SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sam Crosson, who coached Cal Poly to back-to-back Big West Conference women's volleyball titles and NCAA Division I playoff berths, has resigned in order to accept the head coaching position at California.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Cal director of athletics Jim Knowlton. Crosson replaces Jennifer Dorr, who served one season as interim head coach of the Golden Bears. Cal was 15-16 this fall, including a 7-13 Pac-12 mark for 10th place. Dorr, who has been a member of the Cal program since 2009, will stay on as an associate head coach.
In seven seasons with the Mustangs, Crosson compiled an overall career record of 114-83 and a Big West career mark of 67-48. Cal Poly earned back-to-back Big West crowns and NCAA regional berths for the first time since the 2006-07 seasons.
Crosson was named Big West Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018, the second time a Cal Poly coach has done that since Jon Stevenson in 2006-07 and just the second time in program history. Crosson is just the third coach in program history to win the award.
In 2017 he was also named the AVCA Pacific North Region Coach of the Year, the second Cal Poly coach to win that award and the first since 1992. Crosson turned around a program from a 4-26 record in his first season in 2012 to a combined 52-6 mark in the last two campaigns.
Crosson served as an assistant at Cal from 2010-11 under longtime head coach Rich Feller, when the Bears made consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including an appearance in the national title game in 2010. The Bears also claimed the Pac-10 championship that season.
Crosson began his coaching career at Pacific, his alma mater, with the men's volleyball program and also was an assistant coach for women's teams at Santa Clara and Saint Mary's before coming to Cal Poly.
Crosson led the Mustangs to a historic season in 2017 with a 27-3 mark, the best record in program history, a perfect 16-0 in the Big West (the first undefeated Big West season in program history) en route to the program's first conference title in 10 years and an undefeated home record for the first time since 2007.
The 2017 season also marked the first time sweeping the season series against Hawai'i since 1985, including the first time Cal Poly had beaten the Rainbow Wahine at Mott Athletics Center, a 22-match winning streak (the longest in program history), being ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 2008 and the first appearance and win in the NCAA Tournament since 2007.
In 2018, Crosson guided the Mustangs to the best start in program history at 19-1, their highest ranking since 2008 after reaching No. 11 in the AVCA Top 25, a 15-1 Big West record, an 18-match win streak and the first wins over a Top-10 ranked opponent since 2007 with two victories over No. 9 UCLA in early September.
For the second straight season, the 2018 team went undefeated at Mott Athletics Center with a 10-0 record, extending the program's home wins streak to 19 dating back to 2016
During his tenure, Cal Poly had two players (Taylor Nelson in 2017 and Torrey Van Winden in 2018) win Big West Player of the Year and two players (Adlee Van Winden in 2015 and Avalon DeNecochea) in 2018 win Big West Freshman of the Year. Cal Poly also had a total of 14 players named All-Big West, three players named to All-American teams and three players selected to the AVCA All-Region team.
Under Crosson's guidance, the program turnaround began in 2015 after the squad went 19-8 overall, a 10-match turnaround from 2014, and earned the team a third-place conference finish, which was the best since 2010. The 19 overall wins and 11 conference wins were both the most since 2010.
A search for Crosson's replacement will begin immediately.