February 6, 2024

Guided Grand Canyon University to WAC Championship, NCAA Tournament last season

EVANSTON, Ill. (February 6, 2024) – Tim Nollan, who has spent the last eight seasons as head coach at Grand Canyon University, has been named head volleyball coach at Northwestern University, Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Dr. Derrick Gragg announced on Tuesday.

"Tim is a proven coach who transformed Grand Canyon into a championship program following successful stops at USC and Pepperdine," said Gragg. "He's a winner and is the right fit to deliver a first-class experience to our student-athletes while leading our volleyball program in one of the nation's premier conferences. I couldn't be happier to officially welcome Tim, Kristen, Avery, Emma, and Deacon to the Wildcat family."

"I would like to say thank you to Dr. Gragg and his leadership team for their belief in my vision for Northwestern volleyball," said Nollan. "I am excited to build a program that reflects the elite standards of Northwestern University. It is a world-class institution in a world-class city and my family and I are excited to be part of it. Go 'Cats!"

Nollan engineered one of the nation's great turnarounds in leading Grand Canyon to unprecedented levels of success during his stay in Phoenix, Ariz., piloting the Lopes to a 95-36 (.725) mark over the past five seasons. After guiding the program to its first postseason win in the 2022 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC), he raised the bar this past season, leading Grand Canyon to a 23-8 overall finish that saw the Lopes upset top-seeded Stephen F. Austin to win the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament title and secure the program's first-ever berth to the NCAA Tournament.

While at Grand Canyon, Nollan mentored 24 All-WAC honorees, a group highlighted by eight specialty award winners. Tatum Parrott enjoyed a dominant sophomore campaign this past season, finishing in the top 10 on the NCAA leaderboards in both points per set (7th; 5.44 p/s) and kills per set (9th; 4.67 k/s) on the way to being named Grand Canyon's first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American. The 2023 campaign also saw Klaire Mitchell bring home her third WAC Setter of the Year award, in addition to a fourth consecutive First Team All-WAC nod. Nollan's teams have featured multiple First Team All-WAC honorees in each of the last four seasons.

The Lopes have also excelled in the classroom during Nollan's tenure, seeing 24 student-athletes earn Academic All-WAC accolades.

Prior to his arrival at Grand Canyon, Nollan enjoyed an eight-year stint at the University of Southern California (USC) from 2008-15, the last five of which came as the program's associate head coach. The Trojans advanced to three NCAA Final Fours and appeared in six NCAA Elite Eights. Nollan aided in the development of 17 AVCA All-Americans, including AVCA Division I Players of the Year Alex Jupiter (2011) and Samantha Bricio (2015).

Nollan's influence was evident on the recruiting front while at USC, with five classes ranked in the top 10 nationally. The Trojans' 2010 class was ranked first by PrepVolleyball.com, while both the 2013 and 2014 classes were ranked second by the outlet.

Before landing at USC, Nollan served as an assistant coach for four seasons at Pepperdine University (2004-07), making three appearances in the NCAA Tournament while with the Waves, highlighted by a trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2005. His recruiting prowess was again on full display, landing a trio of top-10 recruiting classes, including the seventh-ranked class in the country in 2006, according to PrepVolleyball.com. 

Nollan cut his teeth in the collegiate coaching ranks as a volunteer assistant coach at USC during the 2003 season, featuring as part of a staff that led the Trojans to a second straight NCAA National Championship. He also has experience coaching at both the club and high school levels, most notably leading Club Troy to a bronze medal at the 2012 Junior Olympics.

A native of Ventura, Calif., Nollan earned his bachelor's degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 2000 before securing a master's degree from Pepperdine University in Educational Technology in 2007.

Nollan and his wife, Kristen, are parents to two daughters, Avery and Emma, and a son, Deacon.