SANTA BARBARA, Calif. >> Kathy Gregory, whose 882 wins are fifth-most in NCAA Division I history, retired as UC Santa Barbara women’s volleyball coach on Monday after 38 years as the only person to hold that job in school history.
Gregory says there comes a time in every coach’s career when the torch of leadership must be passed, and that she’s pleased to announce her retirement.
Gregory guided the Gauchos to NCAA final eight appearances in 1997, 1999 and 2000, and final 16 berths in 1998 and 2002. Her teams reached 27 NCAA tournaments. She was a seven-time Big West Conference coach of the year. In 2002, the Gauchos had a school-record 23-match winning streak, went 18-0 in league play and finished with a 30-3 overall record, the best in UCSB history. Under Gregory, 13 UCSB players earned All-American honors.
Her career winning percentage of .681 is the highest among UCSB coaches in any sport. She was just the third woman inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame.
Gregory will be part of a three-person committee to search for her successor. She will help the athletic department evaluate the possibility of adding beach volleyball as an intercollegiate sport. Long Beach State, Pepperdine and other West Coast schools have already launched programs.