Michael Seemann is in his 11th season at the helm of the Portland State volleyball program in 2017 after spending two seasons as the associate head coach with the Vikings.
Under Seemann’s guidance, the Vikings have reached new heights and advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in school history, during the 2008 season, and then again in 2010. The 2010 Portland State squad became the first in school history to win both the Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament titles.
In his nine seasons at Portland State, Seemann has posted at least 20 wins seven times, compiling an impressive 161-108 (.599) record and a 110-42 (.724) mark in Big Sky matches. He has led the Vikings to Big Sky Conference regular season titles in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 and a pair of conference tournament titles in 2008 and 2010. His Viking squads have been particularly impressive at the Peter W. Stott Center, going 83-26 (.761). The Vikings went 14-4 overall at home in 2013 including a perfect 10-0 home conference mark.
PSU players have also excelled in the classroom over the past nine years, with 66 players being named to the Big Sky Fall All-Academic Team, including a school record 10 in 2010. Additionally, in 2008 and 2009, Erica Jepsen (2006-09) was a first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII honoree. In 2007, Jepsen was a third team pick, while Nique Fradella (2006-09) earned second team honors.
Portland State entered the 2015 season with the youngest roster in the Big Sky Conference. The Vikings returned only four letters of experience from the previous season. The roster included seven freshmen, five sophomores (one a transfer), and just one junior (also a transfer). Portland State had it’s growing pains over the season en route to a 9-19 overall record and a 5-11 mark in Big Sky Conference play.
One of those young players, freshman Jenna Mullen, earned the program’s third Outstanding Freshman of the Year award after leading the Vikings, and all Big Sky freshmen, with 3.08 kills per set. Following the season, Mullen and seven other Vikings were named to the Big Sky Fall All-Academic team.
Seemann faced a tough challenge in 2014, combining a roster of five seniors and six freshmen. The Vikings went 9-20 overall and 7-9 in Big Sky Conference play and made the conference tournament as the six seed. Portland State missed out on the conference tournament match after losing to Northern Colorado. Seemann hit a couple of win milestones in 2014. He picked up his 100th-career Big Sky victory with a 3-2 win over Idaho on Oct. 9. He then picked up his 150th overall victory with a three-set sweep of Montana State on Oct. 25. Following the season senior Cheyne Corrado was named to the All-Big Sky Conference second team while eight players were named to the Big Sky Fall All-Academic team.
Portland State entered the 2013 season as the favorites to win the Big Sky regular season and that is exactly what the Vikings accomplished. Portland State went 21-11 overall and 14-4 in Big Sky play to win their fifth regular season title, second straight, under Seemann. The Vikings played extremely well at the Peter W. Stott Center going 14-4 overall and a perfect 10-0 during conference action. It was the fifth time in seven years Seemann has led the Vikings to a perfect home conference mark. The Vikings cruised through the first round of the Big Sky Tournament as the host and top seed. Portland State unfortunately fell to Idaho State in the championship match.
The Vikings played to Seemann’s philosophy of serving tough and being solid on defense. The Vikings were third in the conference with a .189 opponent hitting percentage and led the league with 204 service aces and a 1.81 ace per set average.
The 2013 squad had six players named to All-Big Sky teams including the Big Sky’s Most Valuable Player in Garyn Schlatter and Libero of the Year in Kasimira “Kasi” Clark. Schlatter became the first player in conference history to be named to the All-Big Sky First Team all four years. She was also one of five active players in 2013 to have 3,000 career assists, 800 career digs, and 500 career kills as she had career marks of 4,481 assists, 1011 digs, and 560 kills.
The 2012 season added a new challenge for Seemann with an expanded Big Sky Conference that added North Dakota and Southern Utah. That did not stop Seemann from leading the Vikings to their fifth 20-plus-win season and fourth Big Sky regular season championship in the last six years. The Vikings also went a perfect 10-0 in conference play at the Stott Center. PSU entered the Big Sky Tournament as the top seed but fell to host Northern Colorado in the semifinals to finish the season 21-11, matching the Vikings’ best win total in Division I history.
