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The Spartan volleyball program celebrated its 2015 season on Sunday at the Kellogg Center.
2015 marked Mike Gawlik's 11th year as part of the Michigan State volleyball program, and his first as the Associate Head Coach of the Spartans. He was an assistant for nine years after one year as a volunteer coach, and his 11-year working relationship with Cathy George has provided MSU nearly unprecedented continuity on its sideline. Together, they have brought MSU to the NCAA Tournament in nine of their 11 seasons, with three trips to the Sweet 16.
Gawlik started with the program in the fall of 2005 as a volunteer assistant coach and was elevated to a full-time assistant position the following year. His primary responsibility on the MSU staff is the mentoring of the defensive specialists. He also assists with the blockers on the team and specializes as a defensive coordinator for the Spartan coaching staff.
Under Gawlik's tutelage, libero Kori Moster was one of the most decorated players in program history. A two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-America selection, Moster was selected for the 2014 USA Volleyball Collegiate National Team. She graduated as MSU's career digs leader and third all-time in the Big Ten.
Gawlik has impacted many players in addition to Moster, and has been a primary catalyst for the Spartans' play on the back line. Prior to Moster, Gawlik tutored libero Allyson Karaba (2007-10). After seeing scarce playing time during her freshman year as a walk-on, Gawlik helped the sophomore tally 518 digs on the season, second-most in a single season in school history. She also ranked third in single-season school history with 4.39 digs per set, and she did so with scoring being reduced from 30 points to 25 points per set. Karaba ended her career trailing only Nicole Colaluca on both lists, an athlete that Gawlik also mentored in his time at MSU.
In February of 2010, Gawlik was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) "Thirty Under 30" list. The award honors 30 up-and-coming volleyball coaches each year, who are under the age of 30, for their hard work and dedication to the sport of volleyball. Gawlik currently serves as the liaison between the AVCA and the assistant coaches throughout the Big Ten Conference.
Gawlik accepted an invitation to coach with the USA Senior Women's A2 program in Dallas in the summer of 2013, which provided him an opportunity to work with some of the top talent in the United States.
Gawlik has coached at collegiate-level volleyball camps, including Michigan State and Nebraska. He also served as a head coach for the Sports Performance Volleyball Club Summer Camp from 2000-04. He plays a significant role as a member of the MSU summer camp staff, assisting with session planning and budget assessment.
A four-year letterwinner and two-year captain at the University of the Pacific, Gawlik was a four-year starter at setter and libero for the Tigers, graduating in 2005 with school records in games played (382) and digs (849). He was a 2003 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Conference selection, was named a Strength and Conditioning All-American (2005), and earned the Student of the Year Award (2005) for sports science majors.
Gawlik, who earned a Master's degree in athletic administration from MSU in 2011, resides in East Lansing with his wife, Katie.