Stony Brook University Director of Athletics Jim Fiore has named former Wisconsin assistant coach Coley Pawlikowski as the new Seawolves volleyball head coach. A rising star in the collegiate volleyball coaching ranks and a tenacious recruiter of student-athletes, Pawlikowski is a three-time recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 award.
“We are thrilled to have found a head volleyball coach who has an incredible amount of energy, embodies our five descriptive words — commitment, passion, pride, respect, swagger — and is constantly motivated to achieve success,” Fiore said. “Coach Pawlikowski is one of collegiate volleyball’s rising coaching stars, and she’s proven that she can recruit at the highest level. Her attributes and her vision will help our volleyball program become an annual contender for the America East Championship and beyond.”
Pawlikowski spent 2012 as the top assistant coach at Wisconsin, serving as recruiting coordinator and working as the defensive position coach. She assisted in the continued recruitment and commitment of the No. 1 recruit in the entire nation, as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com, for their Class of 2013. She also was responsible for seeking out and signing a 2013 Under Armour High School All-American, one of three high school All-Americans that UW secured for 2013. Her on-court work helped Wisconsin lead the Big Ten in digs per set as a team and boast the individual digs champion, Annmarie Hickey, who averaged 4.93 digs per set.
Pawlikowski also served as Wisconsin’s academic and strength and conditioning liaison, assisting camp director, assistant scheduling coordinator and represented the team in post home match radio interviews.
“I am extremely excited and thankful toward Jim Fiore, his administrative team, the search committee and entire Stony Brook community for the opportunity to coach at one of the premier institutions in the country,” Pawlikowski said. “I was truly drawn to the support, commitment and passion from the department and know this will be an incredible partnership for many years to come. Stony Brook Athletics has made monumental strides nationally over the past several years, and our best days are still to come. I am thrilled to now be a part of the upward trajectory and assist the women’s volleyball program to attain our goals.
“I am excited for the challenge of continuing to build Stony Brook Volleyball and add to the strong foundation in place as we work toward becoming a championship contender in the America East Conference. Most importantly, I look forward to connecting with my players, assisting them toward reaching their goals on and off the court, and serving as a strong role model.”
Prior to the one season at Wisconsin, Pawlikowski was the top assistant coach at her alma mater Northern Illinois (NIU) from 2009 to 2012, where she helped lead the Huskies to the 2011 Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular season championship and an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies went 14-2 in the MAC and 28-7 overall, which included a 15-match winning streak.
At Northern Illinois, Pawlikowski was the program’s recruiting coordinator and was responsible for the recruitment of Lauren Wicinski, NIU’s first-ever high school All-American recruit who went on to become the first-ever simultaneous MAC Player and Rookie of the Year in 2010 and two-time All-American.
In addition to successfully building a national recruiting base, Pawlikowski also served as the team’s defensive position coach, fundraising coordinator, assistant camp director and alumni liaison. As defensive position coach, she mentored Maddie Hughes, who went on to become the 2009 MAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Not only did Pawlikowski have a successful run as a Div. I assistant coach, but she also has head coaching experience at the Div. III level, having served as head coach at North Park University in Chicago for three seasons. At North Park, she handled all aspects of the program, including recruiting, training, scheduling, budgets, equipment and academics, turning a program around that was 6-26 the year before she was hired to 19-12 in her final season. She earned her first AVCA Thirty Under 30 award for her efforts in turning the North Park program around.
Pawlikowski also has more than a decade of experience working club volleyball. She was club administrator/head coach for the Kane County Jrs. VBS in Batavia, Illinois, where she was responsible for recruiting, scheduling and hiring.
Pawlikowski played three seasons at Northern Illinois, where she was a three-year defensive specialist starter and helped the Huskies win the 2001 MAC title and advance to the NCAA Tournament. After leaving Northern Illinois due to medical hardship, she played her final year of eligibility at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois, captaining the 2003 team and earning All-Conference and Team MVP honors. Pawlikowski then returned to Northern Illinois, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies in 2004.