Cal Poly

Successful Cal Poly women’s volleyball coach leaving to head UC Berkeley’s program

Sam Crosson in his first season as Cal Poly’s head women’s volleyball coach.
Sam Crosson in his first season as Cal Poly’s head women’s volleyball coach. The Tribune

The head coach of the successful Cal Poly women’s volleyball team — who guided the program to consecutive Big West Conference women’s volleyball titles and NCAA Division I playoff berths — is leaving to take over as the women’s volleyball coach at UC Berkeley, according to Cal Poly’s volleyball website.

Sam Crosson announced his resignation Wednesday after leading the Mustangs to an overall record of 114-83 and a Big West mark of 67-48 in his seven seasons in San Luis Obispo.

Crosson was named Big West Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018, making him the third coach in program history to achieve the honor, including former coach Jon Stevenson.

Crosson helped turn around a program that suffered a 4-26 record in his first season in 2012 to a combined 52-6 mark in the last two campaigns.

In 2017, the team went 16-0 in Big West play, the first undefeated season in conference in the school’s history, and earned the program’s first win in the NCAA tournament since 2007.

This year, the team posted a 15-1 Big West record, along with an 18-match win streak and two victories over No. 9 UCLA in early September.

But the team met a disappointing end, falling 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament to University of San Diego with star player Torrey Van Winden out due to concussion protocol.

During Crosson’s tenure, Cal Poly had two players (Taylor Nelson in 2017 and Van Winden in 2018) win Big West Player of the Year.

The team also reached the Top 25 nationally the past two seasons.

Cal director of athletics Jim Knowlton announced Crosson’s hire Wednesday. He replaces Jennifer Dorr, who was interim head coach for one season and will remain on staff as associate head coach.

A search for Crosson’s replacement at Cal Poly will begin immediately, according to the university.

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Fifth-year Cal Poly head coach Sam Crosson directs a drill during a morning practice last week inside Mott Athletics Center. Joe Johnston

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.