Meet Our Coaches

Mark Thomas (Technical Director Team)

markCoach Thomas joins us in partnership with Coach Houlihan as Technical Directors for BOOM.  Coach Thomas is the Women’s Head Volleyball Coach for New England College.  He served the past two years as the Head Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Coach at Newbury College in Brookline, Massachusetts. Last season Thomas led Newbury’s women’s team to an overall record of 16-11 and a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) record of 6-2, leading the Nighthawks to the conference semifinals.

Thomas has also spent time as an assistant coach at the United States Coast Guard Academy, University of California Riverside and at Springfield College.  In addition to his college coaching experience Thomas has worked several camps and clinics throughout New England, including the Connecticut College Volleyball Camp and the University of New Hampshire Individual and Team Camp.

Thomas earned his Master of Education in Athletic Counseling from Springfield College and his Bachelor of Science from Newbury College.  While at Newbury Thomas was a four-year member of the men’s volleyball team earning NECC First Team All-Conference twice and being named NECC Player of the Year his senior season.

BOOM is fired up to have Coach Thomas on board working with Coach Houlihan to help us build continuity in our program and ensure quality technical coaching happens throughout our club.

Michael Houlihan (Technical Director Team)

michaelCoach Michael Houlihan, in partnership with Coach Thomas will be BOOM’s Technical Director.  He is currently in his fourth season as the co-head coach and eighth with the UMass Boston volleyball program. Houlihan was promoted to the role of co-head coach in August of 2013 after serving as the associate head coach in 2012 and the assistant coach from 2009-2011.

During his seven seasons with the Beacons, Houlihan played an integral part in transforming UMass Boston into one of the most successful programs in the history of university. While on the bench, the New York native has helped the Beacons to six Little East Conference Tournament championships, a NCAA New England Regional crown in 2010, 2012, and 2013, and three appearances in the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament.

On top of the team’s success, Houlihan has also worked with some of the top players in the country including the program’s all-time leader in assists in setter Cassy Hanneman ’12, and the all-time leader in kills and the program’s first and only three-time All-American in Shannon Thompson ’13.  Thompson also finished her career as the only player in UMass Boston history to be named a four-time First Team All-Little East Conference, and three-time LEC Offensive Player of the Year.

Last season, the Beacons retook their rightful place atop the Little East Conference, as they cruised past Keene State College and Western Connecticut State University in the tournament.  The Beacons once again played some of the top competition in the country, which included the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and Elmhurst College.  In total four players went on to earn all-conference honors at the end of championship season, with juniors Julia Murphy and Elizabeth Glavan once again earning AVCA All-Region and All-American honors.

The 2014 season, saw Houlihan’s Beacons reach the 20-win mark for the eighth straight year, as well as securing their sixth-straight LEC Regular Season title.  He would also coach the conference Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year for the second straight year in Elizabeth Glavan and Julia Murphy. The duo would also go on to earn AVCA All-Region, and All-American honors under Houlihan.

In 2013, he coached the program’s first LEC Defensive Player of the Year in Glavan, who also went on to earn the program’s first AVCA All-Region honor as a libero.  In total Houlihan has mentored 24 All-Conference selections, 24 NEWVA and AVCA All-Region honorees, and seven All-Americans.

Due to his tremendous dedication to the sport of volleyball, Houlihan was named the program’s first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) “Thirty Under 30” recipient which recognizes the top up-and-coming coaches at all levels of the sport, and was featured in the May 2013 edition of the AVCA Coaching Volleyball 2.0.

Prior to coming to Boston, Houlihan coached the Midlakes High School Varsity Boys Volleyball team in New York. Houlihan also spent time as the head coach for the 14’s All Long Island Boys Club Team.  Throughout his career, Houlihan has worked at a variety of collegiate camps and has also created and implemented individual training programs for players of all ages.  Amongst the many camps he has worked at are the University of New Hampshire, the University of Delaware, and the University of Rochester.

