Minnesota Head Women's Volleyball Coach Mike Hebert announced his retirement at a team meeting on Saturday, Dec. 11 in Seattle, Wash.
"Coaching volleyball has been a labor of love for me," said Hebert. "Not once over the past 35 years have I started a day wishing I were doing something else. However, all of us coach with the realization that one day it has to end. That day has come for me. I want to devote more of my time to my wife Sherry, my daughters Becky and Hillary, and my grandsons Mateo and Farris. I owe them a level of attention that the long hours required by the coaching profession often preclude."
The University of Minnesota athletic department will begin a national search for Hebert's replacement.
"Mike has been everything you could ask for in a coach and more," said Director of Athletics Joel Maturi. "He has guided this program to an extremely high level of success on and off the court, and has done a spectacular job of recruiting and producing student-athletes of the highest caliber. In his 15 years at Minnesota, he has turned this program into one of the elite in the nation. We would like to thank him for raising the bar for University of Minnesota volleyball to the highest level for now and in the years to come. I have truly enjoyed the time I have had working with Mike and I join all Minnesotans in wishing Mike a long and healthy retirement."
Hebert finishes his career with a record of 952-392, a 381-125 mark in his 15 years at Minnesota and is fourth on the all-time Division I women's volleyball victories list (892). He is the only coach in Division I women's volleyball to ever lead two different programs from the same conference to Final Four appearances and one of four to make multiple trips to the Final Four with two different programs.
During his 15 years with the Gophers, he led the team to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, eight NCAA Regional trips, four NCAA Regional Finals, three Final Fours and one appearance in the National Championship match against Stanford in 2004. In his 14 NCAA appearances with the Gophers, he was 29-14. Hebert also guided Minnesota to its first Big Ten title in 2002.
This year was Hebert's 28th year coaching in the Big Ten, making him the longest tenured coach in the conference. Prior to his 15 years at Minnesota, he was at Illinois where he went 323-127 and led the Illini to two Final Four appearances in 1987 and 1988. Hebert also coached at New Mexico for three years and Pittsburgh for four years where he led both teams to postseason appearances. He is one of a select group of coaches in Division I women's volleyball to lead two different programs to 300 wins.
"As the retirement decision began to crystallize over the past several months I also knew that I wanted to leave the program in good condition," said Hebert. "As I look at next season’s roster I believe that the timing is right to accomplish that goal."
Minnesota returns all but one player from this year's team that finished 26-9, tied for second in the Big Ten at 14-6 and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals.