Luenemann will not return as WUSTL volleyball coach

Rich Luenemann, head women’s volleyball coach at Washington University in St. Louis since 1999, will not be returning to the Danforth Campus following his leave of absence, announced John Schael, athletics director.

Luenemann compiled a 480-62 (.886) overall record in 14 seasons at WUSTL and won three NCAA Division III national championships (2003, 2007, 2009). He also guided WUSTL to nine University Athletic Association (UAA) championships and 14 postseason appearances, including six trips to the NCAA title match.

“Having the opportunity to coach at Washington University has proven to be one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life,” Luenemann said. “Washington University affords student-athletes the chance to enjoy the happiest of marriages between academics and athletics in offering outstanding opportunities both in the classroom and on the court. It’s been a privilege working at such a wonderful institution.”

Luenemann coached 47 NCAA Division III All-Americans at WUSTL, and three of his players earned College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America honors. He was tabbed as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Coach of the Year on three occasions (2003, 2007 and 2009), and also earned UAA Coaching Staff of the Year honors five times.

“An outstanding strategist and enthusiastic teacher, Coach Luenemann contributed greatly to the time-honored traditions tied to Bears volleyball. We will miss his presence at courtside,” Schael said.

Luenemann came to WUSTL from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill., where he compiled an 18-year record of 590-262 (.692) and coached the Fighting Saints to the NAIA Tournament seven times. He coached 15 NAIA All-Americans at St. Francis, and eight of his players were named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

“My departure from coaching will create a huge void in my life, but it’s time for my wife, Joan, to become the rudder of our ship,” Luenemann added. “Joan’s fragile medical condition requires my full attention as her primary caregiver, and we’ll work hand-in-hand to maximize the quality of her improvement.”

Luenemann is the fifth coach in NCAA history to eclipse 1,000 career victories, compiling a 1,070-324 (.768) record in 32 seasons on the sideline.