The 11th head coach in Gamecock Volleyball history, Scott Swanson looks to continue building the South Carolina program into a national contender entering his fifth season in Columbia.
Last season under Swanson’s guidance, the Gamecocks posted a 17-14 record, which included seven SEC wins, the program’s most since 2008. Libero Mikaela Christiaansen set the program record for most digs in a single season with 535, while middle blocker Darian Dozier set single-season rally scoring era school records for total blocks (141) and block assists (127). The Gamecocks also turned in another strong year in the classroom, as a league-best 12 players made the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
During the 2013 season, outside hitter Juliette Thévenin became just the second Gamecock in school history to earn AVCA All-America honors as she was named honorable mention All-American. Thévenin was also a first-team AVCA All-Southeast Region and All-SEC selection as she left the program ranked in the top 10 in six career categories.
Swanson guided the Gamecocks to an 18-14 record in 2012, the program's second winning season in the last decade. South Carolina got off to a program-best 13-0 start and improved its hitting percentage for a second straight season, ranking second in the SEC with a percentage of .255, an improvement of 29 points from the previous year. Théveinin garnered second-team All-SEC honors after she ranked second in SEC play with 4.40 kills per set and 4.81 points per set, becoming the first Gamecock since 2008 to receive an All-SEC award.
In Swanson's first season, the Gamecocks went 14-16 and improved its offensive efficiency and its backline defense under his guidance. The team led the SEC with a 16.78 digs average, the best mark in four years for the Gamecocks, and hit .226, a 45-point improvement from the 2011 season. Three times, South Carolina student-athletes garnered an SEC weekly award, with Thévenin picking up the first offensive listing and Paige Wheeler twice gaining the defensive certificate.
Swanson's teams have also proved themselves in the classroom, earning the Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14. A total of 13 Gamecocks made the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2013-14, 15 in 2012-13 and 13 received the honor in 2011-12. The team also claimed the department's Life Skills Team of the Year award in 2011-12, honoring the group for its academic achievements, personal development and work in the community.
Prior to his current head coaching job, Swanson spent five years on the sidelines for the Golden Gophers, helping the team to five-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a 125-46 record. Three times, Minnesota finished second in the Big Ten behind perennial power Penn State. The 2009 team advanced to the national semifinals in the NCAA Tournament.
During his tenure in Minneapolis, Swanson helped the Golden Gophers become an elite blocking team. In five years, Minnesota never ranked lower than 35th in NCAA Division I in blocks. The 2007 team set a program record with 3.54 blocks per set. Five Golden Gophers earned All-America accolades during those five years, including 2009 first-team middle blocker and 2012 US National Team pool member Lauren Gibbemeyer.
Swanson also led the Gophers' recruiting efforts, posting three top-10 recruiting classes according to PrepVolleyball.com. The 2009 group earned top honors from the outlet.
The summer of 2009, Swanson spent time with USA Volleyball's A-2 Junior National Team, and he coached the USA Red team to a second-place showing in the 2008 USA Adult Open Championships.
Swanson brings in four years of head coaching experience to Columbia after his tenure at the University of Texas-El Paso. With a 50-61 career record, Swanson had the team on the brink of the NCAA Tournament in 2005, when the Miners went 21-10. Three player earned all-conference honors under Swanson's tutelage, including honorable mention All-American Kari Stacy. He also inked a high school All-American and saw his team improve in the classroom to a department-best 3.2 GPA in 2005.
Prior to UTEP, Swanson spent six years at his alma mater, Arizona State. He helped the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances during his time in Tempe and coached one second-team All-American and two Pac-10 All-Freshman Team players. Two of his Sun Devil players garnered Academic All-America certificates as well.
Swanson started his coaching career at Mountain View (Ariz.) High School, working as an assistant with the varsity team and leading his junior varsity group to a 17-1 record. As a head coach with the Arizona East Valley Juniors club, he led a 16-1s team to a national runner-up finish and earned Cactus Region Coach of the Year honors. He also served as head coach at Camelback High School before landing the job with Arizona State, where he also played club volleyball.
A graduate of ASU, Swanson is married to the former Erin Meier. The couple has two daughters, Rylee Sue and Haylen Rae.
Swanson's Employment Timeline
Swanson's Education Timeline