July 19, 2018
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame volleyball program and first-year head coach Mike Johnson has announced the promotion of Katie Wilson to associate head coach along with the hires of Jason Borchin as an assistant coach and Katie Walker as volunteer assistant coach.
“With Katie Wilson and Kevin Prendergast (director of operations) returning to the staff and the addition of Jason Borchin and Katie Walker, I am confident that we have a group dedicated towards helping our student-athletes achieve at the highest level both on and off the court," said Johnson. "Collectively, we are committed towards the daily improvement and growth of our players. We will continue to move forward with great focus and intention and I am excited about the future of this program.
“One of the very first lessons [former head coach] Jim [McLaughlin] taught me when I was a young coach was to 'get the right people on the bus,'" said Johnson. "In selecting new staff members to join the program at Notre Dame, we had 3 criteria: (1) We wanted people who would work exceptionally hard. (2) We wanted genuinely good people who understood that coaching is about the players. (3) We needed positive representatives of the University of Notre Dame. I am confident we have found those people in Jason Borchin and Katie Walker.”
Katie Wilson - Associate Head Coach
Wilson earned the promotion to associate head coach after serving as an assistant coach with the Irish for the last three seasons. Wilson has played a major role in the improvement of the Notre Dame program, as the team went from a 7-25 record in 2015 to back-to-back 22-win seasons in 2016 and 2017.
“We are very fortunate to have Katie Wilson as a part of our staff," said Johnson. "Katie has been a crucial part of building this team over the past three years and I am excited to have her by my side as we continue to build for the future. Katie has an exceptional work ethic, is deeply committed and has the trust of our players. She is a wonderful representative of not only our program, but also Notre Dame itself. Katie will be my right hand person and involved with every facet of the program. We embrace the highest expectations at Notre Dame and I can think of no one better to help lead our program than Katie.”
Wilson has worked extensively with the setters over her three years at Notre Dame. The Irish showed tremendous improvement at the position during Wilson's time, as Caroline Holt became the ninth player in Notre Dame history to reach the 2,000-assist milestone in a career despite just playing two seasons with the Irish. Holt was named a second-team All-ACC honoree in 2016.
Wilson has also been instrumental in Notre Dame’s recent success in recruiting. The Irish incoming 2018 class was ranked No. 17 in the country according to PrepVolleyball.com.
Prior to her time at Notre Dame, Wilson was a highly-regarded volleyball head coach at the high school and club ranks in Washington.
Jason Borchin - Assistant Coach
Borchin comes to Notre Dame after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Cal Poly for the last three seasons.
“Jason comes highly recommended from people that I have great respect for," said Johnson. "He has good experience in coaching over the last nine years and impressed us in his dedication toward teaching. He comes to us from a program that I am especially familiar with and at which he has had a lot of success. Jason has an understanding of how we want to play systematically and has a passion for becoming further ingrained with our methodology at Notre Dame. We are excited to welcome him and his wife, Jessie, to South Bend.”
Borchin was instrumental to Cal Poly's success, as the Mustangs made it to the second round of the NCAA Championship and finished the 2017 season with a 27-3 record, including a 16-0 finish in the Big West. Borchin directed an offense that ranked fifth in the nation in hitting percentage and second in kills per set during the 2017 season. Cal Poly also thrived in recruiting with Borchin as the coordinator, recording three top 35 recruiting classes during his tenure.
Prior to his time at Cal Poly's, Borchin was the head sand volleyball coach at Sacramento State for three seasons and was an assistant indoor volleyball coach at the school for five seasons.
Katie Walker - Volunteer Assistant Coach
Walker joins the Irish after spending the past two seasons on staff as an assistant coach at Seattle University.
“Katie is a rarity in college volleyball," said Johnson. "She stepped away from five years of paid collegiate coaching in order to volunteer with us. She has valued long-term learning and growth above immediate compensation. That level of maturity and foresight is something that I admire. We are looking forward to working with Katie and glad to have her here.”
Previously to her stint at Seattle, Walker held an assistant coaching position at Middle Tennessee State during the 2015 season. The Kent, Washington, native got her start in coaching at Northern Kentucky as a graduate assistant for two seasons.
The Irish are coming off a season in which they returned to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2012, finishing 2017 with a record of 22-10. Notre Dame went 12-8 in conference play and had three wins over teams ranked in the top 25.
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