Matt McShane returns to the sidelines for his sixth season as the head coach of the Air Force volleyball team. McShane, who became the program's eighth head coach in 2010, has brought an optimistic attitude to the team and guided Air Force to milestone after milestone in just five short years.
During his initial year on the bench, McShane guided Air Force to its first victory in Mountain West Conference action since 2005, while breathing life back into the program. Backed by a large senior class, the Falcons collected four total wins, including an impressive 3-1 win over San Diego State and a thrilling 3-2 season-opening victory over two-time NCAA Tournament team, Long Island.
McShane coached one of the nation's youngest teams during the 2011 season, as the roster featured just four returners on a 13-member roster. The Falcons accounted for three wins, including a 3-0 sweep over service academy rival Navy to mark the program's first true road win since 2009.
Backed by a stellar recruiting class, McShane and his assistant coaches received High Honorable Mention status from PrepVolleyball.com in 2012, marking the first time in program history that a class of Air Force recruits has been honored with such an award. The Falcons captured the program's first road win in conference play since 2003, as a 3-1 win over Nevada snapped the program's 66-match losing skid in MW action. Air Force tallied nine total wins, including three in conference play, for the most victories in both categories in the past decade. The Falcons also edged service academy rival Navy for the second straight year at the Service Academy Challenge in Washington DC.
Collecting five of their eight total victories in Mountain West action, the Falcons matched the best conference win total in Division I history during the 2013 season. Highlighting Air Force's conference season were the first-ever wins over Boise State and San Jose State, as well as a win over Wyoming that snapped an 18-match losing skid to the Cowgirls. The Falcons also improved to 3-0 against Navy under McShane's guidance, while claiming an upset victory over Long Beach State, who was receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches' Poll at the time.
McShane and his staff entered the 2014 season with another High Honorable Mention accolade from PrepVolleyball.com, marking the second time in three years that the coaches have been recognized for their recruiting. With 13 wins on the year, including seven that came during the conference season, Air Force posted its highest overall win total since 2003 and set a new DI record for conference victories. The Falcons also tallied the most home wins (nine) since 1999, while recording just the third winning record at home in Division I history. McShane also saw two of his athletes earn all-conference honors for the first Academy inclusions since 2003.
Under McShane's direction, the program has moved back to the friendly confines of Falcon Court at East Gym. By becoming more involved in the community, Air Force set a new Division I single-season attendance record in 2010 and have accounted for three of the top-five season averages in the program's Division I history. In just four years, the Falcons have accounted for nine of the 15 best single-match attendance totals in Air Force Division I history.
His athletes have also shined academically, as the team has accounted for 17 academic all-conference certificates, 11 Mountain West Scholar-Athlete honors, four CoSIDA-Capital One Academic All-District selections and one CoSIDA-Capital One Academic All-American.
Named as one of Volleyball Magazine's 10 Best Assistant Coaches, McShane joined the Falcon program on January 26, 2010, after a five-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of California-Berkeley.
During his tenure at Cal, the Bears posted a 114-47 overall record, produced seven AVCA All-Americans and finished every season ranked in the nation's top 20, including a No. 4 ranking in 2007. Cal earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament every year McShane was on the bench. In 2009, his last season in Berkeley, the Bears (21-11, 11-7 Pac-10) advanced to the regional championship match for the third consecutive year, before falling to defending national champion Penn State.
McShane is no stranger to the Mountain West Conference.
Prior to his stint at Berkeley, McShane spent four years as an assistant coach at the University of Utah. In 2004, the Utes went 24-7 overall and 13-1 in league action and captured a share of their first-ever MWC title.
Before joining the Utah staff, McShane was an associate head coach at the University of New Mexico (1987-00). In 13 years in Albuquerque, he helped guide the Lobos to a 189-127 record, two conference championships and six trips to the NCAA tournament. Additionally, McShane served as an assistant coach at BYU from 1980-82.
The Falcons' coach also has a tremendous amount of experience at the national and international coaching level.
McShane served on the coaching staff of the U.S. Women's Junior National Team, which won the gold medal at the 2010 NORCECA Continental Championships in Mexico. Competing against teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean, the U.S. team posted a perfect 5-0 record, sweeping the competition in straight sets. The squad, which won its fourth consecutive NORCECA title, also qualified to the 2011 FIVB World Championships.
In the summer of 2007, McShane was an assistant coach for USA Volleyball's National A2 team. During the summer of 2002, he also served as the head coach for the USA National A2 Team. In the summer of 2001, he was the head coach for the Intermountain Volleyball Association (IVA) High Performance Team that toured Europe.
In 1996, McShane was named an assistant coach of the USA Women's National team at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. While with the U.S. National team, McShane designed and ran practice sessions, did video analysis of Team USA and other major teams in the world, and prepared scouting reports on U.S. opponents.
McShane's coaching background also includes assisting former USA Women's National Indoor Volleyball team coach "Jenny" Lang Ping with the Yaohan International Volleyball Team in 1996. The team was comprised of the best American and Russian players who competed against the Chinese and Cuban National teams in cities throughout China.
He is a member of the USAV Coaches Accreditation Program Cadre (CAP Level III), and each year he runs numerous clinics throughout the U.S., teaching other college, high school and junior coaches the fundamentals of volleyball.
As an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, McShane played on the only intercollegiate team to win the USAV Open National Championship. The UCSB teams finished second in the NCAA Championships in 1974 and 1975, and finished third in the NCAA Regional Championships in 1976. He was an All-American for the Gauchos in 1974.
He earned his bachelor's degree from UC Santa Barbara in 1977 and his master's degree from BYU in 1982. While at BYU, he played on the men's club team that finished third at the USAV Open National Championship in 1981.
McShane and his wife, Dana, were married in 2011 and currently reside in Black Forest, Colorado.