Summer Camp Director

Thanh Pham, Head Coach at the University of St. Thomas and Camp Director

Thanh Pham, a 2012 NCAA champion coach, is starting his 16th season as Tommie head volleyball coach in 2018. His St. Thomas squads were ranked in the AVCA Top-25 for 120 of 121 consecutive polls from 2005-2015 and have been a conference, regional and national force. 

Pham guided St. Thomas to three consecutive trips to the eight-team nationals from 2010-2012, capped by its first national championship in 2012. A 3-2, comeback victory over Calvin (Mich.) let the Tommies became the first MIAC institution to capture the national volleyball crown. Adding to the task, a record 3,517 fans in Holland, Mich., were almost all supporting local favorite Calvin. St. Thomas became just the fifth NCAA team at any level to rally from a 2-0 games deficit to claim the championship in the final match.

Pham has coached 18 All-Americas in his 16 seasons. Three of his former players are now head coaches in the conference – All-Americans Jane Becker (neé Gibbs) at Augsburg, Rachelle Sherden (neé Dosch) at Gustavus and Emily Foster at St. Olaf.

Pham, who has 20 years of college coaching experience in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), was named UST head coach in April 2003. His 15-year record with the Tommies is 398-106, including 11 MIAC titles and 12 NCAA playoff berths.

Pham, a 1997 Augsburg College graduate, coached seven seasons in the Auggies' program. He was an assistant coach as an undergraduate from 1994-97, then was Augsburg's Interim and Co-Head Coach from 1998-2000. He also competed for three seasons in the Auggies' nationally-renown wrestling program.

Pham has also worked as a Junior Olympic coach for more than a dozen seasons, the latter years as head coach at Minnesota One and of the Wayzata 17-1s. He also has served as the Wayzata Middle School volleyball coach, and has a background as a camp instructor and clinician. He has a master's degree from St. Mary's University in Minneapolis, and previously worked as a math teacher in the Wayzata school district.


Through the Years:
St. Thomas broke a long NCAA playoff drought in 2005 as it advanced to the region finals in a 30-7 finish. Pham's team won all 15 matches vs. conference foes and swept the MIAC regular-season and playoff titles. UST was ranked in the top 20 most of the season. Erika Wetzel earned All-America honors -- the third player in three seasons under Pham to receive the honor.

The 2006 Tommies finished 29-7, returned to the NCAA playoffs and were ranked 11th in the final Division III poll, led by senior All-American Rachelle Dosch. They placed third in the MIAC.

The 2007 Toms came within an eyelash of a trip the national quarterfinals as they lost 15-13 in game five to NCAA runner-up UW-Whitewater. The Tommies’ 28-5 record included a 14-0 record vs. conference foes. Junior Katie McCaffrey received All-America honors, and Pham was named NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year.

In 2008, the Toms lost a five-set decision in the NCAA playoffs and finished 28-3, including a 14-0 mark against conference foes. McCaffrey repeated as All-American, and sophomore setter Emily Foster also made the All-American team.

UST shared the conference championship and returned to the NCAA regional finals in 2009 with a 26-8 finish. Emily Foster was named conference Player of the Year and repeated as All-American.

St. Thomas shared the MIAC championship in 2010. In the regional tournament, UST went 9-0 in sets and after a previous 0-6 all-time record in regional championship games won the gold trophy and claimed St. Thomas’ first-ever national finals appearance. UST (31-7) won 26 of its last 30 matches before heading into the national tournament in St. Louis, with all six defeats coming to teams with 28 or more victories.

St. Thomas shared the MIAC championship again in 2011 – the first program in conference history to win five consecutive championships. The Toms went 3-0 in the regional playoffs to earn a repeat trip to St. Louis for the eight-team nationals. UST closed No. 7 in the final national poll.

Five times in the last decade, UST has received a team academic award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) for having a team grade-point average above 3.30 for a school year. Kelly Foley was voted a CoSIDA Academic All-America in 2013. Recent graduate Kia Johnson won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship.

(NOTE: Thanh's name is pronounced TANG FAMM).