Joan Forge, the winningest volleyball coach in New Hampshire high school history, was named the fourth coach in the 22-year history of the women’s volleyball program in January 2018.
Prior to joining the staff at Plymouth State, Forge spent 42 years coaching high school sports in New Hampshire, including 33 years as the head volleyball coach at Gilford High School, where she posted a 542-83 record.
In her first season at PSU, Forge led the Panthers to the quarterfinals of the Little East Conference Tournament, extending the program-long streak of reaching the postseason to 23 years. PSU held off UMass Dartmouth in a thrilling five-set win on Senior Day to keep the streak alive.
An alumna of Plymouth State College (BS '77, MEd '00), Forge has also coached varsity softball and basketball during her career, amassing over 1,000 varsity wins across the three sports. She also spent 37 years as a physical education teacher at Ashland Public School, Gilford Middle High School and Gilford High School, prior to retiring from teaching in 2014.
Forge’s name has been synonymous with success among the high school volleyball circuit. She owns New Hampshire records with 15 state titles, a run of nine-straight championships, a 92-game winning streak and 24 consecutive trips to the state semifinals. In her 33 years as a head volleyball coach her team reached the state semifinals 30 times.
In addition to induction into the Plymouth State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002, she was enshrined in the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001, the NHIAA Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Glen Rock High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
She was named the New Hampshire Volleyball Coaches Association (NHVCA) Coach of the Year an impressive eight times (1997, 1999, 2001-04, 2006, 2015) and the National Federation Coaches Association Northeast Sectional Volleyball Coach of the Year twice (2002, 2004), while coaching 14 New Hampshire Volleyball Players of the Year, two Boston Globe Scholastic/Athletic Volleyball Players of the Year, two NHVCA Scholastic/Athletic Volleyball Players of the Year and one Gatorade Player of the Year.
Forge is also the owner and director of "Pass Set Crush" volleyball camps. The program offers an overnight, outdoor adventure camp with a concentration in volleyball for girls entering 7th - 9th grades at Geneva Point Center on Lake Winnipesaukee in nearby Moultonborough. The overnight camp celebrates its 20th year in 2018. Pass Set Crush also offers a summer day camp for girls entering kindergarten - 6th grade.
Forge and her husband Rick, also a member of the PSU Athletic Hall of Fame, reside in Moultonborough.