Chad Callihan Named New Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Coach
Chad Callihan has been hired as the new head coach of the University of Wyoming women’s volleyball program. Callihan becomes the 13th head volleyball coach in Cowgirl history. He replaces Carrie Yerty, who resigned on May 3.
“We are excited to have Chad lead our program in the future,” said UW Athletics Director Tom Burman. “The group of student-athletes who are currently in the program are great young ladies, which should position us well for success. His experience and success at the Division I level bodes well for the program now and in the future.”
Callihan comes to Wyoming from Georgia Southern University where he spent the past five seasons at the helm. While at GSU, he turned the program around after inheriting a team that went 10-21 overall in 2007. He led them to 16 wins in his first season and a 21-10 overall mark in 2009.
He helped the Eagles to a 27-9 record overall in 2010 and their best winning percentage in school history (.750) en route to their first SoCon (Southern Conference) title in since 2003. The 2010 team was one win short of tying the Eagles’ best mark of 28 victories in 1993, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history.
In 2012, Georgia Southern won the league’s South Division regular season title with a 15-1 mark and went 25-7 overall. Senior Kate Van Dyke was named the SoCon Player of the Year and First Team All-League, while Callihan won SoCon Coach of the Year honors.
The Eagles notched three 20-win campaigns during his time there while posting a 107-59 overall record and 59-23 in league play. Under his guidance, GSU student-athletes earned a total of 19 postseason SoCon honors.
Callihan owns a 227-135 career record and a 134-46 conference mark in 11 years as a head coach .Not only have his teams succeeded on the court, they have done so in the classroom. All four of his Mountaineer teams received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award, and his Georgia Southern squad earned the honor in 2010 and 2011. Senior Moriah Bellissimo was named First Team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America and earned a SoCon Presidential Scholarship in 2012.
He joined the Eagles after spending the 2007 campaign as an assistant coach at the University of Georgia. He helped with the Bulldogs’ turnaround, improving a 6-25 record in 2006 to a 17-13 overall mark in 2007.
From 2003-07, he spent time at fellow SoCon member Appalachian State. Callihan posted an 88-44 (.667) overall record and a .814 league winning percentage (57-13) during his tenure with the Mountaineers. He was named 2004 SoCon Coach of the Year after leading the Apps to consecutive North Division championships (2003-04), two regular season runner-up finishes and two appearances in the SoCon Tournament championship match (2004-05).
Prior to his time at Appalachian State, Callihan worked four years at Radford, the last two as head coach. In 2001, the Highlanders posted a 24-7 record and captured the Big South Conference regular season title. Radford rattled off 23 consecutive victories that season, the longest winning streak in the nation, and finished a perfect 14-0 in the BSC. The Highlanders were ranked as high as sixth in the East Region.
Before taking over the head coaching duties, Callihan spent two years as an assistant coach, helping the Highlanders capture two Big South Conference championships and a berth in the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
Callihan spent three seasons as the head coach at Radford High School in Radford, Va., leading his team to its first regional appearance in 13 years and earned District Coach of the Year honors.
His coaching experience also includes coaching the Yokota Air Base women’s volleyball team in Japan during his four years in the United States Air Force. The squad consisted of former Division I athletes.
A member of the AVCA and USA Volleyball, Callihan has worked throughout his career with Special Olympics and setting up free volleyball clinics.
“I would like to thank Tom Burman and Molly Moore for trusting me to lead the Cowgirls’ volleyball program moving forward,” said Callihan. “This is an incredible opportunity to coach at a great university in one of the top volleyball conferences in the country.
“It was clear from the beginning that Wyoming was a great fit for me and my family. The support for the program is first class and the people we met were even better.
“It is always tough to leave a team you have invested so much in, but I am excited to begin a new era in Wyoming volleyball and cannot wait to get started.”
Callihan and his wife Jessica are the parents of two sons, Caleb and Macoy. His contract and hiring are pending final approval from the University of Wyoming.