Gina Schmidt took over as head coach of the Simon Fraser University volleyball program in March of 2013.
Schmidt wasted no time turning the program around. In just her first season at the helm, she led her team to an 11-13 overall record following three seasons that saw the Clan only pick up four wins or less. Two of Schmidt’s players, outside hitter Kelsey Robinson and middle blocker Madeline Hait received Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-conference honourable mentions.
In 2014, Schmidt gave SFU its first winning season since joining the NCAA when the team finished 17-9 overall, 11-7 in GNAC play. That year, the Clan had an impressive 10-3 record at home in the West Gym. Madeline Hait was named to the all-conference first team.
Continuing to build on the success, Simon Fraser finished with a 15-13 record in 2015, including 11 wins in conference action. Libero Alison McKay was selected all-conference first team and the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, the program’s first major post-season award in five years of competition in the NCAA. Middle blocker Tessa May was an all-conference honourable mention. Following the end of the season, McKay earned a spot on the Canadian Senior National volleyball team.
2016 was a historic season for Schmidt and her squad. The Clan completed the season with an unprecedented 21-8 (.724) record and the team placed third in the GNAC with a 14-6 mark. The overall record was good enough to earn SFU its first trip to the Division II Championship, where the team fell to Northwest Nazarene in the quarterfinal of the West Region tournament. Alison McKay defended her title as the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year and was once again selected to the all-conference first team. On top of that, she was named to the D2CCA & AVCA All-West Region and All-American teams. McKay was joined on the All-GNAC first team by setter Tamara Nipp and middle blocker Tessa May. Outside hitter Emma Jennings was given all-conference honourable mention.
A native of Beaverlodge, AB, Schmidt was the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Montana prior to joining SFU. In her five years at Montana, she helped the Grizzlies to a 45-35 record in league games and three Big Sky Conference tournament appearances. Over the years, she has spent time guest coaching with the Canadian Youth and Senior National Teams and continues to coach at volleyball camps and academies in Canada and the US.
As a player, Schmidt earned a Business degree while playing in the Pac-10 Conference for the NCAA Division I Oregon State Beavers. She was a member of the Canadian National Team for several years and also played professionally in the top divisions of France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland as both a hitter and a setter. read more...