Stanford women’s volleyball head coach has announced his retirement after a 32-year long career and 5 NCAA titles. Dunning goes out on top after having won the 2016 NCAA Championship with the youngest team to ever do so; and having been named the AVCA National Coach of the Year.
“I am a very lucky person. I have had the joy of coaching in a sport I love for decades, but have decided that it is time to retire,” said Dunning. “I have had the wonderful opportunity to coach so many great student-athletes, and work with amazing people in amazing programs at great universities. I am grateful for all the support I have received and hope in the coming weeks to be able to reach out and thank people for all that they have done for me.”
Dunning accomplished about all there is to accomplish at the collegiate level of volleyball. He won 3 NCAA titles at Stanford (2001, 2004, 2016); and 2 at Pacific (1985, 1986). His 5 Division 1 titles are the second-most in NCAA history, and he was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame – in 2011, before winning another title last season.
In 32 seasons as a head coach, Dunning’s teams have never missed the postseason. He took 12 teams to the Final Four, including in 8 of his 16 years at Stanford. He and Penn State coach Russ Rose are the only coaches with 10 NCAA title game appearances.
Dunning is a four-time national coach of the year, three-time regional coach of the year and seven-time conference coach of the year. He holds a 91-27 mark in NCAA Tournament play, winning 77.1 percent of his postseason matches. Throughout his illustrious career, Dunning has coached 38 All-Americans to 77 total honors, and produced seven national players of the year.
His career record as the coach at Stanford was 451-83, before which he was 437-102 at Pacific.
With the exit, he has now book-ended his career: he won an NCAA crown in 1985 in his first year at Pacific, and one in 2016 in his last season at Stanford. He also won a title in his first season at Stanford, making him the only coach in NCAA volleyball history to win a title in his first year at two different schools.
Stanford says that they will immediately begin a national search for Dunning’s replacement. Given that Stanford returns almost all of its title-winning team (and will do the same for several years into the future), the job should attract most of the country’s top coaches.