In 2011, Sam Crosson completed his second year as an assistant coach for the Golden Bears after a first season in Berkeley that absolutely exceeded any expectations. During the 2010 spring and fall seasons, Crosson was instrumental in changing the systems of Cal Volleyball. That change helped power the Bears to their best season in program history - winning a share of the Pac-10 Conference title and finishing the season as national runners-up - both for the first time in Berkeley.
Hired on Feb. 16, 2010, Crosson came to Berkeley after spending five seasons as the top assistant coach at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif.
With the Golden Bears, Crosson is responsible for video and statistical analysis, designing the offense as well as defensive systems. Additionally, Crosson is the point person on player development, specifically setters and middle blockers. His volleyball prowess has paid dividends at each of his stops.
In his first year in Berkeley in 2010, Crosson's newly implemented systems powered the Bears to their best season in program history. Cal tallied its first Pac-10 Conference title, notched the most wins in school history (30), advanced to its first-ever NCAA title match and had two first-team All-Americans in the same season in Carli Lloyd and Tarah Murrey. Additionally, Lloyd was named as Cal's first American Volleyball Coaches' Association Player of the Year, thanks in no small part to the coaching of Rich Feller, Crosson and Chris Bigelow.
The 2011 season saw the Bears achieve the first No. 1 national ranking, a mark they held for four weeks, spending all 13 weeks ranked as one of the top-10 teams in the country. Murrey earned second-team All-American status while both Murrey and Shannon Hawari were named to the Pacific Region team.
Crosson's accomplishments with the Bears in his first season came as no surprise after the success he found just miles away in Moraga with Saint Mary's. Mandy Bible was a three-time West Coast Conference first-teamer and closed her career as the all-time Gael leader in assists, assists per game, aces and second in block assists. Crosson also oversaw the development of Kapua Kamana'o, who was a three-time All-WCC pick, as well as Missy White during her freshman and sophomore seasons.
In 2009, Crosson helped guide Saint Mary's to its second consecutive 20-win season as the Gaels posted the second-best record in program history at 23-5. Saint Mary's logged a perfect 13-0 mark at home and set new school records with an 11-match winning streak and a 13-1 record in West Coast Conference matches to net the program's first-ever WCC title. Saint Mary's made its fifth appearance in the NCAA tournament and nearly took out Pac-10 champion Stanford in the second round.
Crosson's responsibilities as the top assistant for the Gaels included serving as the recruiting coordinator, planning and executing practices, coordinating the offense during matches, providing video and statistical analysis of practice and matches, and player development, including technical training for setters and middle blockers. Crosson was responsible for bringing in some of the top recruiting classes in Saint Mary's history. From 2006-09, his classes were selected for high honorable mention by PrepVolleyball.com and included some of the top talent in the country.
While he was at Saint Mary's, the Gaels led the WCC in blocking each year and were second in the nation in blocks per set (3.82 bps) in 2005. In each of his first three seasons, a middle blocker under his tutelage was selected to the WCC All-Freshman Team (Shannon Lowell, 2007; Megan Burton, 2006; and Brittany Barker, 2005). In 2008, after the Gaels produced a 20-9 record to reach the NCAA tournament, Saint Mary's put both starting middle blockers on the all-conference team.
Prior to his time at Saint Mary's, Crosson spent the 2004 season as a volunteer assistant with the Santa Clara women's volleyball team. Before joining the coaching ranks in collegiate women's volleyball, Crosson spent five years as the top assistant coach for the men's team at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. While at Pacific, Crosson was responsible for recruiting, player development, video and statistical analysis and assisted in academic support.
As a player at Pacific, Crosson was part of four of the most successful seasons in Tiger volleyball history. He was a four-year letterman and earned team co-MVP honors in 1997. He is ranked in the top 10 in every statistical category and holds the number two spots in career digs (689), digs in a single season (274) and service aces (86). After his collegiate career, Crosson played one season as a professional for Herentals Volleyball Club in Belgium.
Crosson received a bachelor's degree in sports sciences at Pacific in 1997 and later earned a master's degree from Pacific in sports sciences in 2005. A native of Santa Cruz, Calif., Crosson now resides in San Ramon, Calif. with his wife Courtney Miller, three-year-old daughter Makenna and daughter Logan, born this past November.