Before stepping into the coaching world, Houlihan enjoyed a four-year career for the Nazareth College Men’s Volleyball squad. He later graduated from Nazareth with a business administration degree in sports management.  While working at UMass Boston, Houlihan earned his MBA.

BOOM is honored to have Coach Houlihan, in partnership with Coach Thomas, work with our program to help ensure we have a sounds, technical, consistent program in which both coache and players benefit from.

Natalee Gruse (BOOM 18-1 Head Coach)

natalee-8_5_16Natalee is from Morristown, TN and currently an Assistant Coach for Bates College Women’s Volleyball.   She is a dedicated, committed and enthusiastic volleyball coach with 6+ years of coaching experience including college, high school, and club.

Natalee started playing Junior Olympic (JO) club when she was 11 on a 14s team.  In high school at Lafayette Central Catholic, she was named captain her junior and senior years.  Awards earned in high school include: Small School Player of the Year, MVP, First Team All-Conference (3 of 4 years) and All First Team All-State (Junior and Senior years).  During her collegiate playing years as a Division I defensive specialist she earned two America East Championships and NCAA Tournament Appearance honors.  She immediately went onto coaching and helped lead the Union College Dutchwomen to a 22-11 record in 2013, including an appearance in the Liberty League Championship match, and a 24-12 record in 2014.   Her 6+ years of coaching have allowed her to manage all aspects of a team including: game preparation, practice development, travel, meal and budget planning, statistical compilation, recruiting, and game tape analysis.  She has effectively built positive relationships with players, coaches, and parents through active and effective communication.   Being an experienced player with confidence she has the drive to help train and develop athletes to their full potential.

Natalee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Psychology and is currently working on her Masters of Science in Sports Management with concentration in Intercollegiate Athletics.   BOOM is ecstatic to have Natalee as part of our BOOM family.

“Natalee is the perfect player’s coach as she has a tremendous ability to relate to players. She is a defensive mastermind but has experience with the offensive side of the ball as well. She has played NCAA Div. I and has coached both the NCAA Div. II and Div. III levels. She has also coached many different club levels. I would not hesitate to have Natalee coach my own daughter. She is definitely an up and comer in the NCAA ranks and is a welcome asset to BOOM Volleyball.”
– The highly respected and loved Melissa DeRan, 2016 BOOM 18-1 Head Coach and Bates College Head Coach

Melissa DeRan (Coach Assisting 18-1)


Melissa is from Old Fort, Ohio and currently the Women’s Head Volleyball Coach for Bates College.  She comes to Bates following a successful four-year stint at Union College, where she led the Dutchwomen to a 22-11 record in 2013, including an appearance in the Liberty League championship match, and a 24-12 mark in 2014. Five players from the 2014 team earned Liberty League all-conference honors, and one, libero Katherine Moeller, also received Honorable Mention All-America laurels.

Melissa came to Union after serving as an assistant at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Beacons produced a record of 30-5 and won the Little East Conference Championship in her one year on campus, the 2010 season. UMass Boston finished in the top 20 in the AVCA National Poll for the first time in school history, and also reached the NCAA Division III Elite Eight for the first time.

For three seasons, 2007-09, Melissa was head volleyball coach, assistant track and field coach, and strength and conditioning coordinator at St. Lawrence. She was 77-39, for a winning percentage of 66 percent, and became St. Lawrence’s all-time winningest coach in just three years. She was the 2009 Liberty League Volleyball Coach of the Year, leading the Saints to a school record win total with a 30-8 season. Her first year featured 19 wins, the most in 15 seasons, and the Saints won 28 in her second year. Melissa produced 12 Liberty League All-Academic student-athletes in her three seasons. In 2009, Abigail Rose earned player of the year honors under Melissa’s guidance. Melissa trained three national champions, seven All-Americans, and six national qualifiers for the St. Lawrence track and field program, and joined other staff members as the Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year three times (2007 indoor and outdoor, 2008 outdoor).

Melissa was a graduate assistant at Otterbein in the 2006 season. That squad won 22 matches and broke 13 school records. She was the head coach at Tiffin, where she also assisted the track and field program, for three seasons (2000-03). Six all-conference honorees and four Academic All-Americans were produced during her tenure. Melissa also has coached in the Gold Medal Squared summer camp program, which trains high school and middle school age athletes throughout the country. During her Gold Medal Squared camps her and BOOM Coach Mike Crews had an opportunity to work together and are very much of the same mindset.

Melissa is a former Division I athlete and graduated in 1999 from Murray State University, where she was a captain her senior year. She received a Master of Arts from St. Lawrence and earned a Secondary Teaching Certificate from Capital University.  Prior to DI debut she lettered four years at Murray State High School on the varsity squad.

Maine and BOOM is very lucky to have a coach of this caliber reside here and involved in our community.  Melissa was instrumental as head coach for our 2015-16 BOOM 18-1 team which earned many medals throughout the season.  Her team advanced a level in all NERVA tournaments ending the 18 Gold championship as second best in the region (ME, NH, MA, VT, CT, RI) of 130 teams in 18u.  Her team proceeded to win a bid and became the first Maine team to ever participate in the USAV Girls’ National Championship.  We are privilege to have Coach Melissa as one of our BOOM coaches and appreciate all the help, guidance and mentoring she gave and continues to give to our players.

David Fay (BOOM 16-1 Elite Head Coach and BOOM Northern Coordinator)


Coach David graduated from Brunswick High School where he swam, played hockey, and lacrosse.  He has lived in Maine most of his life and is an active outdoorsman.  He served in the United States Naval Reserve and currently serves in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Coach David spent the past six years in Florida where he coached Beach Club Volleyball, 12U indoor, 13U indoor, and 14U indoor Volleyball. He is CAP I certified, Impact Certified, and SafeSport certified through USA Volleyball.  His CAP I instructor was Bill Neville who has taken the US National Team and Canadian National Team to the Olympics and won a gold medal.  He has played volleyball for 20+ years both indoor and beach.  He has taken numerous coaching certifications and participated in many clinics continuing to be a student of the sport.

Coach David’s philosophy about coaching is that the players should first and foremost be able to enjoy the game, however believes part of that enjoyment comes from learning and increasing their abilities.  As a result, he has been successful in preparing many of his players for higher level club teams and for spots on their varsity teams.

Coach David has a Bachelor’s of Science in Business and Computer Information Technology.  He serves on the board of the PACE Center for Girls.  “PACE Center for Girls, is a nationally recognized, research-based non-residential program model that features a balanced emphasis on academics and social services, with a focus on the future for middle and high-school aged girls and young women.”

Having an IT background and experience in Florida volleyball, which is many years ahead of New England volleyball, makes Coach David a welcome member of BOOM.  He is eager to help grow the game in Maine and looking forward to helping BOOM as the Coach of our 16-1 team and our new Northern Coordinator.   We are very fortunate to have Coach David and love his positive energy.

 Melissa Brandt (BOOM Southern Coordinator)

Melissapic1Coach Missy is the recent founder and manager of the new Massabesic Girls and Boys Volleyball Club team.  In 2016 the Massabesic Girls’ Volleyball program became a varsity sport.  Coach Missy has coached many youth sports for the past ten years and excited to combine her love for volleyball and coaching.  As a player Melissa has played Division III.  She played various positions and was named All State Volleyball Team, Team MVP, and All Tournament Team with University of Maine in Farmington, University of New England, and University of Machias teams.  Since college Melissa has continued to play in adult women and coed leagues.

Growing up in Massabesic and now coming back to help build a volleyball program is a true testament of her dedication to grow the sport.

