Just the third head coach in the storied legacy of Green Bay women's basketball, Matt Bollant has turned in historic season after historic season in his five seasons at the helm of the Phoenix program.
Bollant has compiled an impressive 85-5 record in the Horizon League and an overall mark of 148-19 while guiding Green Bay to four NCAA tournaments and one WNIT. He is the fastest coach in school history to win 100 games and the Phoenix is a staggering 65-4 in the past two seasons with back-to-back 30-win seasons.
In the 2011-12 season, after losing co-Horizon League Players of the Year Kayla Tetschlag and Celeste Hoewisch from a Sweet 16 team, Bollant may have turned in the best coaching job of his tenure. Bollant led the team to a 31-2 record, a 14th-straight Horizon League regular season title and the Horizon League tournament title and was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year for the fourth time. The Phoenix has also been ranked as high as ninth in each of the national polls in addition to going undefeated (12-0) on the road and nonconference play (13-0) for the first time in program history.
Green Bay has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in four-straight NCAA Tournaments and two consecutive appearances in second round play under Bollant. The Phoenix head coach has led his team to a 4-4 record in eight games in the tournament.
As a No. 5 seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, its highest seed in program history, Bollant led Green Bay to its first Sweet 16 appearance with a 59-55 win over No. 12 seed UALR in the first round before knocking off No. 4 seed Michigan State in the second round with a 65-56 victory.
A fixture in both national polls throughout the 2010-11 season, in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Top 25 rankings Green Bay finished a program-best at No. 9 while topping the mid-major poll rankings throughout the season. For the first time in program history Green Bay finished the season 4-0 against Big Ten opponents (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan St.), outscoring the teams by an average of 11 points per contest.
During the 2009-10 campaign, Green Bay became the youngest team in program history to reach the NCAA tournament while earning the first ever Horizon League at-large bid. Bollant led the Phoenix to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a thrilling 69-67 win over No. 5 seed Virginia, the highest seed Green Bay has ever beaten in the tournament.
In the second round, Green Bay led the majority of the contest against No. 4 seed Iowa State only to come up short (56-60). The respect and admiration the Phoenix earned on the national stage was unmatched as Green Bay was the second youngest team in the field of 64, behind powerhouse Tennessee.
The Phoenix also won its 12th straight regular-season Horizon League championship in 2009-10, extending the nation's longest active streak. Green Bay also picked up strong non-conference wins over NCAA tournament teams Wisconsin and DePaul, as well as Marquette. As a result, the Phoenix (28-5) rose as high as No. 14 in the coaches poll during the year, the highest ranking in school history.
During his second season with the Phoenix, Bollant helped Green Bay become the first team in league history to win 18 conference games. Bollant's efforts earned him Horizon League Coach of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. The 2008-09 team went 29-4 and made an appearance in the 2009 NCAA tournament. Bollant was also recognized by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association as the Division I Coach of the Year.
In his first season with Green Bay, Bollant guided the Phoenix to a 26-6 record and the program's 11th straight postseason berth, a spot in the WNIT and a Horizon League Championship with a 17-1 record in league play. For his efforts, Bollant garnered Horizon League co-Coach of the Year accolades.
Further successes of the 2007-08 season include the team's NCAA statistical championship in three-point field goal percentage, the team's 13-game winning streak late in the season, a 15-2 home record and the team's finest defensive performance in 14 seasons when the Phoenix held Northern Arizona to just 27 points on Dec. 15. For his career, Bollant boasts an impressive 249-52 record in eight seasons as a collegiate head coach for a stellar .827 winning percentage.
Bollant arrived in Titletown following five seasons at Bryan (Tenn.) College. In his five seasons as the program's mentor, Bollant posted a 134-36 record (.788 winning percentage) with the Lady Lions at the NAIA level.
Under Bollant's watch, Bryan made NAIA national tournament appearances in each of the last four seasons. The team advanced as far as the Sweet 16 in 2005-06 with a 26-8 record. During his first campaign with Bryan in 2002-03, Bollant guided the squad to a team-record 29 wins while appearing in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national tournament.
No stranger to the national polls in his own right, Bollant guided the Lady Lions to the NAIA top 25 national rankings four straight years, peaking at No. 11 at the end of the 2006-07 season.
Along the way, Bollant mentored four Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Year honorees in five years: Brittany Swanson (2006 and 2007) and Liz Bass (2003 and 2004).
Bollant also instilled the importance of academic success at Bryan. His teams posted an overall grade point average of 3.1 or higher all five seasons, with 40 percent of his players earning academic all-conference honors.
Also of note, Bollant served as the chair for the NCCAA Mideast Region from 2004-07.
Prior to his appointment at Bryan, Bollant served as an assistant coach for former Green Bay women's
basketball standout Kathi Bennett at Indiana University for two seasons and at the University of Evansville for three years. Bennett is the daughter of former Green Bay men's basketball coach Dick Bennett.
Bollant and Indiana made back-to-back postseason appearances with the team's trip to the NCAA tournament in 2002 and the WNIT in 2001. The 2002 squad won the Big Ten tournament for the only time in Indiana history.
As an assistant for Bennett at Evansville, Bollant aided his mentor in turning the Purple Aces program from a struggling one into a conference champion. After just six victories and one Missouri Valley Conference win in 1997-98, Evansville rallied to claim the MVC tournament title the following year and make its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
Evansville then went on to go 23-7 in 1999-00, setting a school record for victories and making a trip to the WNIT. In that season, Bollant assisted the Aces in a 72-50 win over Green Bay in Evansville.
Bollant got his head coaching start at Tigerton (Wis.) High School, where he led the Tigers to an impressive 63-10 record over three years, including a 22-1 mark during the 1996-97 campaign. His teams won Central Wisconsin Conference-Small School titles each of those three seasons.
While still in college in 1992, Bollant served as the varsity and junior varsity head coach of Deeper Life Academy in the Philippines, where both teams combined for a 15-1 record.
A 1994 graduate of Winona State (Minn.) University with a degree in business education, Bollant also has a master's degree in education from American Intercontinental University. Born March 13, 1971, Bollant and his wife, Kari, have two daughters: Abi (12), and Regan (10). The family resides in Green Bay.
Bollant named head women's basketball coach at Green Bay