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Volleyball Coach Cook Leaves for Minnesota

Washington VB’s now former leader is heading for the Big Ten

NCAA Volleyball: Women’s Volleyball Championship-Kentucky vs Washington Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Washington head volleyball coach Keegan Cook announced this morning that he is stepping down effective immediately and taking the same position at the University of Minnesota. Cook won 4 Pac-12 titles in his 8 years as the head coach of the UW volleyball program including a trip to the Final Four in 2020. However, this season was marred by injuries despite a veteran roster and Washington failed to make it to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 2 decades.

Minnesota had an opening after their long-time head coach Hugh McCutcheon stepped down to take a role in the athletic department. The Gophers have one of the few programs in the country with the recent resume to go to head-to-head with Washington as they’ve made 8 straight Sweet 16s and made 3 Final Four trips under McCutcheon. This is also likely one of the effects of the Big Ten’s new media deal. It doesn’t just apply to football/men’s basketball but can mean other sports have the money to offer significant raises and poach coaches from top programs around the country.

The Husky volleyball program had plenty of success prior to Cook’s arrival. They have the 5th longest streak in the nation having made 21 straight NCAA tournaments. 13 of those happened before Cook was promoted from assistant to head coach. This is an extremely attractive job and we’ll see whether the AD determines there’s a worthy assistant to be elevated as Cook was when he got the job or if they will search for an external candidate.

Regardless, this will be a time of change for the program as seniors Ella May Powell, Claire Hoffman, and Marin Grote all graduate. We’ll have more once a new hire is eventually announced.