Tom Smart, Deseret News
BYU coach Rob Neilson urges his team on as the BYU men's volleyball team is defeated by UC Santa Barbara 3-1 Saturday, April 23, 2011, in Provo, Utah.

BYU men’s volleyball coach Rob Neilson was named associate head coach, the program announced Thursday.

“This change more accurately represents Rob's role and assignments within our program, and the profound level to which he contributes to our success,” head coach Chris McGown said. “He's one of the best coaches in the country — energetic, committed and knowledgeable, with a tremendous work ethic. He has a great vision for how athletics combine with the unique ideals of BYU, and he continues to help drive our team forward.”

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Neilson, previously an assistant coach for the Cougars, has been with the team since 2007. He served as interim head coach of the team in 2011 prior to becoming an assistant coach under McGown. As interim head coach, Neilson coached the Cougars to a 20-8 overall record and No. 5 final national ranking.

As a player, Neilson was BYU’s starting setter during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, earning All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Honorable Mention and Academic All-MPSF accolades both seasons. He was also a member of the 2004 national championship team.

In 2014, Neilson helped coach the Cougars to a 21-9 overall record, their second straight league regular season and tournament titles, a spot in the NCAA tournament and a No. 3 final ranking.

Rachel Hawks is the men's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.