Behind Regional MVP Lexi Erwin's double-double (23 kills, 16 digs), U-M clinched the program's first-ever Final Four appearance with a 20-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 victory over second-ranked Stanford.
Wolverine head coach Mark Rosen enters his 15th season at Michigan in 2013, having firmly established the Wolverines in the national spotlight by guiding the team to its first national semifinal appearance in school history in 2012. He coached U-M to its first Elite Eight appearance in school history in 2009 and has appeared in five Sweet 16s in the past six years (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012). The longest tenured coach in program history, Rosen's .619 winning percentage at Michigan ranks first among the program's head coaches. He is one of only two current Big Ten head coaches to guide his team to the NCAA Tournament in 12 of the last 14 seasons, with Rosen's Wolverines advancing to the second round or better in nine of those 12 trips.
Rosen led Michigan to its first NCAA national semifinal appearance in 2012 after defeating Michigan State in the Sweet 16 and No. 2 Stanford in the Elite Eight in Berkeley, Calif. The Wolverines finished the season with a 27-12 record, going 11-9 in Big Ten contests. Juniors Jennifer Cross (third team) and Lexi Erwin (honorable mention) earned AVCA All-America honors, while both were selected to the All-Big Ten team. Erwin also was named to the NCAA Division I Volleyball All-Tournament team after she had a match-high 26 kills in Michigan's five-set loss in the national semifinal to Texas, who would go on to win the national championship. Michigan finished the season ranked fifth in the AVCA poll, the highest ranking the Wolverines have ever received.
In 2011, the Wolverines weathered a tough Big Ten schedule to advance to their fourth NCAA Sweet 16 in the past five years. U-M knocked off Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before defeating No. 6 Stanford in Palo Alto to move on to the round of 16. Michigan finished the campaign with a 22-13 record and freshman setter Lexi Dannemiller was named to the All-Big Ten freshman team.
The Wolverines strung together back-to-back (2009, 2010) fourth-place finishes in the Big Ten, considered the most competitive volleyball conference in the country. The fourth-place finish marks the highest finishes during Rosen's time with the Maize and Blue.
U-M went 23-10 in 2010, earning the program's fifth consecutive NCAA bid before falling to No. 11 Washington in the first round. The Wolverines went 12-1 at Cliff Keen Arena, setting a new program best for average attendance at 1,504 fans per contest. Lexi Zimmerman and Alex Hunt were both named All-Big Ten, while Zimmerman was a second team All-America selection and Hunt garnered third-team honors. Zimmerman also became the first volleyball player to earn the DAC's Michigan College Athlete of the Year honor.
Michigan reached new heights in 2009, reaching the Elite Eight for the first time in program history and closing with a 27-10 overall record, the most wins during Rosen's tenure. The Wolverines knocked off No. 3 Nebraska to start the year, marking the first time U-M has knocked off a top-five opponent, setting the tone for the season. The Wolverines rose all the way to No. 6 in the national polls after a 10-0 start.
The Wolverines went 12-8 during the Big Ten season, tying for fourth place in the competitive Big Ten. U-M hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Round of 16 for the third consecutive season after wins over Niagara and Ohio. The Wolverines knocked off No. 4 Stanford in Palo Alto in the round of 16 before falling to No. 3 Hawai'i in the regional final.
Following the successful season, the individual accolades began to pour in for the Maize and Blue. U-M had two All-Americans in Zimmerman (first team) and Juliana Paz (third team). Zimmerman's first-team honor marked the first time a Michigan player was named to the first team. Both Paz and Zimmerman were All-Big Ten first-team selections, with Alex Hunt garnering honorable mention.
Rosen, coming off his most successful season at Michigan, was selected as one of two head coaches for the U.S. Women's National A2 Program in the spring of 2010, leading his Blue team to the title with a 6-1 record.
Rosen has topped the 20-win mark in nine of his last 10 seasons and has suffered just two losing seasons in his entire head coaching career, leading his teams to 30-win seasons on five occasions and 20-win seasons in 14 of 20 career campaigns.
