THE FLATS – Georgia Tech volleyball head coach Michelle Collier, who has led the Yellow Jackets to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances – including only the second Elite Eight berth in program history last fall – has signed a two-year contract extension that stretches her contract through the 2026 season, Tech announced on Friday.
“We are proud and fortunate to have one of the very best volleyball coaches in the country in Michelle Collier,” Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury said. “She has built Georgia Tech volleyball into a national player and she develops the student-athletes in her program into extraordinary women in all phases of their lives. I am thrilled that she will remain our head coach for years to come.”
Entering her ninth season as Georgia Tech’s head coach in 2022, Collier has overseen the transformation of the Yellow Jackets’ volleyball program into a national power, particularly over the past three seasons. In 2019, Tech went 24-8 overall, finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference (its best ACC finish since 2004) and won the National Invitational Volleyball Championship. Despite the challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, Collier led the Jackets to a 14-5 overall record in 2020-21, their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2009 and, with a 3-1 first-round triumph over Lipscomb, their first NCAA Tournament win since 2004.
Just five months later, the Yellow Jackets embarked on their 2021 season and put together one of the best campaigns in school history. Tech went 26-6 overall, picked up four wins over nationally ranked teams along the way – including a triumph at No. 2 Pitt – and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for only the second time in program history (first since 2003). Four of the Yellow Jackets’ six defeats came at the hands of teams that advanced to the Final Four.
Collier has coached four Yellow Jackets to American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) all-America honors in her eight seasons at Georgia Tech, highlighted by Julia Bergmann and Mariana Brambilla, who earned recognition after each of the last two seasons, including first-team honors for both in 2021. Prior to ’21, there had only been one first-team all-American in Atlantic Coast Conference history (Tech’s Kele Eveland in 2003).
Individually, Collier is a two-time AVCA East Coast Region Coach of the Year (2019 and 2021) and was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2019. Her 126 career victories and .623 winning percentage (152-92 overall record) both rank third in Georgia Tech history.
“I am honored with the opportunity to continue to lead our program and represent the Institute,” said Collier. “I’m very grateful to (Georgia Tech) President (Ángel) Cabrera, Todd Stansbury and (Georgia Tech senior associate A.D.) Joeleen Akin for their trust and support of our vision of continuing to be one of the top teams in the country, competing for championships at the highest levels and developing our players on and off the court. I’m proud of the journey over the last eight years and thankful for every staff member and player who has been a part of it. Our work together has led us to where we are, and I’m looking forward to a future where our core values of EXCELLENCE, ENERGY, EVOLUTION and EVERLASTING will continue to be pursued and represented in our daily actions. Let’s go Tech!”
Prior to her arrival at Tech in 2014, Collier spent two seasons as the head coach at Jacksonville University (2012-13), where she led the Dolphins to a 30-4 record and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years in 2013. She was named the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year.
She previously served as an assistant coach at South Carolina (2010-11) and her alma mater, USF (2008-09).
A Recife, Brazil native, Collier was one of the top volleyball student-athletes in NCAA history as an outside hitter at USF from 1998-2002. A two-time Conference USA Player of the Year and 2002 all-American, Collier ranks fifth in NCAA Division I history with 2,729 career kills. She was named C-USA’s Player of the Decade in 2004 after helping lead USF to three of its seven all-time NCAA Tournament appearances. She is the only player in USF volleyball history to have her jersey retired and, in 2011, became the first volleyball player inducted to the USF Hall of Fame.
She 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 as a pro, she was named the Indonesian League MVP and Cyprus’ Best Foreign Player during the course of her four-year professional career.
Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Collier graduated from USF in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in web design and international relations. She and her husband, Rafael Silva (who played volleyball for nine years in the top divisions of both Brazil and Spain) have a daughter, Tais, and a son, Rafael.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.