Felix Hou, a coaching veteran of over 30 years who has had stops at Power 5 programs such as Maryland, Miami and Pittsburgh, has been named an assistant coach for the FGCU volleyball program.
“Felix has a well-earned reputation as being one of the country’s top trainers and volleyball minds,” FGCU head coach Matt Botsford said. “The contributions he has made to the programs that he has worked with throughout his collegiate career demonstrate what an asset he is. Having coached against Felix in the past, I have seen close-up the positive impact that he has on teams and am eager to finally be on the same side. I think his strengths will complement our team perfectly and our players will immediately benefit from his expertise.”
Over the past six years, Hou has served as a club volleyball coach in Orlando, most recently as the head coach for the 15 Rox Game Points Volleyball Club team over the past year.
Hou most recently coached at the collegiate level as the associate head coach for Florida International from 2013-15. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach for Pittsburgh in 2012 following four years at Miami, where he worked specifically on formulating and directing training programs, along with scouting and developing game strategies. In addition, Hou served as the recruiting coordinator and helped the Hurricanes advance to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
In addition to those stops, Hou also held two assistant coaching stints at Maryland (1995-99, 2003-08), where he aided the program to six NCAA second round appearances and four ACC Championships over a nine-year span. He was on the sidelines with the Terrapins in 1997 when they captured an undefeated 25-0 regular season.
Hou served as the head coach for UMBC from 1999-2002 in between his time at Maryland. While there, he guided the team to a 19-13 record and the Northeast Conference (NEC) title in 2000 en route to being named the NEC Coach of the Year. The squad repeated as conference champions in 2001. UMBC tallied a combined 69-52 overall record and 32-5 conference mark in Hou’s four years at the helm.
Not just limited to NCAA volleyball coaching, How was also the head coach of Iceland’s National Volleyball team from 1991-93, leading the squad to a second-place finish in the Europe Small Countries Tournament in his first season. The team also placed third in both the Small Countries Olympic Games and the North Europe countries Tournament in 1992.
Hou began his coaching career in 1986 as the head coach of the Beijing August-First Volleyball Club. In his first season, the squad won the China National Cup and Munich German Tournament. He was later named the head coach of China’s Women’s Youth team (1986-88), Iceland University’s men’s and women’s teams (1988-91) and Columbia Volleyball Club (1995-97).
On top of that, Hou played for the Chinese Men’s National Team for seven years and was awarded the China Player of the Year accolade twice. He assisted his team to first-place finishes in the Asian Championship (1979), Asian Games (1982) and the International Sport Military Council (CISM) (1982). His team qualified for the Olympics in 1980 but boycotted the events.
Hou earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Shanghai Physical Education Institute in 1986.
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Matt Botsford is entering his eighth season as head coach of the FGCU women’s volleyball program in 2021 after being hired on Feb. 10, 2014. In his tenure, Botsford-led teams have compiled a 157-53 (.748) record overall, including an 81-19 (.810) record in ASUN play. Including this past year’s unprecedented spring season, he has taken the program to heights it has not seen in the Division-I era (2007-present) – registering at least 20 wins overall in five of the past six seasons and at least 10 wins in conference play every season. In 2018, he led the program to its first regular season championship since 2012 (fourth overall) and its first-ever ASUN tournament title, NCAA tournament appearance, NCAA tournament win and victory over a ranked team. His first two campaigns resulted in ASUN regular season runner-up finishes, and the following two saw the Eagles advance to the tournament championship and now the team has won three straight regular season titles, including a division title and ASUN tournament runner-up finish in the spring 2021 season. On Sept. 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set win over Indiana in Alico Arena, which signified the program’s first-ever win over a team from a Power-5 conference. In 2018, he led the team to a win over Miami (Fla.) – the program’s first-ever road Power-5 win, and the Eagles followed that up with a straight-set win over the Hurricanes at a neutral site in 2019.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 13+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 23 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, and 2020 Fall semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.