Director of Athletics Julie Cromer announced today the hiring of Bobcat coaching great Geoff Carlston as the head of the Ohio Volleyball program. This is Carlston’s second stint at the helm of the Ohio volleyball program, previously holding the title for five seasons from 2003-07.
“We are excited to welcome Geoff and his family back to the Athens community,” Cromer said. “Coach Carlston set the standard for our volleyball program’s success, as indicated by so many of the volleyball banners hanging from the rafters in the Convo. His success here is unmatched and we look forward to his leadership of our team for several years to come.”
Carlston returns to Ohio with a career record of 413-217 (.656) and a 15-12 (.556) NCAA Tournament record.
“Sara and I have always been grateful to be part of the Bobcat family,” Carlston said. “We are so excited to have our three young boys along for the adventure this time. I appreciate Julie for entrusting me to lead the volleyball program and its student athletes into their next chapter.”
While at Ohio, Carlston build a powerhouse in the Mid-American Conference. His squads reached the NCAA Tournament every season and won five straight conference crowns with an overall record of 144-22. The Bobcats won 78 of 80 MAC matches and went 14-1 in the conference tournament with four tourney titles. From Nov. 8, 2003 through Sept. 28, 2007, Carlston’s Bobcats won 64 consecutive MAC matches. His .968 winning percentage against MAC foes is the highest in conference history. He also led a squad to a ranking in the AVCA’s Top 25 for 42 consecutive weeks, including reaching its highest ranking in school history at No. 13 in 2007.
Four Bobcats were named MAC Player of the Year (Lauren Hageman, 2003, Briana Adamovsky, 2004, Julia Winkfield, 2005 and Melissa Griffin, 2007) and a pair were tabbed MAC Freshman of the Year (Amanda Anderson, 2005 and Ellen Herman, 2006). He was named the MAC Coach of the Year four times and was twice named the Mideast Region Coach of the Year.
After leaving Ohio in 2007, Carlston spent 12 years as the head coach at Ohio State. The native Minnesotan has made his mark in the state of Ohio, guiding the Bobcats and the Buckeyes to a combined 12 NCAA Tournament appearances. Carlston’s teams have reached the NCAA ‘Sweet 16’ six times. In his 12 seasons at Ohio State, Carlston went 220-153 (.590)
Academic success has followed Carlston throughout his career as well. Student-athletes receiving academic all-conference recognition has been a common occurrence under Carlston, racking up a total of 99 such awards: 64 Academic All-Big Ten, 25 Academic All-MAC, 10 Academic All-NSIC
During the summer of 2011, Carlston served as head coach of one of the USA A-2 squads that played at the USA Volleyball Open National Championships Women’s Open, finishing second.
Prior to Ohio, Carlston posted a 49-42 record in three seasons at the helm of the Concordia University, St. Paul (Minn.) program. He took the Golden Bears from an 0-18 mark in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference the season before his arrival to a serious run at the league title in 2002. CUSP finished the 2002 campaign with a 24-9 record – its best in Division II competition – and earned its first national ranking during the season. Carlson recruited three consecutive NSIC Freshman of the Year selections to play for the Golden Bears.
In the summer of 2002, Carlston served as coach of a Division II all-star team that played in a tournament in Holland. Competing against the top Dutch college and professional league teams, the group won gold and bronze medals. Before Concordia, Carlston served two seasons as a student assistant coach at Minnesota while completing a master’s degree in social work.
Carlston began his coaching career in 1994 as head coach at Hopkins High School. In his two-year tenure, his teams went 41-17 and captured the Classic Lake Conference title both seasons.
He left the high school ranks for two years of service in Belize as a Peace Corps volunteer but stayed close to the sport, serving as head coach of the Belize women’s national team and as an assistant for the men’s national team. He helped develop a year-round training program and the team finished fourth at the 1997 Central America championship, earning the country’s first international victories.
Upon his return to the United States, Carlston became head coach of the 17’s team of the Minnesota One Junior Olympics club, which competed in the 17 Open Division at USA Nationals three consecutive years under his direction.
In June 1993, Carlston earned his undergraduate degree in speech communication from the University of Minnesota, where he played on the club team for the Gophers. The Plymouth, Minn., native is married to the former Sara Tibesar of St. Paul. The couple has three children.
— Information courtesy of Ohio Athletics