fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

Longtime Stanford volleyball coach becomes first assistant in AVCA Hall of Fame

Longtime Stanford women’s volleyball assistant coach Denise Corlett wrapped up her 31-year tenure in January and will be inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in December. (Photo: Stanford Athletics)

STANFORD, Calif. (BVM) – For the last 31 years, an obscure figure walked the bench of Maples Pavilion for Stanford women’s volleyball. A woman who served as the recruiting coordinator for nine national championship teams, helped lead the Cardinal to 17 Final Fours and guided 38 players to 93 AVCA All-America awards.

Denise Corlett was a part of the Stanford women’s volleyball coaching staff for more than 30 years before her retirement in January, and has been selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame.

“I was surprised because I thought only head coaches were eligible,” Corlett said.

Corlett’s surprise is warranted because, although she is a unique assistant, she is the first assistant coach to ever receive the prestigious honor.

During the longtime assistant’s tenure, the Cardinal were 875-146 (.857) and won an unprecedented nine NCAA titles and 18 Pac-12 championships. Stanford won three NCAA titles in a four-year span on two separate occasions with Corlett on the sidelines (1994, 1996-97 and 2016, 2018-19). The conference titles include six in a row between 1994-99 and 10 out of the past 14 seasons.

Don Shaw, Stanford head coach from 1984-99 and during the Cardinal Pac-12 six-peat in the ‘90s, said bringing Corlett onto his staff was one of the best moves he ever made.

“I’ve always felt that a key component to success in leadership is surrounding yourself with people who not only can handle the parts of the job that you realize you’re not good at, while at the same time share your vision and being able to bring their own perspective during respectful collaboration,” Shaw said in a Stanford press release.

“One of the best decisions I made during my tenure at Stanford was bringing Denise on board.”

A two-time AVCA National Assistant Coach of the Year, Corlett coached in 14 national championship matches at Stanford. She also helped mentor 10 Cardinal national players of the year to a combined 17 awards.

Corlett was a standout athlete herself at UCLA prior to joining the coaching ranks. The three-sport athlete for the Bruins won national championships in badminton and women’s basketball, and was a three-time volleyball All-American.

Despite a sparkling resume as both a player and coach, Corlett can’t point to just one memory or moment that stands above the rest.

“What I’ll miss the most is the relationships, getting to know the student-athletes and their families,” Corlett said. “I’ve recruited so many players across the country and that’s what made it fun for me, being supportive of all the student-athletes who came to Stanford because they’re the ones who did it. I was just someone on the sidelines.”

Corlett’s humility and focus on the development of student-athletes is apparent even now that she’s stepped away from coaching at the collegiate level, and it’s something Stanford head coach Kevin Hambly believes makes her deserving of such distinguished recognition.

“There is no question that her impact on the sport is hall of fame-worthy and we are lucky that the bulk of that impact was here at Stanford,” Hambly said in a Stanford press release. “Serving as the recruiting coordinator for nine national championship teams is an unmatchable feat.

“Her focus was always on the student-athletes, without ever needing the public recognition that came from the success that consistently surrounded her.”

For someone as accomplished and experienced over time as Corlett, it seems as though she could’ve had her pick of a program to become its head coach and any school would be lucky to have her. But none of that ever interested Corlett.

Staying in her native state of California, being able to watch her three nieces come up through the prep volleyball ranks and remaining part of a program like Stanford that has meant so much to her has kept Corlett from pursuing opportunities elsewhere.

A member of the AVCA’s 18th Hall of Fame Class, Corlett spent her esteemed 31-year career with the Cardinal exactly where she wanted: behind the scenes.

“It’s just time,” Corlett said. “I had a great career, it was fun. I just wanted to be able to go to birthdays, go to holidays. I went back home a couple years ago and it was my first Thanksgiving in 25 years, so things like that.”

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina led a young and talented Nazareth Academy team to new heights…

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s dream of playing DI baseball is coming true.

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis has become the face of the Kentucky football program and a potential first-round…

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

The top-ranked softball player in the state of New York and recent Gatorade Player of…

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard has one stop at the 2022 NHL Draft before he heads to Duluth…

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee has become a role model in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. With…

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning announced on Twitter that he will be continuing his football career at the…

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee's journey from Hamburg to becoming an Alabama baseball commit heavily involved Vanderbilt, an…

Dakota Jordan ‘ready to work’ for Mississippi State baseball

Dakota Jordan ‘ready to work’ for Mississippi State baseball

Mississippi State baseball recruit Dakota Jordan is ready to electrify in Starkville.

Karlyn Pickens ready for ‘perfect match’ with Tennessee

Karlyn Pickens ready for ‘perfect match’ with Tennessee

Karlyn Pickens was a tremendous three-sport athlete at North Buncombe High School who helped lead…