New Program Standard For The Award.
Xavier volleyball head coach Mike Johnson has a nickname for nearly everyone, especially his players. Some of the players have multiple nicknames, some of them have changed over the years. Mike and several of his players took the time to speak with GoXavier regarding the nicknames, including how some of the nicknames were earned and how they related to the FBI.
GoXavier.com sat down with Xavier volleyball head coach Mike Johnson to discuss the team's success during the 2012 campaign and take a look ahead at the 2013 season.
Xavier's head volleyball coach Mike Johnson talks about his philosophy to coaching. Johnson has been with the Musketeers for three seasons and has led his team to back-to-back finals of the Atlantic 10 Championship.
Third-year head coach Mike Johnson hosted a free coaches clinic on Saturday at Cintas Center. Johnson shared his thoughts on philosophy and gave an exclusive look into Xavier volleyball.
The 2012 Xavier volleyball schedule will test the Musketeers with four tournaments, including one at home, and several tough conference opponents.
Mike Johnson was named Xavier University's ninth volleyball head coach on June 28, 2010 and is entering his fifth season at XU in 2014. His overall record as a head coach is 105-52 and his overall conference record is 61-17. In his four-year career at XU, Johnson has had the AVCA All-America Honorable Mention award given to players on his teams six times.
Johnson reached his 100th-career victory on Nov. 1, 2013 against DePaul, during Xavier's inaugural BIG EAST season. In his four seasons at Xavier University, Johnson has won at least 20 games each year and has finished no worse than second place in regular conference season. His overall conference record between the Atlantic 10 and the BIG EAST is 46-14 (.767) and his overall regular-season record is 83-43 (.659).
In the first year of BIG EAST action, Johnson finished the season with a 21-11 overall record and a 12-4 BIG EAST regular season tally. Three players were honored on the All-BIG EAST First Team, Alex Smith, Aubree Smith and Abbey Bessler, as Alex Blair was awarded to the All-BIG EAST Second Team. In addition, Johnson had three players, Alex Smith, Aubree Smith and Bessler, earn AVCA All-America Honorable Mentions, the first time in program history that multiple players earned the distinction in the same season.
Since the first season of the program in 1973, the AVCA All-America Honorable Mention award has only been awarded to Xavier players seven times. Of these seven honors, six of them received the award under Johnson's leadership. Johnson has yet to go a season without a player receiving the accolade. Stephanie Vorherr made the list in both 2012 and 2010 and Sarah Brown in 2011. In 2013, Alex Smith, Aubree Smith, and Bessler also made the AVCA All-Region team and Bessler was named AVCA East Region Rookie of the Year. Vorherr earned a spot on the AVCA All-Region team in 2012 and 2010 and Brown in 2011.
During his first three seasons, Johnson led the Musketeers to a 62-32 overall record and a 34-10 mark in Atlantic 10 Conference play. Johnson also brought the team to three-straight A-10 Championship finals. Under Johnson's guidance, the team had a school-record five players named to either the first or second team all-conference in both 2010 and 2012. Vorherr was named the A-10 Libero of the Year in 2010 and 2011 and finished as an AVCA All-America Honorable Mention in 2012. Sarah Brown also earned AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honors in the 2011 season.
Johnson coached five players who made the Atlantic 10 all-conference teams in 2012. Alex Smith was honored on the All-Conference First Team while Brown, Aubree Smith, Vorherr, and Amé White made the All-Conference Second Team. Brown and Alex Smith also made 2011's All-Conference First Team as Vorherr was placed on second team all-conference and Aubree Smith as an honorable mention. Aubree Smith also was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in 2011. In 2010, five players made the all-conference team in Johnson's first year. Michelle Matia and Claire Paszkiewicz made the All-Conference First Team and Chelsea Campbell, Shannon Voors and Vorherr made the All-Conference Second Team.
Prior to Xavier, Johnson spent one year as head coach at Austin Peay State University. In that season as the head coach at APSU the squad recorded a 22-9 overall mark and a 15-3 Ohio Valley Conference record, which was its best league mark in 17 years. Three Lady Govs were named to OVC All-Conference First and Second Teams in 2009, the first time in program history that three players received All-OVC (first or second team) honors in the same season. APSU also enjoyed the league's 2009 Player of the Year in Stephanie Champine, the first for the Lady Govs since 1992 and only the third in school history. Champine was also named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-America team for the second consecutive season.
Johnson was a member of the Cal Poly coaching staff for three seasons prior to joining the Austin Peay coaching staff in March of 2009. An assistant for the 2006 and 2007 campaigns, he was promoted to associate head coach for 2008. Johnson also was named one of the nation's 30 up-and-coming volleyball coaches under 30 years old by the American Volleyball Coaches Association following the 2008 season. While he was the Mustangs' defensive coordinator, Cal Poly claimed back-to-back Big West championships in 2006 and 2007 and reached the NCAA's Sweet 16 in 2007 - finishing the season ranked 11th nationally.
Prior to joining the Mustangs, Johnson served as an assistant coach at Washington, captured the Pac-10 Conference championship and reached the NCAA Tournament's final four for the first time in program history - finishing the season ranked No. 3 nationally.
A native of Kahaluu, Hawaii, Johnson graduated from Washington in 2003 with a degree in chemical engineering. He is married to the former Liz Grajewski, a former All-Big Ten gymnast at Iowa. They have two daughters, Jamie and Harper, and a son, Noah.