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Jen Greeny brings stellar resume to West Virginia volleyball

MORGANTOWN — College coaches with a resume like Jen Greeny’s are rarely available to hire. Even rarer is for a coach like that to make a lateral move to a program that has had much less success than their previous stop.

And yet Greeny, who had led Washington State volleyball to three straight 20-win seasons and eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances, left her alma mater to become the fifth head volleyball coach in WVU history.

“We’re thrilled to be coming to West Virginia to be able to build the volleyball program into a national powerhouse,” Greeny said during a Zoom press conference Thursday, a day after she was announced as WVU’s new head coach. “In college athletics, you’re happy a lot of times and then sometimes a great opportunity comes along like this.” 

At WVU, Greeny takes over a program that has just one NCAA Tournament appearance in its history and has gone 2-32 in Big 12 play over the last two seasons. The Mountaineers have just two 20-win seasons in the last 30 years.

It’s not dissimilar to the situation she walked into at Washington State, where she played from 1995-98, when the Cougars were 0-18 in conference play the season before he was hired in 2011.

“It’s a process,” Greeny said. “It’s training and getting the right players that buy-in and want to be the change and work really hard.”

Over the next 13 seasons, Greeny transformed her alma mater into a powerhouse with two NCAA Round of 16 appearances in 2018 and 2023. She was also a two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year.

“In 20 years it’s by far the best resume that I’ve ever been able to hire,” WVU athletic director Wren Baker said Thursday. “Coach Greeny is very accomplished. I made the comment to our committee that you always go into any search with multiple plans, A, B, C and D. Very rarely does plan A work, it’s usually a stretch plan, but this one actually did.”

When former WVU coach Reed Sunahara resigned last month, Greeny became Baker and WVU’s top target. Greeny was believed to be available because of the uncertainty of the future of the Pac-12 and Washington State’s place in conference realignment.

“The uncertainty of course with (Washington State’s) conference and the Pac-12 not being there is hard,” Greeny said. “We also graduated a lot of seniors and we have an eighth-grade daughter, so kind of the perfect time to find a new challenge.

“The biggest thing for me is Wren Baker and the vision he has for West Virginia athletics and volleyball in particular. We love building programs, it’s exciting, it’s a challenge and the Big 12 is an exciting place to be.”

Greeny’s husband, Burdette Greeny, served as her associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at WSU and will be coming with her to WVU. The pair has two daughters, Lauren and Leah. Lauren Greeny is a sophomore at Montana State and a member of the women’s golf team while Leah will be entering high school next year.