Last season, Matt Sonnichsen's squad finished 13-20 overall, finishing ninth in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) with a 2-14 record, after battling through a number of early season injuries to the starting unit. The 13 wins marks the second consecutive season the Louisiana Tech program has exceeded 10 wins and are a solid indication of the programs turnaround since the 2008 season, when the Lady Techsters finished with a 4-24 record. The 2010 squad increased the program's year end RPI by over 30 positions.
Entering his 13th season as an NCAA head coach, Sonnichsen has posted a 172-181 (.487) record, winning 20 or more matches on three occasions and has led his teams to five winning seasons. He enters his fourth season at the helm of the Louisiana Tech volleyball program, posting a 32-62 overall record. In his short time at Louisiana Tech, Sonnichsen has increased the team's annual GPA, significantly raised the program's NCAA Academic APR, while steadily climbing the national RPI for NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball.
Prior to joining the Louisiana Tech staff, Sonnichsen spent one season at Newberry College where he played in an integral role in perhaps one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of the South Atlantic Conference. After the Lady Indians finished 4-30 in 2006, Sonnichsen's 2007 squad finished with a 19-9 overall record and a fourth place finish in the league. The 19 wins marked the most in program history since Newberry joined the NCAA in 1991.
In the winter of 2006, Sonnichsen was the first coach from the mainland of the USA to be a head coach in the Puerto Rican Women's Professional Volleyball League with the Guaynabo Mets. While experiencing the unique environment of coaching professional volleyball under the FIVB rules, Sonnichsen had the opportunity to coach athletes from Cuba, Puerto Rico and former All American players from Nebraska and Long Beach State. After his experience in Puerto Rico, Sonnichsen was the top assistant coach at the University of California at Santa Barbara. While at UCSB, he was responsible for team training, international student-athlete recruitment and team travel.
Perhaps his most impressive coaching stint was during his eight seasons at Tulsa where he compiled a 121-110 (.524) record, leading the Golden Hurricanes to three 20-win seasons. During his tenure at TU, his teams established numerous school records, including the best start in school history (11-0 in 2000). Although the Golden Hurricanes accomplished many feats on the court, they excelled in the classroom as well. Under Sonnichsen's direction, his players earned AVCA Academic All-America honors as a team for five consecutive years (1999-2003). Sonnichsen left TU following the 2005 season and remains the winningest coach in school history. Before entering the coaching field, the Spring, Texas native was a standout four-year letterwinner at UCLA, where he was a three-time all-American setter and led the Bruins to NCAA Championships in both 1987 and 1989, including being named the MVP of the 1989 National Championship. After competing with the U.S. Senior National Team at the 1990 Goodwill Games and an international tour of Japan, along with a domestic tour with Russia, he went on to play professionally for four years (1992-95) on the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tour. In addition, Sonnichsen won two indoor Swiss Volleyball Championships playing for Lausanne and Nafels, and participated in two European Championship tournaments competing in France, Slovenia and Romania.
Sonnichsen earned his bachelor's degree in economics from UCLA in 1989. He is married to the former Stacy Smith, and they have one daughter, Jane.