USA Volleyball announced the promotion of Rob Neilson to first assistant and also noted the addition of Brian Thornton as a seasonal assistant coach on Friday.
Thornton, a 2012 Olympian and UC Irvine alum (2004-07), was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team from 2009 through 2012. He earned gold medals at the 2009 and 2010 Pan Am Cup tournaments and was part of the FIVB World League, NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship and FIVB World Cup teams in 2011.
Thornton played professionally abroad from 2009 to 2012, including stints with Club Voleibol Zaragoza in Spain, Chaumont VB in France and Jastrzebski Wegiel in Poland.
Thornton was a two-time All-American at UCI, earning second team honors in 2006 and 2007. A member of the Anteaters’ 2007 NCAA Championship squad, he ended his career as the program’s all-time assists leader (4,662).
Thornton replaces former assistant Mike Wall, who USA Volleyball says has “stepped back to spend more time with his family in Arizona.”