We are thrilled to have Coach Missy return as a BOOM Coach and happy to announce her as our new Southern Coordinator.  She has taken multiple coaching clinics including Gold Medal Square (GMS) and eargerly continues to educate herself to be the best coach she can be.  We are blessed to have Coach Missy part of the BOOM family and appreciate her passion to collaborate and make us better each year.

Mike Scott (Coach, BOOM Treasurer)


Coach Mike is BOOM’s latest addition to the BOOM Board as Treasurer.  He is a returning coach for BOOM and official for MAVO (Maine Association of Volleyball Officials) and PAVO (Professional Association of Volleyball Officials).

Coach Mike started playing volleyball at Braintree High School in Massachusetts in the Bay State League.  During the three years of playing his specialty became defense.  After high school he earned his Business Administration Degree in Accounting at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.  Assumption did not have a varsity volleyball team, however Mike continued playing pickup and intramural throughout his four years.

Coach Mike has great energy and passion.  His strong leadership skills and accounting background is a great asset to BOOM and the volleyball community.  We are very fortunate to have Coach Mike part of our BOOM family.

Laura Eberly (Coach)

LauraCoach Laura went to high school at Sharyland High School in Mission, Texas.  She was on the varsity team for four years.  She played right side as well as middle blocker.  Middle blocker became her specialty.   She was captain her senior year and made the Senior All Star team.  Laura also player JO Club volleyball throughout high school where they competed in many national qualifying tournaments such as the Lone Star Classic and Cross Court Classic.   She had the opportunity of playing in Australia with girls from around the country through Down Under Sports in 2011.  Laura earned a scholarship to play Division I volleyball at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX.  She has since moved to Maine and currently finishing her degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences.   She plans on using this degree to become a teacher at the preschool level.

BOOM loves Laura’s background as a player from Texas and experience at the high school, JO club and collegiate level.  She loves working with youth and excited to continue her passion of volleyball in Maine.  We are very blessed to have Laura returning to BOOM as part of our coaching staff and excited to have her insight to how we can continue to grow the level of volleyball play in Maine.

Alexia Foster (Coach)

lexiCoach Lexi started playing JO volleyball in 7th grade and became the starting libero her sophomore year for the dominating, at that time, class A state champion volleyball team at Greely High School.    Lexi played JO club for six years and continues to play as an adult.  During her high school years she was coached by many great coaches all over the county and participated in five Gold Medal Square (GMS) camps as well as many college volleyball camps.   Her sophomore and junior years she help her team become the Class A State Champions.  Her junior year the team received the National Tour of Champions award from MaxPreps, presented by the National Guard.  They were honored for having an undefeated season, taking home a state championship and finishing ranked No. 34 in the nation by MaxPreps.   Her team was the second sports team in the State to ever receive this award.  Lexi’s senior year she made the All-Star team and was considered one of the best liberos in the state by coaches and media.  Her specialty is in defense, serving and the strategy of the game.

We are happy to have Coach Lexi return as a BOOM coach.  She has become a valuable technical coach and private and group instructor.  She continues to grow and learn more, being a student of the sport in order to become the best coach she can be.  She’s passionate about the sport and enjoys the thrill of helping players advance their game both physically and mentally.

Hallye Andersen (Coach)

hallyeCoach Hallye moved to Maine from Wisconsin her senior year of high school.  She has been playing volleyball since 6th grade and started playing club in 7th grade.   Volleyball in Wisconsin is a popular and an extremely competitive sport.  Coach Hallye attended many clinics and camps during her high school years and her focused in playing was outside hitter and middle blocker position.  Hallye was captain of her team her senior year and made the state’s All-Star team.

Hallye is currently the JV coach at Gorham High School where she graduated.  She is working on her degree in Sports Management at the University of Southern Maine.  Coach Hallye is eager to help elevate the level of volleyball to what she has seen in Wisconsin and extremely excited to apart of BOOM.

BOOM loves having coaches with experience outside of Maine to help raise the bar in this state.   Coach Hallye’s experience there and her vivacious personality, sharing her love for volleyball, make her an incredible coach for our youth.  We are proud to have Coach Hallye part of the BOOM family.

