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The Daily Tar Heel

Joe Sagula, the winningest volleyball coach in ACC history, announces retirement


UNC head coach Joe Sagula and the team are pictured during a volleyball match against Louisville on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. Sagula announced his retirement in January after 33 years at the helm of UNC's program.

After 33 years at the helm of the UNC volleyball program, head coach Joe Sagula announced his retirement on Monday morning. 

Sagula is the winningest volleyball coach in ACC history, with 10 ACC Championships — seven in the regular season and three in the tournament. He has made 15 NCAA Tournament appearances at North Carolina. 

"As I made this decision to retire, my main focus was to ensure that I leave this program in a strong position to continue to compete for championships, and I feel that timing is right," Sagula said in the announcement.

Throughout his career, Sagula recorded 865 wins — and a 662-384 record while leading the Tar Heels.

Sagula is among the top 20 for all-time wins by a Division I volleyball coach. He has coached five ACC Players of the Year, two ACC Defensive Players of the Year and five ACC Freshmen of the Year. 

"With Joe's retirement, Carolina Athletics and the sport of volleyball loses an extraordinary coach, lifelong mentor, and dedicated teacher,'' Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said. 

UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said Sagula has been a dedicated teacher and leader to his teams and leaves the UNC volleyball program in a strong position for the future.

"Joe's long commitment to Carolina and the sport of volleyball shows not only in his program's success on the court, but also in his student-athletes' success off of it,'' Cunningham said. 

In 2020, Sagula was inducted into the NC Volleyball Hall of Fame. He was most recently named one of the 50 Champions of Carolina Women's Athletics.

In his retirement announcement, Sagula said he is proud of the players and recruits in the volleyball program. He thanked the Carolina Athletics administration and Guskiewicz for their support. 

"I feel fortunate to have the support of so many in our community, including our loyal fans, students and donors," Sagula said. "The legacy we have created has helped build something special and lasting in Chapel Hill." 

A national search for the program's next coach will begin immediately, and Sagula will remain the program's head coach until a successor is named.


@dthsports |

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