Penn State women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose retired Thursday after 43 years with the Nittany Lions program and 1,330 career wins — the most in NCAA Division I history.
Rose led Penn State to seven NCAA titles — including four straight from 2007 to 2010 — and 41 NCAA tournaments. He won more than 85% of his games, won at least 30 games 28 times in a season, and coached four National Players of the Year and 112 All-Americans. His 2008 and 2009 teams went undefeated in consecutive seasons as part of a 109-game winning streak.
Rose, 68, will serve in an advisory capacity in Penn State’s athletic department.
“Although I have decided to retire, it has been my pleasure to serve as the head coach of the Penn State women’s volleyball program for the past 43 seasons,” Rose said in a statement. “My time here has given my family and me many memories and relationships that we will carry with us. I would like to thank the many players, managers and support staff for their dedication, in addition to all the assistants who have helped shape the culture and the success of the program.”
Rose’s teams have won 106 NCAA tournament games—the most of any team since the organization began sponsoring the sport in 1981. His teams have never won less than 21 games in a season.
“He is one of the greatest coaches of all time because everything he did, he did it his way and never deviated from it,” said Oregon State coach Terry Liskevych, who also coached the US women’s national team. “He has been invaluable to the sport of volleyball and a coach that every coach can learn from. Penn State volleyball under Russ was a program everyone wanted to emulate, and he leaves a legacy that extends beyond the field. going down as one of the greatest coaches of all time in any sport.”
ESPN volleyball analyst Paul Sunderland added: “Russ was truly unique in so many ways. His success was unmatched in more than four decades with seven championships and at one point an almost unimaginable four in a row. A truly remarkable run and just think of the hundreds if not thousands of lives he has touched.”
Rose is also a sought after clinician and has a long list of former assistants who have led top programs.
“Congratulations to Russ Rose on a phenomenal career at Penn State and decades of tremendous impact on students, staff and the community,” said Sandy Barbour, Penn State sports director. “He has been a mainstay of our community for more than four decades and will be long remembered for raising the profile of women’s volleyball not just at Penn State but nationally.”
Assistant coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley will act as interim head coach. Penn State said it will conduct a nationwide search to replace Rose.