Harold J. Solomon IV
After serving as an assistant coach to the FGCU beach volleyball team for five seasons, Chris Sweat has been promoted to head coach of the program. Sweat’s promotion comes after being named to VolleyballMag.com’s Under 40 Coaching Hotshots list earlier this week.
“During my five years as an assistant, I saw Matt’s vision and watched this program elevate to new heights,” Sweat said. “I am beyond ecstatic and so humbled to have the opportunity to lead this program and continue what has been built over the years.
Sweat will be taking over for Matt Botsford, who will be moving into more of a director role seeing over both the indoor and outdoor programs while maintaining the role of head coach of the indoor volleyball team.
“This is an exciting moment for our beach volleyball program as we transition into a new stage of growth,” Botsford said. “Elevating him to the head coaching position keeps us on the right path, and in fact, I expect it will allow us to accomplish a lot more moving forward. FGCU beach volleyball is in great hands with Chris leading the way.”
As an assistant coach, Sweat has been instrumental to the growth of the beach program at FGCU, helping to lead the Eagles to a 63-41 record since losing the first nine matches of his tenure. The streak started with wins in four of the final six matches of his opening season in 2014, and he has had a winning record each year since.
In only his second year, Sweat helped lead FGCU to its first winning season, which included a third-place finish in the ASUN tournament. The 2017 season produced a program-record 15 wins and a runner-up postseason finish. In 2018, the team tied the 15-win record, earned its first win over a ranked team over No.15 ranked FAU and earned the No. 2 seed in the ASUN Championship for the first time. This past season, the team won a best-ever 18 games while finishing as runner-up in the ASUN tournament, nearly knocking off nationally ranked No. 8 Stetson in the finals.
The FGCU beach volleyball team will look to have the same success with Sweat as head coach as it opens the 2020 spring season on March 6-7 in St. Petersburg with Eckerd College’s Battle on the Bay.