Mike Gawlik begins his first season as CMU volleyball head coach this fall. We sat down with him to learn more about his past, and see what he expects in his first season.
He led the Chippewas to an 11-17 finish in his rookie season, which was highlighted individually by Jordan Bueter, who moved into the top 10 in program history in nine statistical categories, including kills, aces and digs.
Bueter, a First Team All-Mid-American Conference selection in 2016, headlines a strong list of returnees to Gawlik’s roster in 2017. That group will combine with Gawlik’s first CMU recruiting class, which received an honorable mention from on the game’s authoritative websites, prepvolleyball.com.
CMU was one of 72 programs to receive honorable mention after a ranking of the top 30. NCAA Division I volleyball comprises 334 programs.
Gawlik came to CMU after serving as an assistant coach at Michigan State for the previous 11 seasons. He helped lead the Spartans to nine NCAA Tournament appearances including three trips to the Sweet Sixteen.
Gawlik's primary responsibility at MSU was coaching the defensive specialists, serving as the defensive coordinator, and helping with the blockers. He also served as the program's recruiting coordinator, prepared opponent scouting reports as well as comprehensive analysis of MSU players.
In 2010, Gawlik was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) “Thirty Under 30” list, which annually honors up-and-coming coaches who are under age 30. He was part of an MSU staff that landed top 10 recruiting classes in 2008, 2013 and 2014, and he served as the liaison between the AVCA and the assistant coaches throughout the Big Ten Conference.
Under Gawlik’s tutelage, libero Kori Moster was one of the most-decorated players in Michigan State history, twice earning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award and three times earning All-America honors. Moster graduated as MSU's leader in career digs and ranks third all-time in Big Ten history.
In 2013, Gawlik coached with the USA Senior Women's A2 program in Dallas, which provided him an opportunity to work with some of the top talent in the United States. He has also coached at collegiate-level camps both at Michigan State and Nebraska, and has served as a head coach for the Sports Performance Volleyball Club Summer Camp.
A four-year letterwinner and two-year captain at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Gawlik was a four-year starter at setter and libero, graduating in 2005 with school records in games played (382) and digs (849). He was a 2003 All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selection, was named a Strength and Conditioning All-American in 2005, and earned the Student of the Year Award in 2005 for sports science majors.
Gawlik earned a master's degree in athletic administration from MSU in 2011. He and his wife Katie were married in 2011.