Know Your Coach: Beth Launiere


University of Utah head coach Beth Launiere talks with the Utes during a timeout in an NCAA Volleyball match vs. the UCLA Bruins at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


The University of Utah is home to some of the best athletic coaches in the country. Beth Launiere has been at the helm of Utah Volleyball for over 30 years now. Her record of 588-370 speaks for itself and shows the impact she has had on this Utah program.

Last season, she led the team to one of the most successful seasons in school history that included the fourth Sweet 16 berth in program history. In addition, she was named the Pac-12 Coach of the year after the team finished their season with a 24-10 record. She was also awarded the AVCA West Region Coach of the Year for the fourth time since taking over this Utah program.

Launiere coached a program-record four AVCA All-Americans on last year’s team—Dani Drews, Berkeley Oblad, Kenzie Koerber and Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres.

While her accomplishments on the court speak for themselves, what does Launiere like to do when she is not on the court? If she could only watch one TV show for the rest of her life, what show would she choose?

That’s where Know Your Coach comes in.

Do you have a favorite moment during your tenure here at Utah?

Beth Launiere: Oh, probably beating BYU this past season 3-0 on the road to go to the Sweet 16. It was a really special season. We had a team that really got along well, and we had a lot of success. So we didn’t even want the season to end when we lost to Stanford, it was almost like a shock to our system because we just thought we’re gonna keep playing and it was really a fun year.

What do you love most about being at Utah?

BL: I’ve been here a long time. I love everything about it, or I wouldn’t have been here for 30 years. I think it’s a great academic institution. I think Salt Lake City is great. And I think our athletic department, we’ve proven over and over and over again through the years that we know how to be successful in whatever conference we’re in. You’re seeing it in the Pac-12, a lot of teams are starting to experience success. So when you talk, Salt Lake City and the university and the athletic department. You know, why would anybody want to be here? 

What’s it like to coach a Barton? You are coaching Dani right now, and Kyle Whittingham coached Jaxson and Cody, so how is that? 

BL: They’re interesting. You want them on your team, I can tell you that. They only have one, one speed on their motor, and it’s go, and it’s go hard. They’re such great competitors. They love to compete; they compete at anything, you know, I’m sure at home they compete at everything. I know they do. They’re just winners, you know, they love to compete. They go hard, and, and they’re driven to win. It’s what every coach wants on their team for sure.

University of Utah head coach Beth Launiere give a thumbs up after a play in an NCAA Volleyball match vs. the UCLA Bruins at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

So do you have any like pregame rituals that you have to follow? 

BL: I’m not a big superstitious person, I believe in preparation. But I do just do the same routine. After our pregame meal, I come home and take a nap. If I don’t completely fall asleep, I definitely just lay down and still for a while just kind of rest my brain and kind of go over the game plan for the night just slow down because I know the intensity is coming. So that’s my routine.


If you could see any music artists either alive or dead, who would you choose to see and why?

BL: I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m a huge Elvis fan, but I would say if you’re talking like someone that you can’t even imagine what it was, like, you know, to see him perform, that would be him. But I’ve never seen Barbra Streisand before. I’d really like to see her. Who are the superstars that you’ve just not seen? And when you said dead or alive, I’m like, you know, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to see Elvis back in the day. I would probably say the Beatles as well to be honest with you. I would actually say The Beatles over Elvis, actually. 


So if you could go back to any moment in history and be present during that moment, what moment would you choose?

BL: I wouldn’t go too far back even though I like to watch period pieces on TV. I can’t imagine living during some of those times. Probably the 70s, but I was born. But I was really young, I mean it was a turmoil treeless decade. But I think it was also a decade of a lot of civil participation. You know, there’s a lot of people involved with kind of social issues, and I would have liked to have been a part of some of that.


If you could only watch one TV show for the rest of your life. Which TV show are you choosing and why?

BL: Maybe Friends. One of the most classic ones. Either that or M.A.S.H. I love M.A.S.H. 

If you were trapped on an island and you could only have one book with you, what book would you take?

BL: Probably a book on how to build a boat. It doesn’t sound too bad to be stuck on a tropical island for a while anyway. 

Outside of volleyball, what do you like to do with your free time?

BL: I love just spending time at home. I’ve got a great yard and I love spending time on it. I love to bike and bike a lot. And I love to do yoga and just anything that can help me be healthy. I really just like hanging in my backyard and having barbecues with friends. That’s why it was really hard for me right now. I also like going out to really nice restaurants in downtown Salt Lake. There are so many great restaurants. I just love going to a good restaurant and having a good dinner and a nice bottle of wine. 


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