Gabrielle Houston was named as head coach of the UC Santa Cruz women's volleyball program on August 2nd 2018.
She becomes the 12th head coach in program history. Houston is no stranger to UCSC. Her father James was a Professor of Creative Writing and her sister Cori served as the Banana Slugs' women's soccer coach 1988-95 before becoming the Athletics Director.
Houston comes to UCSC after working the past nine years as the head coach at Cabrillo College. In her tenure at Cabrillo, she amassed a whopping 239-31 record leading the Seahawks to 9 straight Coast Conference Championships, a pair of state titles and reached the Final Four on four occasions. In 2013, her 5th season, Cabrillo won their first-ever CCCAA state championship title and became the first Northern California team in the 36-year history of the CCCAA to win a state championship. She coached 10 All-State players, 8 All-NorCal, 7 Coast Conference MVPs, 18 All-State tournament and 5 All-Americans.
She is also Director of the Main Beach Volleyball Club, one of the top juniors volleyball clubs in Northern California. She has worked with their 16s, 17s and 18s teams.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Director of Athletics Sue Harriman. “After having a nationwide search, we found a person who rose to the top as a women’s volleyball coach. And to have her be local makes it that much sweeter. To have someone who knows the lay of the land is such a positive move.”
Prior to Cabrillo, Gabrielle took over a struggling high school program at Mount Madonna High School (2006 - 2009), a Division 5 school with a coed student population of under 60. Although one of the smallest schools in the state, it competes in a league of schools with enrollment upwards of 1,400 students. In her first year, Gabrielle improved Mt. Madonna's conference standing from last place (2-16 record) to 3rd place in the SCCAL and a first-ever CCS playoff berth. The following season in 2007, Gabrielle guided the tiny school to its firstleague title. With only 9 eligible players, Mt. Madonna took the momentum of a conference championship into the CCS tournament and a CIF State Championship, the first-ever in school history and the first SCCAL team in over 10 years to win a State Title.