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Stony Brook volleyball unveils Coley Pawlikowski as new head coach

A new chapter has begun for Stony Brook’s volleyball program.

Last Monday, Stony Brook officially unveiled Coley Pawlikoski, a three-time recipient of the American Volleyball Coach’s Association’s Thirty Under 30 award, as the program’s new head coach.

“I’m so excited to be here, if there was one job I could have picked, this was it,” Pawlikowski said. “I think it’s a great fit for me and the program, I think the potential here is awesome.”

Pawlikowski spent the previous season as the top assistant coach at Wisconsin, where she served as the recruiting coordinator and the defensive positions coach. Prior to Wisconsin, she also served as the top assistant coach at her alma mater, Northern Illinois, from 2009 to 2012.

In 2011 she helped lead the Huskies to the Mid-American Conference regular season title, as well as an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Prior to Northern Illinois, she was the head coach at North Park University, a Division III school in Chicago, where she coached for three seasons. After the team went 6-26 the season before she was hired, they went 19-12 in her final season.

Athletic director Jim Fiore said he first heard of Pawlikowski from former Stony Brook volleyball player Rachel Goldsmith, who had played club volleyball with Pawlikowski in the Midwest.

During the process of finding a new head coach, Fiore said that while the school interviewed several candidates, Pawlikowski’s swagger stood out in particular.

“She has a confidence level that is unmatched by lot of people, even on email, you could feel her energy coming through the computer,” Fiore said. “When I finally met her, in five minutes, I knew she was the right person for the job, when she left my office that day, I wanted to tell her to stay.”

Pawlikowski replaces Deb DesLauriers, who was fired on Nov. 15 after coaching the Seawolves for thirteen seasons.

With all of the current team having been recruited by DesLaruriers, Pawlikowski set out to reach out to the players immediately, having phone and text conversations before meeting them for the first time in person on Monday.

“I could just hear from the tone of her voice that she was as excited as we were, probably even more,” junior middle blocker Evann Slaughter said. “She is an amazing person, really high energy and that’s what our team needs.”

Despite the team missing the America East playoffs last year, Pawlikowski has high hopes for her team, which will return most of its core, including Slaughter, as well as freshman Nicole Vogel and Melissa Rigo, the reigning America East rookie of the year.

“I’m excited to see them all, I’m excited about our whole group,” Pawlikowski said. “One of our goals is to maximize our potential as a group.”

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