SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Olivia Simko, former AVCA All-American volleyball player from UC Santa Barbara, has been named an assistant coach with the Cal Poly program.
The announcement was made Wednesday by first-year head volleyball coach Sam Crosson and Cal Poly director of athletics Don Oberhelman. Simko, formally Olivia Waldowski, joins Caroline Walters on the Cal Poly coaching staff.
"The opportunity to come to Cal Poly and be part of the program means a tremendous amount to me, I know my knowledge of the game will be stretched and strengthened under the direction of coach Crosson."
Added Crosson, "We are very excited and honored that Olivia has decided to join our staff here at Cal Poly. Her enthusiasm, knowledge of the game, and attention to detail will be great assets for our program as we continue to move forward. Her playing experience, competitiveness, and selfless attitude are a great fit into what being a Mustang is all about"
Simko was a four-time all-conference player at UCSB including co-freshman of the year, twice first-team selection and AVCA All-American honorable mention in 2006.
As a senior at UCSB, Simko tallied 3.48 kills per set while hitting .394 as a middle blocker. That same year she averaged nearly of a block a set (0.96).
Prior to her tenure at UCSB, Simko redshirted her freshman season at the University of Nebraska in 2002 under coach John Cook.
Following her collegiate career she spent three years as a tournament player with the Association of Volleyball Professionals. She reached her highest ranking, 60th, during the 2009 season.
During the 2008 season, Simko teamed with partner Kari Pestolesi, to finish 17th at the World University Beach Volleyball Championships in Hamburg, Germany as a member of Team USA.
While at Irvine High School, Simko garnered Sea View League Co-MVP honors and was named to the All-CIF Division I First Team and was named Female Athlete of the Year for Orange County in 2002. She was ranked 16th by Volleyball Magazine's "Fab 50" list.
Simko graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in global studies in 2007 and married John Simko in 2012.