 Erin Cady

erinCoach Cady is from New York and currently the Women’s Head Volleyball Coach for Bowdoin College. Erin came to Bowdoin from Holy Cross, where she had served as head coach for the last four seasons.

In her first season as head coach of the Bowdoin Polar Bears, Cady led the team to its greatest season in program history. Bowdoin captured the NESCAC Championship and advanced to its first-ever NCAA Quarterfinal after defeating host MIT in the New England Regional.

Cady assumed the head coaching position at Holy Cross in 2011 following a year as an assistant coach with the program. In two of her four seasons at the helm, she tied the program record for Patriot League wins (six) while matching the team’s best-ever finish in the league standings (fifth). The team earned the AVCA’s Team Academic Award for the first time in program history in 2013-14 and Holy Cross placed two members on the Patriot League’s seven-player All-Academic Team.

A 2006 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Cady had an outstanding playing career for the Wildcats. She was a three-time All-America East Conference selection and was twice named a team captain. She was the fourth player in school history to eclipse 1,000 kills and helped lead the Wildcats to a pair of America East titles and two trips to the NCAA Tournament. Cady was also an Academic Scholar Athlete and a member of the Dean’s List in every season. Following graduation, Cady played professional volleyball for the SWE-Volley Team in Erfurt, Germany.

Cady earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and justice studies from UNH in 2006 and a master’s degree in kinesiology and sports studies in 2010. Cady and her husband, Stuart, were married in 2012.

BOOM is grateful to have had Coach Cady coach our 18-1 Elite team in our 2015-16 extended season for Maine’s debute in the USAV Girls’ National Championship.   The team came home with an award winning first in their flight!  We are so honored to have Coach Cady involved in our BOOM family anytime she can and are grateful for the help and guidance she provided and continues to provide to our players.

Kelvin Hasch (Coach)

HaschpicHasch is originally from California and started playing on a boys varsity team at Santa Monica High School.  He was coached by Ken Petersen who was part of the 1968 Olympic team.  Coach Petersen would take the team to play beach volleyball at Manhattan Beach against legendary players such as Karch Kiraly, Wilt Chamberlain and Rudy Suwara.  Hasch also attended one of the first Marv Dunphy Camps at Pepperdine in Malibu, CA .  He continued his play at Santa Monica College and played in adult leagues throughout California.

Hasch started coaching 40 years ago in 1974 at Barrington Park Rec Center for a 12U girls team.   They had no coach so he stepped up and coached them.  As a result they won the end of season tournament, a surprise to many.  Hasch coached during college and moved to Maine in 1991 playing in adult leagues.  In 2001 he started coaching Greely team with Dr. Bruce Churchill and they were as sanctioned team in 2002.  Hasch has been head coach since.  He has been in the playoffs every year since the start and has won 9 state championship titles.  In 2011 the team received the National Tour of Champions award from MaxPreps, presented by the National Guard.  They were honored for having an undefeated season, taking home a state championship and finishing ranked No. 34 in the nation by MaxPreps.   They were second sports team in the State to ever receive this award.  Since Greely was a sanctioned team in 2002 his win/loss record (matches) is 221-24.  This includes a 66 match winning streak.  Has has won 10 State Championships, the most any school in Maine has.  He has received Coach of the Year numerous times including 2016.   In 2015 he earned his 200th career match win.  This is an amazing accomplishment especially whereas volleyball does not have as many games as other sports.  Greely is one of, if not the one, with the most sport championships.  Coach Hasch is now one of the five in the history of Greely sports to have earned his 200th career win.

Needless to say we are extremely excited to have Coach Hasch as part of our BOOM family.  Besides his records and accolades Hasch has an incredible passion to help grow this sport and anyone involved.  Few people get to see the inside view of Hasch and his endless passion and support for the game and his players.  He is very much the spark and program that gave the BOOM founders the drive to get started and build upon.