The 2008 season was a banner year for the Wolverines as Rosen led the team to a then-personal-best 26 wins -- tying the second highest win total in Wolverine volleyball history and the most victories since 1981. Rosen became the winningest coach in program history in 2008 when he notched victory number 178 versus Purdue (Oct. 10, 2008) passing Sandy Vong for the top spot among U-M coaches. Rosen didn't stop there, guiding Michigan to a new program mark for winning percentage (.743) with a 26-9 record. Michigan tied a program record with its third-straight 13-0 start in 2008, highlighted by four straight tournament championships to begin the season.
The Wolverines reaped the rewards of their record season with Zimmerman (unanimous All-Big Ten selection), Beth Karpiak (honorable mention All-Big Ten) and Hunt (All-Big Ten Freshman Team) earning postseason accolades. Zimmerman went on to earn AVCA All-Mideast Region and second team All-America accolades, becoming the first Wolverine to earn higher than a third-team honor.
Rosen has vaulted the Wolverines to national prominence, with U-M receiving votes or being ranked in the AVCA Top 25 for the entire 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 campaigns. Rosen helped U-M crack the AVCA Top 25 poll for the first time in program history in his first week on the Wolverine bench in 1999. Michigan remained in the top 25 for five consecutive weeks, peaking at No. 18 and earning the program's second bid to the NCAA Tournament and the first since 1997. In 2000, Michigan made its first appearance in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Preseason Top 25 poll, ranking 24th in the country.
No stranger to success, Rosen led Northern Michigan to a national championship as a first-year head coach in 1994, posting 20 or more wins eight times. He led Cal-State Bakersfield (1992-93) to a regional final and the Division II finals in his first two seasons as a head coach before joining Northern Michigan in 1994. Rosen helped guide Northern Michigan to another berth in the Division II finals in 1995, followed by a pair of semifinals before taking over the head coaching duties at Boise State in 1998 where he led the Broncos to an 18-9 record and second place in the Big West Conference.
Rosen has coached Michigan's five AVCA All-Americans (Erin Moore, Paz, Zimmerman, Hunt and Cross) and all six of the Wolverines' AVCA All-Mideast Region honorees (Moore, Erin Bruzdzinski, Paz, Zimmerman, Hunt and Cross). Rosen has had 13 honorees on All-Big Ten squads, one Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, one Mideast Region Freshman of the Year and 27 student-athletes earning 51 Academic All-Big Ten honors, with Moore earning CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2003 and Stesha Selsky picking up All-District honors in 2007.
Rosen heads one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the conference with associate head coach Leisa Rosen (1991 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and one of Sports Illustrated's 50 greatest sports figures of the 20th century from Alaska) and former Illinois All-American Erin Virtue on the bench. The Rosen's have coached together since 1998 and this stability has helped them take Michigan to the next level and make the Wolverines a fixture in the NCAA Tournament.
Rosen made a splash in his inaugural season with the Wolverines in 1999 when Michigan upset No. 7 BYU, 3-0 in the opening match of the season. They went on to sweep Toledo and Georgia 3-0 in the Outback Steakhouse Invitational in Athens, Ga., and debuted in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll for the first time in program history. Michigan remained in the top 25 for five consecutive weeks, peaking at No. 18 after downing No. 18 Ohio State.
The Wolverines earned their first bid to the NCAA Tournament under Rosen and just its second bid in program history. Michigan defeated Fairfield in the opening round of the tournament but fell to Pacific in five games in the second round. In 2000, Michigan made its first appearance in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Preseason Top 25 poll, ranking 24th in the country and advanced to its second-straight NCAA Tournament, pushing past Louisville in the first round before falling to Arizona.
A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Rosen earned a bachelor's degree in physical education with a minor in biology from California State University at Northridge (1985) where he was a three-time varsity volleyball letterwinner. Rosen holds memberships in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and the U.S. Volleyball Association.
Rosen is married to Wolverine associate head coach Leisa (Wissler) Rosen. The couple has two sons, Brady and Cameron.