March 21, 2014
THE FLATS – Michelle Collier, the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year after leading Jacksonville to an NCAA Tournament appearance, has been named head volleyball coach at Georgia Tech. Athletic director Mike Bobinski made the announcement Friday morning.
In just two years at Jacksonville, Collier (full name pronounced Michelle-E Col-e-Ay) helped develop the Dolphins into the A-Sun’s dominant program. Last fall, Jacksonville posted a 30-4 overall record and earned the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004.
“We’re excited to welcome Michelle Collier to Georgia Tech as our new head volleyball coach,” Bobinski said. “Michelle has experienced significant success as both a coach and player and brings an exceptional understanding of high level volleyball along with an appreciation for Georgia Tech. While we were fortunate to have an outstanding group of candidates, it was clear that Michelle was the ideal choice to lead our program to success in the years ahead.”
Collier is the eighth head volleyball coach in Georgia Tech history.
“I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead a well-respected and proven volleyball program like Georgia Tech,” Collier said. “I would like to thank athletic director Mike Bobinski, SWA Theresa Wenzel, and the whole search committee for trusting me and believing in the vision and philosophy that I will bring to the program. I am excited to start working with a wonderful group of young women, and together work hard to achieve our goals for the program on and off the court.”
Collier coached both the sand volleyball and indoor volleyball programs at Jacksonville in 2012 and 2013. During her two years with the Dolphins, they improved their RPI by more than 50 combined points and enjoyed their highest ranking in nearly a decade. Her 2013 team swept the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships and her players dominated the league’s individual postseason awards.
Prior to her tenure at Jacksonville, Collier served two seasons (July, 2010-February, 2012) as an assistant coach at South Carolina, including a three-month stint as the Gamecocks’ temporary head coach. In 2011, Collier helped the Gamecocks to a seven-win improvement which ranked as second-best jump in school history. The Gamecocks improved in nearly every category, including posting a hitting percentage 45 points better than in 2010.
Before working at South Carolina, Collier spent two seasons as an assistant at South Florida, where she was responsible for the outside hitters and headed up international recruiting. She helped the Bulls to finishes in the top half of Big East Conference each year, while raising their RPI by 100 points.
As a student-athlete at USF, Collier ranks among the greatest collegiate volleyball players of all-time. She ranks fifth in NCAA Division I history with 2,729 career kills and ranks in the Bulls’ top-10 in numerous career and single-season categories. She holds the top spot in USF history in two career categories (kills and digs, 1,747) and set three single-season marks during the 2000 season. After coming back from an injury that sidelined her in 1999, Collier compiled 760 kills, 1,873 attacks and 6.28 kills per set.
A two-time Conference USA Player of the Year and a 2002 All-American, she claimed the league’s Player of the Decade in 2004. She also earned the C-USA Freshman of the Year award in 1998 and led USF to three of the program’s seven NCAA Tournament appearances. USF went 120-48 during her three years, claiming two C-USA titles and one C-USA tournament crown during her four-year career. Collier is the only volleyball player in USF history to have her jersey retired. She joined the USF Hall of Fame in its 2011, the first Bulls volleyball player to earn that honor.
Before coaching, Collier played professional volleyball for four years in a global tour that took her to Cyprus, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, Spain and The Netherlands. Among the many accolades that she accumulated include the Indonesian League MVP and Cyprus’ Best Foreign Player.
Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Collier graduated from USF in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in web design and international relations.
Collier is married to Rafael Silva, who played volleyball for nine years in the top divisions of both Brazil and Spain. The couple has one daughter, Tais Collier Silva, and one son, Rafael.
Collier’s Coaching Timeline
2014- Head coach, Georgia Tech
2012-2013 – Head coach, Jacksonville University
2010-2011 – Assistant coach, South Carolina
2008-2009 – Assistant coach, USF
2007-2010 – Head coach, Tampa Bay Juniors Volleyball Club
1999-2002 – Head Coach Tampa Bay Juniors Volleyball Club
Collier’s Playing Timeline
1998-2002 – University of South Florida
2003-2006 – Professional volleyball in Spain, Netherlands, Cyprus, Indonesia and Puerto Rico
Collier’s Education Timeline
2002, B.A., Interdisciplinary social sciences, University of South Florida