Celebrated volleyball coach calls it quits


    By Jeffrey M Cowart

    After coaching the women”s volleyball team for 40 years, Elaine Michaelis has decided it”s time to step down.

    Michaelis retires as the all-time leader in victories among female collegiate volleyball coaches with 887 wins (in 33 season since volleyball records were maintained at BYU in 1969).

    For the past seven years, Michaelis has served as both the director of women”s athletics and the women”s volleyball coach. She is retiring from coaching to dedicate more time to her responsibilities overseeing the university”s women”s athletic program.

    “I leave coaching with a feeling of joy, success, and sadness but am excited for the challenges as director of women”s athletics,” said Michaelis. “I”ll miss the strategy of the game and watching the players come in and mature into All-Americans. I”ll miss seeing them progress not only in volleyball but in life.”

    Current volleyball player Carrie Bowers said Michaelis will be missed. “We felt comfortable with her because she cared about us (players) as people.”

    In 40 years of coaching, Michaelis never suffered a losing season. With last year”s 20-9 record, she completed her 28th consecutive 20-win season while advancing to her 12th straight NCAA tournament.

    “Elaine is both an excellent coach and an excellent administrator,” said BYU advancement vice president K. Fred Skousen. “With her retirement from coaching, she leaves an immense legacy that will, quite possibly, never be matched.”

    Stepping down as women”s volleyball coach will allow her to focus on administrative concerns such as fundraising, support for women”s athletics, and new facilities such as the indoor practice facility. “If I can make a difference sooner than later, than it is worth it,” said Michaelis.

    BYU officials will open the selection process immediately for a new coach and hope to name Michaelis” successor sometime in June or July.

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