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The 2016 season will be the fourth for Chad Callihan at the helm of the Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball program. He was named the head coach on May 28, 2013 and became the 13th head volleyball coach in Cowgirl history.
Callihan has been a driving force that has guided the Cowgirls to 20 or more wins in each of his three seasons as head coach. Wyoming posted one of its best seasons in 2015, finishing with a 23-7 overall record, and a 13-5 mark in the Mountain West. The 2015 season ended with the second-best winning percentage in school history (.767) and the 13 wins in conference play were the most in any season for UW volleyball. UW also earned its first AVCA national ranking since 1994. Wyoming ended the year as one of the top teams in the NCAA in numerous categories including blocks per set, blocks and opponent hitting percentage.
Callihan followed up a successful first season with another 20-plus wins in 2014. The Cowgirls finished the year with a 23-8 overall record and a 12-6 mark in the Mountain West. Wyoming would open up the year with a seven-match winning streak and win a school best 14 matches in a row dating back to the end of the 2013 campaign. It surpassed the 13-match winning streak set by the 1989 team. With 23-wins, Wyoming made history by winning 20-plus victories three seasons in a row while the 12 conference wins were the most ever in the programs history. Callihan also became the second head coach to win 20-plus matches in their first two seasons as a head coach.
Three Cowgirls, Laura Beach, Erin Kirby and Bridget Shanahan, garnered All-Conference honors, while Kirby was selected for the fourth time in her career. She also became the all-time leader in both the Mountain West Conference and school history with 714 career blocks.
He led the Cowgirls to a 21-13 record in his first season at the helm of the program. His 21-wins were the second most victories by a first year head coach in school history. Callihan opened the season with a perfect 6-0 record, surpassing Jim Barnes (2002-04) for most consecutive wins in their first season as head coach.
Wyoming finished the season with a seven-match Mountain West winning streak, the longest for the Cowgirls in school history. UW finished tied for fourth in the MW with a record of 11-9. He also led the Cowgirls to a 13-3 record inside the UniWyo Sports Complex including opening the season with a seven-match home winning streak.
The Cowgirls led the MW and ranked eight nationally in blocks at 2.89 per set. UW recorded 367.5 blocks, second most block in a single-season in school history. Wyoming also ranked third in the MW in digs at 15.07 per set. The Cowgirls recorded 1,914 digs on the season the second-most in school history and the most by UW since 1994.
Callihan came to Wyoming from Georgia Southern University where he spent five seasons at the helm. While at GSU, he turned the program around after inheriting a team that went 10-21 overall in 2007. He led them to 16-wins in his first season and a 21-10 overall mark in 2009.
He helped the Eagles to a 27-9 record overall in 2010 and their best winning percentage in school history (.750) en route to their first SoCon title since 2003. The 2010 team was one win short of tying the Eagles' best mark of 28 victories in 1993, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history.
In 2012, Georgia Southern won the league's South Division regular season title with a 15-1 mark and went 25-7 overall. Senior Kate Van Dyke was named the SoCon Player of the Year and First Team All-League, while Callihan won SoCon Coach of the Year honors.
The Eagles notched three 20-win campaigns during his time there while posting a 107-59 overall record and 59-23 in league play. Under his guidance, GSU student-athletes earned a total of 19 postseason SoCon honors.
Callihan owns a 271-156 career record and a 157-61 conference mark in 13 years as a head coach. Not only have his teams succeeded on the court, they have done so in the classroom. All four of his Mountaineer teams received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award, and his Georgia Southern squad earned the honor in 2010 and 2011. Senior Moriah Bellissimo was named First Team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America and earned a SoCon Presidential Scholarship in 2012.
He joined the Eagles after spending the 2007 campaign as an assistant coach at the University of Georgia. He helped with the Bulldogs' turnaround, improving a 6-25 record in 2006 to a 17-13 overall mark in 2007.
From 2003-07, he spent time at fellow SoCon member Appalachian State. Callihan posted an 88-44 (.667) overall record and a .814 league winning percentage (57-13) during his tenure with the Mountaineers. He was named 2004 SoCon Coach of the Year after leading the Apps to consecutive North Division championships (2003-04), two regular season runner-up finishes and two appearances in the SoCon Tournament championship match (2004-05).
Prior to his time at Appalachian State, Callihan worked four years at Radford, the last two as head coach. In 2001, the Highlanders posted a 24-7 record and captured the Big South Conference regular season title. Radford rattled off 23 consecutive victories that season, the longest winning streak in the nation, and finished a perfect 14-0 in the BSC. The Highlanders were ranked as high as sixth in the East Region.
Before taking over the head coaching duties, Callihan spent two years as an assistant coach, helping the Highlanders capture two Big South Conference championships and a berth in the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
Callihan spent three seasons as the head coach at Radford High School in Radford, Va., leading his team to its first regional appearance in 13 years and earned District Coach of the Year honors.
His coaching experience also includes coaching the Yokota Air Base women's volleyball team in Japan during his four years in the United States Air Force. The squad consisted of former Division I athletes.
A member of the AVCA and USA Volleyball, Callihan has worked throughout his career with Special Olympics and setting up free volleyball clinics.
Callihan and his wife Jessica are the parents of two sons, Caleb and Macoy.