Gophers name Keegan Cook next volleyball coach, replacing Hugh McCutcheon
Cook, 37, spent the past eight seasons at Washington, where he led the Huskies to the NCAA tournament in each season.
ST. PAUL -- Just days after coach Hugh McCutcheon’s last season as the University of Minnesota volleyball coach came to a close, the university already has his replacement in place.
Keegan Cook, formerly the head coach at the University of Washington, will take over the powerhouse volleyball program, agreeing to a five-year deal at Minnesota. That deal is pending a background check and Board of Regents approval.
Cook, 37, spent the past eight seasons at Washington, where he led the Huskies to the NCAA tournament in each season. During his reign, the Huskies made the Elite Eight four times and registered one Final Four appearance. He finished his career there with a 198-56 record. Before that, he served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, St. Mary’s College of California. He also has experience coaching for USA Volleyball.
“It is an honor to lead a historic program in Minnesota and compete in the best conference in the nation in the Big Ten,” Cook said in a release. “… I am looking forward to getting to know the team, the alumni, and engaging with the passionate fans and volleyball community in Minnesota. I can’t wait to get started.”
Cook becomes the eighth full-time head volleyball coach at the university but just the third since 1996. Most recently, McCutcheon led the program from 2012-22, finishing with a 277-74 record. The Gophers’ season came to an end in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament last Thursday when they fell 3-1 to Big Ten foe Ohio State.
McCutcheon announced in October that he would be stepping down at the conclusion of this season. Later that month, athletic director Mark Coyle announced that McCutcheon would transition into an assistant athletic director/sport development coach job in January, a newly created role.
During McCutcheon’s 11 seasons, he won a pair of Big Ten titles and led the Gophers to the NCAA Final Four three times, leaving Cook with big shoes to fill.
“(Cook) has a proven record of success when it comes to recruiting, developing and coaching student-athletes, and he knows what it takes to compete for conference and national championships,” Coyle said in a release. “Gopher volleyball is tremendously important to the Minnesota community, but it is also a national program that has an ever-expanding fan base and competes at an extremely high level. I know Keegan is ready to get to work, and I am looking forward to him leading the Gophers.”
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