When John Cook took over the reins of the Nebraska volleyball program, the challenge facing him was daunting. Cook replaced one of the sport’s legendary coaches in Terry Pettit, who won 694 matches and guided the Huskers to 18 consecutive NCAA appearances and six National Semifinals.
Cook, who left an emerging power in Wisconsin to guide the tradition-rich Husker program, had his own vision for Nebraska volleyball. He saw a program that had even more potential to grow.
To date, Cook has led the Huskers to four National Championships, five Finals appearances, eight Final Four appearances, 12 Conference Titles, and 16 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Coach Cook currently has 692 career wins and is the fifth-winningest coach in NCAA history. Under Coach Cook, the Huskers have achieved 52 All-Americans and 19 Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, six-time Conference Coach of the Year, a recipient of the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award, and was inducted in 2017 to the AVCA Hall of Fame.
“It is a reflection of Nebraska volleyball and the program, and not about one person or one player,” Cook said when accepting the AVCA Coach-of-the-Year Award in 2005. “We’re trying to be a leader in the sport. We’re trying to take risks and dream big, and fortunately, I’m surrounded by a lot of people who have that vision. I’m really proud of what we’re doing to try and enhance the sport.”