Womens Volleyball, Michigan, Russ Rose

Head Coach Russ Roses adresses Kendall White (3) and Simone Lee (22) during a timeout in the game against Michigan on Satuday, Oct. 14, 2017. Penn State swept Michigan 3-0.

Over the past 43 years, one face has been consistent on the Penn State bench — Russ Rose.

No longer, though, will Rose be perched next to the scorer’s table, as the now-former Nittany Lion head coach called it a career on Thursday, leaving behind one of the most storied legacies in all of collegiate sports.

There have been plenty of highs with very minimal lows throughout the four-plus decades Rose has led the blue and white.

Here is a recap of some of the biggest moments that define the legacy of Rose’s Penn State tenure.

1st national title

Every legacy has to start somewhere, and for Rose, it started in Honolulu, Hawaii, in December 1999.

Penn State was coming off back-to-back losses in the NCAA Finals coming into the season, and Rose’s squad once again made it back to the final match of the season, squaring off against Stanford.

The blue and white swept Stanford in dominant fashion, including a 15-2 first set, to capture its first-ever national title.

Rose’s 1999 squad was littered with talent, including Co-AVCA Player of the Year Lauren Cacciamani, as well as two other AVCA All-Americans in Bonnie Bremner and Katie Schumacer.


One of the most dominant runs in any collegiate sport belonged to Rose’s 2007-2010 teams, capturing four straight national titles.

Seventeen times a Penn State player was named an All-American over the four seasons, and all four seasons the Nittany Lions were home to the Big Ten Player of the Year.

The quartet of titles also included two back-to-back undefeated seasons, with the 2008 and 2009 teams going an unblemished 38-0 each year.

Those two teams lost a combined 10 sets over the 76-match stretch, collecting an other-wordly 228-10 record in sets over the two seasons.

The epitome of Rose’s dominance came in 2008, though, when his team didn’t drop a set until the penultimate match in the NCAA Tournament.

After going up 2-0 on Nebraska, the Cornhuskers battled back to take the next two sets, the only two that team lost all season long en route to the national title.

This stretch included an unfathomable streak of 109 consecutive matches in which Penn State walked away victorious, not losing for nearly three years.


Win No. 1,000

En route to the 2009 tournament finals, Rose and company took down Hawaii 3-1 in the semifinals, marking the 1,000th win in the illustrious career of Russ Rose.

Rose became only the third coach to ever reach quadruple-digit wins in NCAA women’s volleyball Division-I history, and he went on to capture 330 more, retiring at the top of the all-time win chart.

In the victory, Rose took down Dave Shoji, whom he was chasing in terms of all-time wins at the time.

Shoji ranked second with 1,016 wins under his belt at the time of the defeat, but was later passed by Rose for the most wins all time by a head coach.

At a glance

With Rose finally deciding to call it quits, the totality of his accolades speak for themselves.

His seven national titles are the most by any coach and the second most of any program ever.

He collected 17 Big Ten titles throughout his time in Happy Valley, and he never had a team miss an NCAA Tournament, as Penn State is the only team to compete in every tournament since its inception.

On top of that, Rose’s squads were ranked in the AVCA polls for more than 500 consecutive weeks, a sign of consistent dominance for years.

Penn State has seen four AVCA Players of the Year during Rose’s time there, as well as 14 Big Ten Players of the Year, not to mention having produced at least one All-American in 42 of his 43 seasons manning the blue and white.

His 1,330 wins are the most by any Division I women’s volleyball coach ever, and his team’s asserted some of the most dominant stretches in all of sports, racking up 109 consecutive matches won and 111 consecutive sets won.

Rose brought Penn State to the forefront of the national spotlight and now that it’s all said and done, he will likely be hailed as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport.


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