Ben Somera enters his fifth season at the helm of the Wesleyan volleyball program in 2019. In 2018, Somera’s squad continued its historic climb to national prominence by winning the NCAA Tournament Regional Championship and advancing to the Elite Eight. Two athletes earned AVCA All-American Honors and four athletes were named AVCA All Region. Additionally, Nicole Hilton ’20 was named the Most Valuable Player of the Providence Regional at the NCAA Championships. Along the way, the Cardinals picked up their third Little Three title en route a 9-1 NESCAC record and ranked No. 14 in the final AVCA National Poll.
The 2017 squad made history by claiming the program’s first-ever NESCAC Championship. The Cardinals also claimed their second Little Three title and first since 1992. They advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished the year with a 22-6 overall record and an 8-2 NESCAC mark -- the team's 22 wins were the most since the 2000 season. Additionally, Nicole Hilton ’20 was named the NESCAC Player of the Year and an AVCA Second Team All-American.
In 2016, Somera’s squad tripled its overall win total from the year before and reached the NESCAC Tournament after a five-year hiatus. The 2016 Cardinals finished the season with a 15-8 overall record and 6-4 conference mark – their first winning season in league play since 2008.
Prior to his arrival at Wesleyan, Somera served as the women’s volleyball head coach at Roger Williams University. There, he led the Hawks to three conference championships and three bids to the NCAA Division III tournament (2012-14). His squads compiled a three-year mark of 75-21 and set program records for wins (31), hitting percentage (.263), assists per game (12.0) and kills per game (13.1), while picking up the program's only NCAA Tournament wins. The Hawks were the first team to complete Commonwealth Coast Conference regular-season play without dropping a set (2014), the only CCC team to top the NCAA New England Regional Rankings (2013), and the only CCC team to ever be ranked in the AVCA Top 25 (for eight weeks in 2013). Somera was named the 2014 Commonwealth Coast Conference Coach of the Year. Four Hawks received All-America honors, three athletes were selected to the NCAA Tournament All-Region team, and the program had its first Academic All-American.
Before Roger Williams, he spent 15 seasons coaching at the NCAA Division I level. From 2005-11, he coached at the University of South Carolina as an associate head coach for two seasons before taking over in 2007. His 2008 team posted a 21-9 mark and led the Southeastern Conference in offensive efficiency. South Carolina had its first All-American and Academic All-Americans during his time in Columbia, and three athletes were selected to the All-South Region Team.
From 1999-2006, Somera was an assistant coach and associate head coach at Oregon State University. While there, he helped lead the Beavers to only their second trip to the NCAA Division I Championship in 2001.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater, the University of Southern California, as a volunteer assistant in 1993 before being promoted to second assistant in 1994, helping in the development of three middle blockers who earned All-America laurels.
Somera hails from La Crescenta, Calif., and earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Southern California. He is married to Nancy Somera (Hillman) and the couple has two children: son, Sam, and daughter, Maile.