MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan University Athletics announced the hiring of Mike Gawlik as its new volleyball head coach today.
Gawlik (Gaw-lick) is the fifth coach in CMU volleyball history. He takes over for Erik Olson, who resigned in December.
"We are excited for Mike to take over our volleyball program," CMU Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said. "Throughout the hiring process, it was clear that Mike had the vision and the understanding of what it would take to build this into a championship program that provides a well-rounded experience for our student-athletes. His positive demeanor is infectious and his peers rave about his ability to bring people together. Mike also understands the hard work and patience needed to create a culture that will help us have long-term success."
Gawlik has spent the past 11 seasons as part of the Michigan State program, helping the Spartans to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and three trips to the Sweet Sixteen. He started with MSU as a volunteer assistant coach in 2005 and was promoted to an assistant position in 2006. He was again elevated in 2015, this time to associate head coach.
"I am very grateful for this opportunity and excited for the challenge ahead," Gawlik said. "When I met with Dave Heeke, Cristy Freese and the CMU staff, it was clear that this was a great fit and we had similar ideas for the potential of this program. I look forward to building on the championship culture at already exists at CMU, providing our student-athlete with an exceptional experience on and off the court."
Gawlik's primary responsibility at MSU was mentoring the defensive specialists. He also served as the squad's defensive coordinator and helped with the team's blockers. Other responsibilities included serving as the program's recruiting coordinator, helping to bring in top 10 classes in 2008, 2013 and 2014, and handling video and scouting, preparing opponent reports and comprehensive breakdowns of MSU players.
Under his tutelage, libero Kori Moster was one of the most-decorated players in program history. A two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-America selection, Moster was selected for the 2014 USA Volleyball Collegiate National Team. She graduated as MSU's leader in career digs and ranks third all-time in Big Ten history.
In February of 2010, Gawlik was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) "Thirty Under 30" list. The award annually honors 30 up-and-coming volleyball coaches who are under the age of 30 for their hard work and dedication to the sport. Gawlik served as the liaison between the AVCA and the assistant coaches throughout the Big Ten Conference.
Gawlik accepted an invitation to coach with the USA Senior Women's A2 program in Dallas in the summer of 2013, which provided him an opportunity to work with some of the top talent in the United States. He has also coached at collegiate-level volleyball camps, including Michigan State and Nebraska, and served as a head coach for the Sports Performance Volleyball Club Summer Camp from 2000-04.
A four-year letterwinner and two-year captain at the University of the Pacific, Gawlik was a four-year starter at setter and libero for the Tigers, graduating in 2005 with school records in games played (382) and digs (849). He was a 2003 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Conference selection, was named a Strength and Conditioning All-American (2005), and earned the Student of the Year Award (2005) for sports science majors.
Gawlik, who earned a master's degree in athletic administration from MSU in 2011, is joined at CMU by his wife, Katie.