Utah volleyball celebrated head coach Beth Launiere’s 30th season on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, after the team’s match against UCLA in the Huntsman Center.
When Launiere took over the program in 1990, it had won one match the season before. In her first season, she led the team to seven wins marking an immediate improvement on the court and followed that up by winning 15 matches in 1991.
In 1993, the team made another big jump finishing 25-11 and made its first postseason appearance in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). The team advanced to the semifinals.
The Utes made their first NCAA Tournament in 1998. They beat Illinois State in straight sets in the first round before falling to Nebraska in Lincoln. Starting in 1998, Utah made it to nine straight NCAA Tournaments.
Utah hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 2001. The home court made a huge difference as the Utes defeated Texas Tech and Utah State to make it to the program’s first Sweet 16.
In all, Utah has been to 15 NCAA Tournaments out of Coach Launiere’s 30 seasons. Out of those 15 tournament appearances, the Utes have made it to the second round 11 times and the Sweet 16 three times (2001, 2008, 2017).
In 2017, Utah hosted the Salt Lake City Regional taking down Cleveland State and Purdue before playing Texas in the Sweet 16.
In addition to the NCAA Tournament success, the Utes have had 15 AVCA All-Americans with Kim Turner being the first one in 2003.
Launiere has been named the AVCA West Region Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2006 and 2008).
She has recorded 17, 20-win seasons and won three regular-season Mountain West titles (2004, 2006, 2008) and three Mountain West Tournament Championships (2001, 2008, 2017).
Congrats, Coach Launiere!