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Montana State tabs Minnesota assistant Matt Houk as next head volleyball coach

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Posted at 2:16 PM, Jan 13, 2023

BOZEMAN — Matt Houk, who spent the past nine seasons at the University of Minnesota, has been named the head volleyball coach at Montana State, the Bobcats announced Friday.

Houk spent the past four seasons as the Gophers' associate head coach. He will be the 12th head coach in MSU volleyball history.

“I am honored to become the next head coach of the Montana State volleyball program,” Houk stated in a press release. “I was impressed with the university and the athletic department the moment I stepped on campus. I would like to thank (athletic director) Leon Costello and his staff for entrusting me to lead the program into the future.

“I believe in the groundwork that has been laid and our ability to progress towards consistently competing for Big Sky championships. My family and I are excited to call Bozeman our home.”

Houk takes over for Cole Aiazzi, who served as MSU's interim head coach after Daniel Jones took a leave of absence during the 2022 campaign. It was announced by MSU in December that Jones would not return to the Bobcats. Montana State went 14-16 overall and 9-7 in the Big Sky Conference this past season.

Houk, who began his stint at Minnesota in the spring of 2014, played an integral role assisting former head coach Hugh McCutcheon, helping the Gophers to three Final Fours, four Elite Eight’s and eight Sweet 16 appearances. During that span, the team captured the 2015 and 2018 Big Ten titles. Houk was also instrumental in recruiting multiple top 10-ranked classes, including the No. 1 overall class in 2020.

“I am extremely excited to welcome Matt to MSU as our new volleyball head coach, along with his wife Jenni and kids Jaeden, Cole, and Jorie,” Costello stated in a press release. “Matt is a highly-regarded teacher and recruiter and is a perfect fit for our program at this time.

“He brings an array of experiences as an NCAA Division I head coach at South Dakota and most recent role of associate head coach at Minnesota -a premier volleyball program- to our department. I look forward to the future of Bobcat Volleyball with Matt at the helm.”

Houk joined Minnesota after a successful six-year stint as head coach at South Dakota. At USD, he saw the Coyotes transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. In his tenure, Houk posted a 97-85 record and accumulated a .533 win percentage, the best in school history.

Prior to his time at South Dakota, Houk was an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay from 2004-06. During his three seasons with the Phoenix, five players were named to the All-Horizon League team and six student-athletes earned academic all-league honors. He began his Division I coaching career at Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2002-03 where the Panthers combined for a 45-19 record with 20-win seasons both years.

A former athlete himself, Houk played Division I baseball at Milwaukee as a shortstop. A native of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Houk graduated in 2002 from Milwaukee where he earned an English degree.

Houk’s wife Jenni was also a member of the Minnesota Golden Gophers volleyball coaching staff. He has three children, Jaeden, Cole and Jorie.