Tricia Carver-Watson (Coach)

Tricia Carver WatsonTricia Carver-Watson is currently Maine Maritime Academy’s Head Volleyball and Softball coach.

Tricia is well known in athletics in the state of Maine. At Jonesport-Beal High School, Carver-Watson was a three-sport standout in volleyball, basketball and softball. She helped lead her team to state championships in basketball and volleyball in 1999 and 2000. Following high school, Carver-Watson played Division I volleyball at the University of Maine.

Tricia has coached basketball and softball at the high school and middle school levels since 2006. She taught Spanish for three years and has been a Children and Youth Ministry Coordinator since 2008.  Tricia majored in Secondary Education and Spanish at UMaine and recently completed her Masters Degree at the Bangor Theological Seminary.

Tricia’s vivacious personality and experience as a player and coach in the volleyball world is top notch.  We are thrilled to have Tricia join our BOOM community and be part of our coaching staff.  We look forward to her leadership in helping us grow volleyball in Maine.

Patrick DeBeck (Coach)

PatrickPatrick has been the Maine Maritime Academy’s (MMA’s) Assistant Volleyball Coach the past three years. Prior to MMA Patrick spent the previous 14 seasons as the head coach at Husson University. Patrick help guide the Eagles to three 20-win seasons, 10-straight NAC playoffs and two NAC Championship Final appearances. Under his guidance, Husson complied a 106-60 record. He has served on several committees with the NCAA and AVCA and is the college representative for the Maine State Coaches Association. A native of Eddington, Maine and a Brewer High School alumnus, Patrick graduated from the University of Maine with a Liberal Arts degree in 1999.

Patrick has a wealth of knowledge as a season coach, player and committee member in the Maine volleyball community.  He is always a student of the sport and continues to learn to not only make him better but those around him.  We are very grateful to have Patrick join our BOOM coaching staff and look forward to having him help grow our program.

Melissa Lial (Coach)

MelissaLial3Melissa is from Colorado where volleyball is popular at all levels.  Melissa started her volleyball career in high school playing four years at Elizabeth High School while also playing three years of JO club volleyball out in Colorado. Following high school, Melissa moved to Maine to play at Maine Maritime Academy where she helped the team win their fourth straight conference championship. She was also selected as NAC Rookie of the Year her freshman year and in the following years made All-Conference First Team selection.

After Melissa finished her undergrad degree at Maine Maritime, she continued her education at Maine Maritime and received her Masters. During her graduate schooling she was a Student Coach for the Mariners volleyball team. She also reestablished and coordinated the community children’s volleyball camp Volleykids.

Melissa is fabulous add to our BOOM Community.  Not only does she have great experience with volleyball and building programs she also has a vivacious attitude.  Combining those talents makes it a blessing for BOOM to have her part of our coaching team.

Kelly McCarthy (Coach)

KellyCoach Kelly was born in Maine, however had the opportunity to move around and live Japan as she grew up.  She started playing recreational volleyball and was a walk on player in for the University of Farmington.  Kelly also played in the Farmington and Lewiston coed leagues for many years.  After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education, Kelly moved to Central Florida to teach.  For seven total years Kelly coached both volleyball and softball at the middle school level.  While living in Florida she played in a beach league and also pickup.

In June 2014 Kelly moved back to Maine to be closer to her family. Since living here she has coached Greely JV softball and volleyball teams as well as Brunswick JV volleyball team.  Kelly has attended a Gold Medal Square (GMS) clinic and continues to grow as a coach.  She is currently a teacher at Mt Ararat Middle School pursuing her passion to work with kids.  She enjoys being involved in the Maine volleyball community and excited to help with the Brunswick Volleyball program.

Kelly is a well liked coach and we are very fortunate to have her involved in BOOM and a resource as our coaching staff.  We are excited to have her help us grown BOOM in the State.