The Vikings were once again one of the best defensive teams in the Big Sky. They led the conference in digs per set with a mark of 17.15, nearly two more than the next best team. The Vikings also led the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.165) and service aces (1.43 aces per set).
Portland State added some new players to the starting lineup in 2012 that really paid dividends. Junior transfer Jaklyn Wheeler finished second in the conference in kills per set (3.81) and was named the conference’s Top Newcomer.
Kasimira “Kasi” Clark moved into the role of the libero for the Vikings and put together one of the best defensive seasons in Portland State history setting the PSU all-time record in single-season digs with 635. She was also named the league’s Libero of the Year. Wheeler and junior setter Garyn Schlatter were named to the Big Sky All-Conference first team while Clark and senior outside hitter Megan Ellis were named honorable mentions.
The 2011 campaign posed arguably the toughest challenge for Seemann over his tenure at PSU as he welcomed six freshmen, tied for the most in school history. The Vikings finished second in the regular season, one match behind Northern Colorado with a conference record of 12-4. After taking care of Sacramento State in four sets in the Big Sky Tournament semifinal, Portland State fell to the Bears in the final to finish 18-13 overall on the season.
Following the 2011 season, four Vikings earned Big Sky All-Conference honors. Megan Ellis and Garyn Schlatter both earned first team honors while Katie O’Brien and Aubrey Mitchell were honorable mentions. Ellis and Schlatter both tallied double-digit double-double performances on the season while O’Brien led the conference in blocks per set with a mark of 1.35. The Vikings put together two five-match winning streaks and won 10 of their last 12 matches of the season.
In 2010, Seemann led Portland State to a 21-9 overall record and 14-2 league mark on his way to being named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year. The Vikings advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time in his tenure, where they lost to No. 7 Hawai`i in Seattle. PSU had the Rainbow Wahine on the ropes throughout much of the first set, and held a late 21-20 lead, before falling, 25-23.
The Vikings were again dominant at home in 2010, going 8-0 in league play and 11-2 overall. Also, for the second straight year, a Portland State player was named the Big Sky MVP after senior outside hitter Whitney Phillips garnered the award. Freshman setter Garyn Schlatter joined Phillips on the All-Big Sky first team and was also named the Big Sky Outstanding Freshman. Two other Vikings received all-league honors as senior middle blocker Lana Zielke was a second team pick and senior middle blocker/outside hitter Christie Hamilton was named honorable mention.
In 2009, Seemann’s squad went 21-8 and captured the Big Sky regular season championship by going 14-2. The Vikings closed out the regular season by winning their final nine conference matches, including eight via the sweep. PSU’s 25-set winning streak was their longest in their NCAA Division I era and the third-longest in school history. Overall, the Vikings had a 10-match winning streak at one point to set a new school record at the DI level.
Seemann’s players brought home some major hardware at the end of 2009. Senior setter Nique Fradella was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year and junior outside hitter Whitney Phillips was also a unanimous pick to the all-conference first team. Senior middle blocker Erica Jepsen was named to the second team and also was voted to the prestigious ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII first team for the second straight year.
The 2009 Vikings led the Big Sky in opponent hitting percentage, assists and kills, while ranking 20th nationally in the latter two categories. PSU players won five conference player of the week awards, while Phillips was named to four all-tournament teams and Fradella to three. Phillips finished the season ranked fifth in the country in kills and sixth in points, and Fradella was 15th in assists per set.
In 2008, Portland State started the year 12-3 and opened up conference play 5-0. They eventually concluded the year 20-9 and 11-5 in league to finish second. Despite losing their final two regular season conference matches, Seemann led the Vikings to a pair of wins in the conference tourney as they knocked off Northern Colorado, 3-0, and top-seeded Eastern Washington, 3-1. That propelled the Viks into the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in school history, where they eventually fell to fifth-ranked Washington in Seattle.
