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Russ Rose Announces Retirement From Penn State Women’s Volleyball

All dynasties must come to an end at some point, right?

Penn State women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose officially announced his retirement on Thursday, sparking the end of a 43-year career with the Nittany Lions. The 68-year-old had previously signed a four-year contract extension in February 2020.

“While I have decided to step into retirement, it has been my pleasure to serve as the head coach of the Penn State women’s volleyball program over the last 43 seasons,” Rose said in a statement. “My time here has provided 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 of the assistants who helped shape the culture and success of the program.

Penn State will conduct a national search to find the program’s next coach. For now, Katie Schumacher-Cawley will serve as the team’s interim coach while Rose remains with Penn State Athletics in an advisory role.

Over his time in Happy Valley, Rose led his program to seven national titles, 17 Big Ten championships, and a 1,330-229 (.853) overall record — easily the most wins and highest winning percentage of any athletic coach in Penn State history. Additionally, Rose’s wins rank first among all Division I coaches.

At Penn State, Rose’s teams never posted fewer than 21 wins in a season outside of last spring’s campaign, which included only 16 regular-season matches. Additionally, a Rose-led Nittany Lions team never produced a losing record.

“Russ’ student-athletes have consistently been the epitome of the term, succeeding in the classroom, on the court and in the community,” said Sandy Barbour, Penn State’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics. “He truly prepared his student-athletes for a lifetime of impact during his time in the Blue & White. We also want to recognize Russ’ wife, Lori, and the entire Rose family, who played a huge role in the success of Penn State women’s volleyball during Russ’ career. We know we will continue to see Russ and the Rose family in Rec Hall for years to come. There will be a time in the near year where we will properly celebrate Russ’ many accomplishments, but for now, we want to say congratulations and thank you!”

Rose’s teams achieved unprecedented success in the NCAA Tournament. Under his guidance, Penn State is the only program to log an appearance in every postseason tournament since its inception in 1981. The Nittany Lions won 106 total postseason matches and captured seven titles, including four straight from 2007 to 2010. The program’s most recent national championship came in 2014.

Rose, an AVCA Hall of Famer already, has produced 112 All-Americans throughout his Penn State career, including Kaitlyn Hord and Jonni Parker, who were just selected as four-time honorees. He coached at least one All-American in all but two seasons during his tenure in Happy Valley.

Before arriving at Penn State, Rose graduated from George Williams College in 1975, where he played volleyball and won a national title. He later worked there as a part-time coach before getting his master’s degree at Nebraska, where he helped coach the Cornhuskers. He juggled writing a thesis on volleyball statistics while assisting the team to a 52-5 record over two seasons.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.

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