Our Camp Staff
MJ Engstrom, Head Coach
MJ Engstrom, a standout coach at the collegiate and national level, enters her eleventh season as the coach at UAlbany and is a four-time America East Coach of the Year.
Engstrom, who was appointed interim head women’s volleyball coach on March 5, 2008, was previously a head coach at Villanova and Nicholls State. She was elevated to interim coach from her role as a UAlbany assistant.
To date, Engstrom has posted an overall record of 165-121 and 100-20 in America East play over ten seasons. Her time at the helm of UAlbany includes three America East Tournament titles and as many NCAA appearances as a head coach, making the America East Tournament all ten years with eight finals appearances.
A Great Dane has won an America East major award in all but one year that Engstrom has been a head coach. Engstrom has also coached the America East Defensive Specialist of the Year nine of the ten years of her tenure at UAlbany. Engstrom has coached 17 America East major award winners.
Engstrom came to UAlbany after five seasons as the head coach of Nicholls State University in Louisiana. She led the Colonials to the 2003 Southland Conference Tournament championship and the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history. Engstrom also spent two years at the helm of the Villanova volleyball program, guiding the Wildcats to their first NCAA appearance in 1997. The tournament berth was the first at-large bid for a Big East Conference program.
Along with her head coaching experience, Engstrom served as an assistant coach at the University of Washington from 1998-99 and the University of North Dakota from 1990-93. She has also worked with the USA Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball teams and has run her own volleyball camps since 2000.
Engstrom, a native of St. Paul, Minn., is on the editorial board for the International Journal for Volleyball Research and is a member of the USA Volleyball Sports Medicine and Performance Commission. She was a student-athlete at the University of Minnesota and received a degree in psychology.
Josh Pickard, Associate Head Coach
Josh Pickard, entering his fourth year with UAlbany, has been promoted to associate head coach of the team for the 2016 season. Pickard has hired as the team’s first assistant for the 2015 season and will enter his second year with the Great Danes.
In Pickard’s first year at UAlbany, he helped the Great Danes win a share of the 2015 America East regular season title and earn a place in the conference title match. UAlbany went 17-9 overall, its winningest season since 2011, with an 11-1 conference record.
Pickard comes to UAlbany after serving as the first assistant coach at Montana State the past three seasons as the recruiting and defensive coordinator. He coached four all-conference players and was responsible for the budgeting and team travel.
During the 2011 season, he served as an assistant coach at Ohio University. He coached three all-conference players as the Bobcats won 25 matches that season.
Previous to being an assistant coach, Pickard served as a travel coordinator and a national team coach at the Premier Volleyball Academy in Ohio from January 2007 to August 2011. He played on the men’s volleyball team at Michigan State, graduating in 2002 with a B.A. in international relations.
Kevin Cardoza, Assistant Coach
Just added to the staff in March, Kevin Cardoza recently served as the director of volleyball operations and an interim assistant coach at the University of Tennessee. He has also had stops at the University of Maryland, the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) and Concordia College.
The last two seasons, Cardoza was the director of volleyball operations and interim assistant coach at Tennessee, using Data Volley for video scouting reports and statistical breakdown. He coordinated logistics for team travel and team video exchange, plus ran the Tennessee Volleyball Camps. He also managed the program’s budget and developed the team’s social media presence.
In 2015, he was a volunteer assistant coach at Maryland. He spent three seasons as an assistant coach at NYIT, helping the team to a combined 63-35 record as the team’s recruiting coordinator. While there, he helped the Bears to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and a trip to the NCAA East Semifinals in 2013. He developed the team’s practice plans and scouting reports and was the director for the NYIT Volleyball Summer Camps.
Cardoza spent the 2010 season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Concordia College, dealing with game strategies, scouting reports and film review.
He has served as a head coach of numerous clubs, including the K2 Volleyball Club, the Long Island Volleyball Academy and the Long Island Volleyball Club.
Cardoza graduated from the New York Institute of Technology in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice.