In the two weeks since our last report, the NCAA volleyball coaching carousel has been spinning. A couple of indoor teams have head coaches, another has a vacancy, three beach programs announced head coaches, and, to the surprise of probably no one, Olympian Jordan Larson is going to join the Nebraska staff as its third assistant.
DENVER HIRES PENDERGRAST: Megan Pendergast, a long-time assistant at UCLA, Oklahoma and Tulsa, is the new coach at Denver. She takes over a program that saw coach Tom Hogan step down April 6. He missed most of last season with medical issues.
Pendergrast, who was at UCLA the past three seasons, takes over a program that finished 19-12 last season, 12-6 in The Summit League. Denver has been to the NCAA Tournament six times, from 2014-19.
Pendergrast played two seasons at Nebraska before finishing as a libero at Texas A&M. This is her first college head-coaching job.
DARTMOUTH TABS CAMPBELL: The Ivy League school hired veteran Kevin Maureen Campbell, who was at VCU the past three seasons and served as interim head coach in 2022. Campbell’s resume includes stops at NC State, San Diego State, Colorado, North Florida (as head coach) and Penn State. She played at Omaha.
She takes over a team that has never been to the NCAA Tournament. Dartmouth finished 16-9 last season, 8-6 in the Ivy League. Gilad Doron resigned last month after seven seasons.
TEXAS TECH HIRES ACU’S COACH: There’s an opening at Abiliene Christian, because head coach Alisa Blair resigned to become associate head coach at Texas Tech. Her resume includes stops at Stephen F. Austin and Hill College. Blair played at Angelo State. Abilene Christian finished 7-19 last season, 4-10 in the WAC.
JORDAN LARSON TO NEBRASKA: International star Jordan Larson, 36, is returning to her alma mater. The NCAA now allows three paid assistants, and Nebraska coach John Cook hired the Huskers legend, captain of the USA team that won gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
Larson, who played professionally in Italy this past season, is currently in the USA national team gym in Anaheim. She has not joined the team for either leg of the Volleyball Nations League. According to the Nebraska news release, Larson will join the Huskers staff in September when the USA summer schedule finishes.
Larson, who is from Hooper, Nebraska, and played for the Huskers from 2005-08, briefly was an assistant at Texas in 2022, but left to play pro and never returned. She then coached for a while at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska.
UCLA PROMOTES JOHNSON JORDAN: Jenny Johnson Jordan is the new head beach volleyball coach at UCLA. She was an assistant for 10 years to Stein Metzger, who left last month to become head coach at Texas. The former UCLA indoors standout was a beach volleyball Olympian in 2000, when she and Annett Davis tied for fifth.
UCLA won the NCAA beach championship in 2018 and 2019.
ARIZONA STATE LURES ROHR: Kristen Rohr, for eight years the coach at nearby Grand Canyon, has taken the job as the beach at Arizona State. The former pro beach player was a standout indoors player at Kentucky. Click here for the Arizona State news release.
USF WILL START WITH PRI: South Florida’s new beach program will be coached by Pri Piantadosi-Lima. Piantadosi-Lima, a Brazilian who played indoors at Louisiana-Lafayette, had a long career on the beach. She also served as an assistant at Eckerd College in Florida, where her wife, Michelle Piantadosi-Lima, is the head coach.
Pri Michelle Piantadosi-Lima has been a beach club director and coach and a co-founder of the Women’s Beach Volleyball Coaches Alliance (BVWCA), an organization that provides networking and support for female beach volleyball coaches as well as unique camps and player development.
ALSO INDOORS: As mentioned, Abilene Christian now needs a head coach … American University has not hired a permanent head coach since the death in March of Barry Goldberg. Sarah Katz Yiljep is serving as interim head coach …
Many NCAA teams are on internationa tours. Wisconsin, for one is wrapping up, but not before going to see Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in concert on Tuesday night Zurich, Switzerland. Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield is a huge Boss fan and, along with Bring It USA’s Tim Kelly, got the tickets and set it up. Dennis Punzel wrote about it for us before the Badgers headed out. And Dennis also took this photo Tuesday as they boarded the bus to the concert: