Looking to bring change to the volleyball team after another season ended in disappointment, Weber State University hired Utah State assistant coach Jeremiah Larsen last week to become the Wildcats’ 10th head coach in team history.
“We are thrilled to have a coach with the experience and energy that Jeremiah will bring to our program,” WSU Athletics Director Jerry Bovee said in a statement. “We look forward to big things with him at the helm.”
Last season, the Wildcats tied for 11th place in the Big Sky Conference with a 7-24 record (3-13 in conference games). It was the sixth consecutive season in which the Wildcats finished in seventh place or worse in the conference, and it was the eighth time in the last 12 seasons the Wildcats had nine or fewer wins.
Larsen said the job at Weber State accomplishes a longstanding goal of his.
“It’s been a longtime goal of mine to be in a position where I could be a head volleyball coach at the collegiate level,” Larsen said. When he heard he was hired, “I was very shocked and humbled at the same time. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to be a head volleyball coach, so I was extremely humbled, and I have a lot of respect for what Weber State is trying to do with our volleyball program. I think there can be great things that can happen here.”
Larsen plans to focus on recruiting and changing the team’s culture.
“One (focus) is to improve the skill set of the players you’re bringing in. I think that’s something we got to be focused on as we enter this year,” he said. “We also have to establish some kind of culture that hasn’t been here already, and that’s a culture of success and a culture of kids being confident in who they are.”
Larsen spent the last four seasons with the Aggies, where he worked as the recruiting coordinator, along with overseeing the team’s defensive scouting and statistical analysis. During his time with USU, the Aggies finished in the top 15 in the nation in blocks per set three out of the last four seasons—including back-to-back top 10 finishes in 2011 and 2012.
Prior to joining USU, Larsen was an assistant coach for one season at Missouri State in 2010, and was an assistant coach for three seasons at Southeast Missouri State. The 2015 volleyball season will be his first season as head coach at the collegiate level. He had previously been the head coach at Brighton High School in Sandy, Utah where he led the team to three region titles and a 77-5 record over three seasons.
Larsen is a former volleyball player himself, playing for the BYU Cougars from 2000-2003 as a setter and a libero/defensive specialist. In 2001, he helped the Cougars on their way to winning their second NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships in three years.
As Larsen and the team get ready for spring practices and the upcoming fall season, Larsen said that he is ready to get started on working with the team.
“Excitement is the key word there. I’m ready to go, ready to go to work,” Larsen said, “get together with these young ladies and try and find a way to be successful in the Big Sky Conference. “