Jennifer Petrie Named AVCA Coach of the Year

Jennifer Petrie Named AVCA Coach of the Year

Petrie led San Diego volleyball to most successful season ever in 2022

USD Volleyball Coach Jennifer Petrie on the sideline

After leading the Toreros to their most successful season ever, San Diego volleyball head coach Jennifer Petrie was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Thursday afternoon.

It's Petrie's first career AVCA National Coach of the Year honor, and it comes after she was named both the AVCA Pacific South Region Coach of the Year, and the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year, accolades she has now received three and seven times, respectively.

She earned the designation as the nation's top women's volleyball coach following a season that elevated both San Diego volleyball and USD Athletics to new, unprecedented heights. Under her direction in 2022 the Toreros raced to a 31-1 record, including a perfect 18-0 mark in WCC play for just the third time ever.

Under Petrie this season, San Diego has set a school record with 28 wins and counting, good for the best overall winning percentage (.967) and longest active win streak (28 matches) in the country as of Thursday. After beginning the season at No. 25 in the AVCA Division I Women's Coaches Poll, her team moved up or maintained position in every AVCA Poll until November 28. The Toreros tied program-high No. 2 national ranking on October 31 and held strong there for four straight weeks, giving them 11 weeks in the nation's Top 5 through 14 of 15 total polls.

With her at the helm San Diego has swept 20 of 32 matches in 2022, including 13 of 18 WCC contests, and has gone 8-1 against the AVCA Top 25 and 3-1 against the AVCA Top 10.

The Toreros' excellence under Petrie this season didn't stop in the regular season. After receiving a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, postseason matches returned to the Jenny Craig Pavilion for just the third time ever, and San Diego beat Northern Colorado and seven-seed No. 24 Washington State in the event's first and second rounds to advance to its fifth-ever Regional Semifinal.

San Diego then met three-seed No. 15 Kentucky in Palo Alto, where it swept the Wildcats 3-0 in the Sweet 16, moving USD to the first Elite Eight appearance in program history. Two days later, the Toreros completed a stunning 3-2 win over Stanford, silencing the Maples Pavilion as it punched its ticket to its first-ever Final Four.

In addition to the Toreros' team success, Petrie's mentorship also helped the Toreros take home a flurry of conference, regional, and national awards. This season saw Petrie mentor an AVCA First Team All-American (Gabby Blossom), an AVCA Second Team All-American (Grace Frohling) an AVCA Third Team All-American (Katie Lukes), the AVCA Pacific South Region Player of the Year (Gabby Blossom), three AVCA Pacific South All-Region Team members (Grace FrohlingKatie Lukes, and Gabby Blossom), an AVCA Pacific South All-Region Honorable Mention (Breana Edwards), the 2022 WCC Player of the Year (Lukes), Setter of the Year (Blossom), and Libero of the Year (Annie Benbow), in addition to four All-WCC First Team selections, two All-WCC Second Team selections, and an All-WCC Honorable mention. 

Petrie, a San Diego native who attended local Mt. Carmel High School, is in her 24th season as head coach at USD. She became the third head coach in program history in 1999, succeeding three-time WCC Coach of the Year Sue Snyder. The Toreros enjoyed immediate success under Petrie, finishing 23-6 and advancing into the NCAA Tournament's second round during her inaugural season in the fall of 1999.
Her collegiate coaching career began when she joined the volleyball staff at Indiana State University where she served as top assistant from 1992 to 1993. Petrie then took the top assistant position at North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1994 to 1997, before joining Sue Snyder's staff at the University of San Diego for the 1997 campaign. Petrie helped San Diego win back-to-back WCC Championships as the Toreros' top assistant in 1997 and 1998.

With a career record of 478-163 (.745) as head coach, she has advanced USD to the NCAA Tournament in 22 of the past 24 seasons, including trips to the tournament in each of of the last 13 years and eight WCC Championships.

Petrie and the Toreros are back in action tonight when they take on No. 1 Texas in the NCAA Volleyball Championship Semifinal at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. First serve is set for 4 p.m. PST and the match is set to be televised nationally on ESPN.

— USD News Center