Nebraska volleyball head coach John Cook has been selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame class of 2017, the AVCA announced on Monday. The induction ceremony will be held at the 2017 AVCA Convention in Kansas City, Missouri in December.
Cook will enter the hall with fellow coaches Debbie Brown, Cecile Reynaud and Roseanne Wegrich. Their selections will bring the total number of AVCA Hall of Fame members to 77. He will join former Husker volleyball national champion coach Terry Pettit, who was inducted in 2009.
Cook finished his 17th season as the Huskers' head coach in 2016 and led the Huskers to their 11th conference title in his tenure and seventh NCAA semifinals appearance. Cook has won three national titles at Nebraska (2000, 2006 and 2015) and has 660 career wins in 24 years as a head coach, including 499 at Nebraska. His winning percentage in his 17 years at Nebraska (.885) is the best in the nation in that time, and he has been honored as a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and received the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award in 2008. Last year, he was honored as the AVCA Region Coach of the Year for the fifth time as the Huskers reached the NCAA semifinals for a second straight season.
“It’s a great honor to be part of the 2017 AVCA Hall of Fame class," Cook said. "While it is nice to be recognized by the AVCA, the true rewards of the coaching profession are the relationships I’ve developed over the years with my coaches, staff and student-athletes and the growth of the game of volleyball overall. I think this honor is a reflection of the program we’ve built here at Nebraska, and that is a credit to the whole athletic department and all of my coaches and players who have helped elevate this program throughout the years.”
While leading the Huskers to a 31-3 overall record last season and the program's second Big Ten title, Cook was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, his sixth career conference coaching honor. Cook's student-athletes have combined for 49 AVCA All-America awards and 19 CoSIDA Academic All-America awards, and five of his former Huskers have competed in the Olympics. His accomplishments off the court have been just as impressive. Nebraska volleyball has sold out 219 consecutive regular-season matches dating back to Cook's second season in 2001, and the Huskers have led the nation in attendance all four years since moving to the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2013.
“What sets John apart from other exceptional coaches is the effort he made in trying to make women’s volleyball a premier collegiate sport,” Pettit said. “He has done this by promoting the sport on television, leading the country in attendance, by hosting regional and national NCAA events, by encouraging his peers to do everything possible to create an atmosphere that showcases women’s volleyball, and by leading one of the very few women’s programs in any sport to produce a net profit.”