In his seventh season as the head coach of the Cal Poly women’s volleyball program, Sam Crosson guided the Mustangs to a 27-3 record last season, the best record in program history, a perfect 16-0 in the Big West to win the program's first conference title in 10 years, an undefeated home record for the first time since 2007, the first time sweeping the season series against Hawai'i since 1985 including the first time Cal Poly beat the Rainbow Wahine at Mott Athletics Center, a 22-match winning streak (the longest in program history), being ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 2008 and the first appearance and win in the NCAA Tournament since 2007.
His 2017 team was the Big West champions after going a perfect 16-0 in conference. Under his tutelage, Cal Poly became one of the most lethal offenses in the country. As a team, they ranked second in the nation in kills per set, fourth in assists per set and seventh in hitting percentage, good for first in all those categories in the Big West. Following the season, the Mustangs' Taylor Nelson was named Big West Player of the Year and a total of seven Mustangs earned All-Big West honors. Crosson was named Big West Coach of the Year along with AVCA Pacific North Coach of the Year.
During the 2016 season, Cal Poly finished with a record of 18-9 and third in the conference standings for a second straight season. Some of the season highlights included a six-match winning streak and a win over No. 19 Western Kentucky. Three players were named All-Conference First Team, including middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald, setter Taylor Nelson, and outside hitter Raeann Greisen. Nelson also earned AVCA All-Region honors, the first Mustang to receive the honor since Jennifer Keddy in 2011. In the spring of 2017, Nelson was one of 12 players selected to the U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team Thailand Tour.
Cal Poly’s 2015 squad went 19-8 overall, a 10-match turnaround from 2014, earned the team a third-place conference finish, which was the best since 2010. Cal Poly landed four players on the All-Big West First Team, including Gruenewald, Nelson and Greisen and outside hitter Adlee Van Winden. Van Winden also won the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year. The 19 victories in 2015 were the most by Cal Poly since the 2010 season. Crosson directed the Mustangs to 11 conference wins in 2015, which were also the most in a single season since 2010.
Cal Poly has collected 26 victories at Mott Athletics Center since the 2014 season.
Entering the 2014 campaign, the Mustangs welcomed a recruiting class that was ranked 23rd nationally by PrepVolleyball.com. Some of those players included Taylor Nelson, Raeann Greisen and Savannah Niemen.
Crosson was named Cal Poly head coach on Jan. 20, 2012 after serving as an assistant coach for two years at California where he was charged with video and statistical analysis, designing offensive and defensive systems and serving as the point person for the development of the program’s setters and middle blockers. In 2010, Crosson assisted the Golden Bears to a program-record 30 victories, a Pac-10 Conference title and a national runner-up NCAA Tournament showing. In 2011, Crosson helped direct Cal to a 26-7 record and another NCAA Tournament appearance.
As the top assistant at Saint Mary’s (2005-09), Crosson was the program’s recruiting coordinator, in addition to planning and executing training sessions and coordinating offensive play. With Crosson, Saint Mary’s achieved a 20-8 mark and qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2008 before finishing 23-5, capturing the program’s first West Coast Conference title and reaching the NCAA Tournament second round in his final 2009 season.
As the recruiting coordinator at Saint Mary’s, Crosson had multiple classes earn honorable mention rankings by PrepVolleyball.com. On the court with Crosson, Saint Mary’s led the West Coast in blocking each season, finished second nationally with 3.82 blocks per set in 2005 and featured a middle blocker on the WCC All-Freshman Team from 2005-07.
Before spending the 2004 season as an assistant at Santa Clara, Crosson served for five seasons as the top men’s assistant coach at his alma mater, Pacific. With the Tigers, Crosson was responsible for recruiting, player development and academic support.
One of the top attackers in program history during his playing career at Pacific (1994-97), Crosson still ranks third all-time in aces (86), fifth in digs (689), sixth in hitting attempts (2,117), seventh in kills (948), 15th in total blocks (218), 17th in kills per set (2.88) and 22nd in total assists (119). Also ranked 14th in Pacific history with 329 sets played, Crosson was voted team Most Valuable Player for the 1997 season.
Crosson graduated from Pacific in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in sports sciences. He then earned his master’s in sports sciences from Pacific in 2005.
As a professional, Crosson played one season for Herentals Volleyball Club in Belgium.
A native of Santa Cruz, Crosson and his wife, Courtney, have two daughters, Makenna and Logan.