Mike Hebert

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Mike Hebert
Personal information
Born United States
Hometown Long Beach, California, United States
College(s) University of California, Santa Barbara
Indiana University
Coaching information
Previous teams coached
Years Teams
Pittsburgh men's/women's head coach
New Mexico women's head coach
Illinois women's head coach
Minnesota women's head coach
Best results
Years Location Result




EAIAW Regional Championship
EAIAW Regional Championship
Big Ten Championship

NCAA National Championship
Big Ten Championship
NCAA National Championship
Big Ten Championship
Big Ten Championship
Big Ten Championship
NCAA National Championship
NCAA National Championship

NCAA National Championship


Last updated: December 19, 2010

Mike Hebert is a retired American volleyball coach.

He coached since 1976 and in his career, he coached Pittsburgh men and women's team, New Mexico women's team, Illinois women's team, and Minnesota women's team. He announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2010 season.

Early life[edit]

Hebert is a native of Long Beach, California and attended college at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also played on the indoor squad.

In the mid 1970s, after being in the Peace Corps in Nigeria, he returned to the United States and received his PhD in philosophy of education at Indiana.

In 1975 he received a call to be the women's head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, but he declined because he didn't know how women played.[1] The university called back a month later and asked him to reconsider, when he accepted the job offer for $1,500.

Head coaching history[edit]

1976–1979: Pittsburgh[edit]

Hebert began his coaching career at the University of Pittsburgh, where he compiled a 128–53 mark with the women’s team and a 60–21 record as the men’s coach. He led the women's team to two EAIAW championships and two appearances in the AIAW National Championships.[2] During his tenure, he won the EAIAW Eastern Region Coach of the Year award in 1978 and 1979.

1980–1982: New Mexico[edit]

Hebert coached the women’s team at New Mexico, notching a 60–57 record and advancing to the NCAA regionals in 1981 with a 26–17 record.

1983–1995 Illinois[edit]

At Illinois, Hebert led the Fighting Illini to two NCAA Final Four appearances (1987 & 1988) and four Big Ten titles. During the 1988 season, Illinois became the first volleyball team east of the Mississippi River to be rated No. 1 in the nation.

Hebert coached Mary Eggers from 1985–1988, who was the Big Ten Player of the Year for three consecutive years, as well as Nancy Brookhart, who shared the honor with Eggers in 1987. It remains the only time that a co-Big Ten Player of the Year was shared with two players on the same team.

In 1985, Hebert received the American Volleyball Coaches Association highest honor, as he was named the National Coach of the Year. From 1985–1988, Hebert was the president of the AVCA.

1996–2011: Minnesota[edit]

At Minnesota, Hebert led the Gophers to one Big Ten title (2002), and three NCAA Final Four appearances in 2003, 2004 and 2009. He has coached two Big Ten Players of the Year, Nicole Branagh (2000) and Cassie Busse (2004). In 2004, Hebert led Minnesota to the program's first ever national championship match, finishing as national runners-up. Briefly in 2004, the Gophers were ranked #1 in the coaches poll, the first time in program history that Minnesota claimed the top spot.

In Hebert’s 15 years at Minnesota, the Gophers are 381–137, 211–89 in the Big Ten and have participated in 11 NCAA Tournaments.

Hebert has produced two Olympians, Lindsey Berg, who made Olympic appearances in 2004 and 2008 for the indoor team, and Nicole Branagh, who appeared in the 2008 Olympics with Elaine Youngs for beach volleyball.

In 2006, Hebert was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame.[3]

International coaching[edit]

In the summer of 2003, Hebert coached the U.S. National Team to a bronze medal at the Pan American Games.

Hebert served as head coach of the U.S. women’s team competing at the 1991 World University Games in Sheffield, England. The USA women’s team also competed in the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba. Hebert traveled to the 1989 Canada Cup and 1990 Cuba Cup as part of a series of assignments with the U.S. National Team.


Hebert received his bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1966, and his Ph.D. in philosophy of education from Indiana in 1974. He is the author of two books, including a 1993 co-written autobiography (with Dave Johnson) titled The Fire Still Burns. Hebert and his wife Sherry reside in Minneapolis. Hebert has two daughters, Becky and Hillary.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2006 – AVCA Hall of Fame induction
  • 2003 – Volleyball Magazine National Coach of the Year
  • 2002 – AVCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year, Big Ten Coach of the Year
  • 1999 – AVCA District II Coach of the Year, Big Ten Coach of the Year (Minn.)
  • 1988 – Big Ten Coach of the Year (Ill.)
  • 1986 – Big Ten Coach of the Year (Ill.)
  • 1985 – AVCA National Coach of the Year (Ill.)
  • 1980 – Intermountain Conference Coach of the Year (New Mex.)
  • 1979 – EAIAW Eastern Region Coach of the Year (Pitt)
  • 1978 – EAIAW Eastern Region Coach of the Year (Pitt)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A living legend
  2. ^ Duck, Sophia, ed. (2009). Pitt Women's Volleyball 2009 Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. p. 56. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  3. ^ AVCA announces Hall of Fame class