Hometown: San Clemente, Calif.
Birth Year: 1985
Height: 6-3 (190cm)
Weight: 187 (88kg)
College: UC Irvine
Joined Team: 2009
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MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: 2012 – Olympic Games... FIVB World League (Silver Medal)... NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament (Gold Medal). 2011 – FIVB World Cup…NORCECA Men's Continental Championship (Silver Medal)… London Volleyball International Invitational (Bronze Medal)… FIVB World League. 2010 – Pan American Cup (Gold Medal). 2009 – Pan American Cup (Gold Medal). 2007 – World University Games (Bronze Medal)
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE: 2012 – Was the backup setter for the U.S. Men in 2012, playing in 11 sets, starting seven. Finished the season with three points on one attack and two blocks. Credited with 57 running sets (5.18 per set)… Played as the substitute setter at the 2012 Olympic Games. Played in three sets against Tunisia, started the third, and finished with two points on two blocks. He was credited with 15 running sets… Played in eight World League sets, seven in pool play and one in the final round. Started five. Credited with 34 running sets (4.25 per set). Scored one point on one attack... Started one set against Costa Rica at the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament. Was credited with seven running sets. Did not score. 2011 – Led all U.S. setters in 2011 with 514 assists on 1,799 attempts in 99 sets played (according to the FIVB. This does not include the London Invitational, which did not provide setting statistics). He averaged 5.19 assists per set in 2011. He also scored 33 points on four kills, 15 blocks and 14 aces… Started 31 sets at the FIVB World Cup and finished with nine points on five kills and four blocks. The FIVB credited him with 220 assists on 665 attempts… Played as a substitute in the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship behind Kevin Hansen and was credited with 11 assists on 18 attempts in two sets… Played in 13 sets of the London Volleyball International Invitational and started seven. Finished with three points on two aces and one block… When setter Kevin Hansen had to undergo an appendectomy prior to the start of the 2011 season, Thornton moved into the backup setter role and traveled with the team to World League where he took over starting duties from Donald Suxho in the middle of the third match of pool play, which was in Puerto Rico. He started a total of 49 sets and played in 52. In pool play, he was credited with at total of 283 assists for an average of 5.44 per set. He also scored 15 points on two kills, 11 blocks and two aces. 2010 – For the U.S., Brian started four out of five matches (13 sets) at the Pan American Cup and placed third among all setters with 4.94 average assists per set. He did not receive a single setting fault. He scored six points on three kills, two blocks and one ace…Played for Chaumont in France’s B League during the winter of 2010-11. 2009 –Accompanied a group of veteran and younger players on a five-match tour of Brazil... Played in the 2009 Pan American Cup where the United States won the gold medal. Brian started one match and scored four points on one kills, two blocks and one ace. 2007 – A member of the World University Games team that won the bronze medal in Thailand.
COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS: 2007 – Ended his career as UCI’s all-time set assists leader with 4,662…totaled 1,645 assists as a senior which is also a UCI season record…member of UC Irvine’s NCAA Championship team… Named to the NCAA All-Tournament team… Team went 29-5 which is the most wins in program history… Second team All-American… Third team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation… Averaged 13.27 set assists which ranked fourth nationally… Named MPSF Player of the Week on Jan. 8… Named MVP of the UC Santa Barbara Invitational... 2006 – Second team All-America as well as All-MPSF...second team Asics/Volleyball Magazine All-American... Averaged 13.70 set assists which led the nation... His 1,548 set assists ranks third in the UCI season record book... Averaged 1.60 digs and 0.65 blocks per game... His 181 digs ranked 10th best in a season... Fired 22 service aces. 2005 – Recorded 1,320 set assists, which is the fourth best total in the UCI season record books... Averaged 12.57 set assists and 1.38 digs per game... Ranked 11th nationally and fourth in the MPSF in assists... Fired 21 service aces on the year... Ranks seventh all-time in assists (1,469)... Had a career-high 65 assists versus Pacific. 2004 – Played in 16 games before missing the rest of the year with Mononucleosis... Averaged 9.31 set assists and 0.69 digs per game.
CLUB/HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS: Attended San Clemente High School (2000-03)… Played for the Balboa Bay Volleyball Club.
PERSONAL: Born Brian Charles Thornton in 1985, in San Clemente, Calif. ... Parents are Mike and Colleen Thornton… Mike played basketball and also baseball and was a late-round draft pick of the Montreal Expos in 1969... Brian's younger brother, Keith, also attended UC Irvine and their younger sister, Kelsey, will start there in the fall and play on the water polo team.… A UCI/Big West Scholar-Athlete majoring in sociology… Fish and lobster are his favorite foods… Favorite book is “Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger… Favorite movie is Good Will Hunting… Anaheim Angels are his favorite professional team… Enjoys Entourage, football and college basketball on TV… Admires his brother for his attitude and approach to life… His fondest sports memory is winning an NCAA Division I men’s volleyball national championship with UC Irvine in 2007.
Last updated October 2012
U.S. Men Need 5 Sets to Defeat France
June 15, 2013
U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team beats France in five sets in Tulsa.
U.S. Men's Volleyball Sweeps France at World League
June 14, 2013
Americans improve to 2-1 heading into Saturday rematch with the French
U.S. Men Renew Rivalry with France
June 11, 2013
The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will face a familiar foe this weekend in Tulsa
Photo Gallery: World League on June 7-8 in Wichita
June 09, 2013
Photos from the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team matches against Argentina
U.S. Men Rally Past Argentina with Tough Serve
June 08, 2013
USA earns weekend series split heading into Tulsa
U.S. Men Fall to Argentina in World League Opener
June 07, 2013
Teams meet again on Saturday in Wichita
USAV Announces 2013 World League Roster
May 06, 2013
Seven players return from the 2012 U.S. Men's National Team
U.S. Men's Update: Holmes is MVP in Poland
Oct. 24, 2012
All the news about U.S. men’s volleyball players in the U.S. and around the world.
Brian Thornton Blog: World League Intercontinental Round
Brian Thornton July 10, 2012
U.S. Men's National Team setter Brian Thornton blogs about World League.
Brian Thornton Blog: NORCECA Olympic Qualifier
Brian Thornton May 29, 2012
Brian Thornton blogs about the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament in Long Beach, Calif.