The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Cutting Edge Online Payment Technologies in 2024
April 16, 2024

Businesses worldwide are quickly embracing advanced payment methods to stay ahead in the tight market competition. These methods not only...

CSU volleyball assistant coaches add new ideas, energy (Slideshow)

[flagallery gid=7 name=Gallery]

Legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant once said, “if my assistant and I think the same thing, one of us isn’t necessary.”


CSU volleyball coach Tom Hilbert followed that wisdom with his new assistants Matthew Botsford and Brook Coulter.

Hilbert hired the pair this offseason after longtime blocking coach Jesse Mahoney left to become the University of Denver’s blocking coach, and Bri Frech transitioned into the director of operations.

“When I was at the University of Idaho, I hired a 24-year-old and she helped make our program better because she brought new things in,” Hilbert said. “From that point on I’ve always tried to hire people who are not like me, and can bring in new ideas and new energy.”

Matthew Botsford joined CSU in April after leading Swedish professional team Lindesburg Volley to its first ever Swedish Elite Series title.

“I learned a lot about personnel management and blending personalities, whether it’s in a staff or the roster itself,” Botsford said. “It’s a new perspective. Any time you get an influx of new people, new ideas, it stimulates conversation and that typically leads to good things.”

Even being a head coach in Europe, Botsford knew he wanted to eventually return to coaching collegiate volleyball, but wasn’t sure when. Hilbert offered him the perfect situation.

“The timing was based on joining a program that was a high level in a place where I could continue to learn. What Tom has done with this program is pretty impressive, everybody’s familiar with it,” Botsford said. “It was about a new experience for me and also about contributing to what they’re trying to do.”

The chance to apprentice under Hilbert also attracted Brook Coulter from the University of Georgia after one year to come back to her hometown.

“Being able to work side by side with him was definitely a huge draw. I think the bonus is that it’s at home,” Coulter said. “This is a dream job to come back home and be a part of the community you grew up in.”


Though the staff has only been fully working together since early August, Hilbert has given his assistants near full autonomy.

“They know what the right way is, they’re not going to undermine me. They’re smart people and I’m secure enough to know I don’t know everything,” he said. “It makes my job easier and makes our team better to have a lot of people talking about a lot of things.”

Both Botsford and Coulter appreciate the freedom, but understand their roles in the program and don’t want to step beyond them.

“Tom has given us that green light, but I think it’s important to be tentative because I want to be sure I’m never contradicting his philosophy or tactical approach,” Botsford said.

Transitioning to the new coaching staff has been easy for the team because of how well they fit into their positions.

“They’ve taught us so many new things already,” redshirt senior middle blocker Megan Plourde said.

And that’s exactly why Hilbert brought in Coulter and Botsford.

“What you have here is three very strong coaches with great opinions, and the one thing about them is they’re not egotistical. None of us are,” Hilbert said. “We can get in a room and hash out things that we want to talk about and be fortified to the team. There’s great coaching going on in this gym right now.”

Assistant Sports Editor Kyle Grabowski can be reached at

View Comments (9)
More to Discover

Comments (9)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *