PLYMOUTH, N.H. - After starting the women's volleyball program at Plymouth State College and serving as coach the first two years, John Garneau has announced his retirement from coaching, effective at the end of the current school year.
Garneau, who has been head coach since the program's inception in 1996, has built an outstanding foundation. He guided the Panthers to a 47-15 record, including back-to-back 20-win seasons, a 25-3 mark in the inaugural campaign in '96, and a 22-10 record in '97. In fact, PSC won its first 20 matches as a varsity team under Garneau in 1996.
"It was nice to come back to my alma mater," said Garneau, a 1964 PSC graduate. "It was a very pleasant experience. We were fortunate to have some talent on campus, and it was just a matter of taking that talent and getting some recruits and putting it together for a couple of nice winning seasons."
"The foundation for the volleyball program should be laid," added Garneau, "for some good years in the future. We've upgraded our schedule so we're competitive against some top, quality Division III teams in New England." Garneau has indicated a desire to pursue other interests along with his wife Ellen.
"I'd like to thank Plymouth State for the excellent support I've received," said Garneau, "from President Wharton and the faculty and administration on down. They have all been very supportive. I'd also like to mention my assistant coach Mariann Hunter and two student assistants Chris Kilmer and Ken Leyva, who were with me for two years. They have been outstanding and a tremendous help to me."
This is the second time Garneau has retired from coaching. He was a legendary high school girls' volleyball coach at Belmont (N.H.) High School, posting a 344-35 record and winning seven state championships before retiring from Belmont in 1994. Garneau is well known in volleyball circles around the state, having been a co-founder of the New Hampshire Volleyball Coaches Association and earning state Coach of the Year honors seven times. He also was named National High School Coach of the Year in 1982, and was inducted into the New Hampshire Coaches Hall of Fame in 1996.
"All of us in PSC athletics, including his student-athletes, will miss John not only for his superior coaching abilities but also the positive attitude and strong leadership skills he brought to the program every day," said PSC athletic director Steve Bamford. "Consecutive 20-win seasons in the first two years at PSC give credence to how valuable John's presence was in getting the program off the ground while being competitive from the get-go."
Bamford indicated that he hoped to name Garneau's successor later this month.
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