Three of Seemann’s players earned all-conference awards, including Marija Vojnovic garnering first team accolades, and junior Erica Jepsen became the first player in program history to earn first team Academic All-District VIII honors at the Division I level.
Seemann’s ‘08 team led the Big Sky in opponent hitting percentage and digs. The Vikings’ back row defense was one of the best in the country as their 17.24 digs per set average was the 17th-best mark in the nation.
It didn’t take long for Seemann to put his mark on the program in his first year in 2007 as he led the Vikings to their first-ever Big Sky regular season championship and to the title match of the conference tournament for the first time ever. The Vikings went undefeated in 10 home matches at the Stott Center and finished the season 21-8, making it the third-straight 20-win season.
Seemann was elevated to head coach on June 14, 2007, and wasted little time in guiding the Vikings to what was then their best season since making the jump to Division I in 1996.
Two of Seemann’s players earned all-conference honors, including Michelle Segun to the first team and Nique Fradella to the second team, and PSU players earned Big Sky Player of the Week honors on four separate occasions. In addition, Marija Vojnovic and Jennifer Oney both were named to the All-Big Sky Tournament team.
The squad led the conference in blocks, opponent hitting percentage and service aces, and ranked second in assists, kills and digs. Segun led the Big Sky in blocks, averaging 1.71 per set, while Vojnovic was the conference leader in service aces with a 0.49 per set average. Segun also ranked in the top 10 of hitting percentage, points per set and kills, Vojnovic finished in the top 10 in kills and points, and Fradella finished second in assists per set.
When Seemann arrived at Portland State in 2005 as the associate head coach, he immediately laid the foundation for the Vikings’ future by bringing in three players – Fradella, Jepsen and Vojnovic – that would start all four years of their career. Fradella went on to become the first PSU player to ever win all-conference honors four times, Vojnovic was a three-time all-league player and Jepsen left ranking second all-time in total blocks during the Vikings’ DI era.
While the 2007 season was Seemann’s first as a head coach at the Division I level, he had extensive head coaching experience at the community college and club levels.
Seemann’s impressive resume includes two national championships coaching 16U and 17U club teams, two Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Coach of the Year Awards, and two NWAACC Championships, just to state a few of his impressive accomplishments.
In 2010, Seemann guided the NW Juniors Air Max squad to the national title in the 18-Under American Division at the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships in Reno. For their efforts, the squad was named one of four recipients of the George Pasero Team of the Year award at the 59th annual Oregon Sports Awards.
Before coming to Portland State, Seemann was an assistant coach at Oregon State University for three seasons (2002-04), where he worked primarily with the setters and outside hitters and coached two athletes to All-Pac-10 Conference honors. Seemann was also the coordinator and the budget administrator for team travel and fundraising.
Seemann had one of his most successful head coaching experiences at Mt. Hood Community College, where he coached from 1998-2001. He led Mt. Hood to back-to-back NWAACC Championships in 2000 and 2001 and was named the NWAACC Coach of the Year both seasons. In the four years he was the head coach, he compiled an overall record of 118-20 (.850). He also had two players receive All-America honors and 11 go on to compete for NCAA or NAIA universities.
Seemann’s resume also includes coaching a Nike Juniors Volleyball Club team from 1999-2002 and again in 2005 to the present. His club teams have had great success on the national platform at the National Volleyball Festival where they had a third-place finish in 2000, a second-place finish in 2001, and national championships in 2006 and 2007.
In 2004, Seemann became one of the co-founders of the Columbia Empire Region High Performance team, where he designed and held tryouts for the USA Volleyball affiliate team. His team had a top-five finish at both the 2004 National High Performance Tournament and the 2005 Global Challenge.
Seemann got his first break into the college coaching ranks as the head coach at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where he served for three seasons (1995-97). He led the Lumberjacks to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference regional championship in 1997 and coached two players to all-region honors and one to regional MVP. At Northland College, Seemann also served as an instructor.
As a player, Seemann competed for numerous club teams from Wisconsin to California.
Seemann graduated from Portland State in 1999, with a degree in communication studies.