Storied Volleyball Head Coach Sue Everden Announces Phased Retirement from Amherst College

Storied Volleyball Head Coach Sue Everden Announces Phased Retirement from Amherst College

AMHERST, Mass. — Sue Everden, the Amherst College women's volleyball coach since 1986 who has amassed more than 700 volleyball wins—and more than 1,000 wins overall in multiple sports, the first Amherst coach to accomplish that feat—will begin a phased retirement at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year, it was announced by Don Faulstick, Director of Athletics, and Everden. While her active coaching duties will conclude at that time, Everden will plan and lead a team trip to Japan that is expected to take place in spring 2021.

Amherst volleyball has had a remarkable 34 consecutive winning seasons—every year for which Everden was the coach—and posted 20 or more wins in 24 of them. She has taken her teams to all 21 NESCAC volleyball conference championships—winning three—and seven NCAA national tournaments, including the quarterfinals in 2007 when the team posted a 30-5 record. She ranks sixth in NCAA Division III victories among active coaches, and her career .716 winning percentage ranks her 27th among active DIII coaches. She is a two-time NESCAC and New England Region Coach of the Year.

As the past head coach of Amherst's women's squash, lacrosse and softball teams, Everden notched her 1,000th head coaching win at the College last year. She also holds the College record for most games coached, with more than 1,500. At Amherst, she was part of the explosion of women's sports as the College went coed, breaking barriers and impacting the lives of countless student-athletes under her tutelage.

"I congratulate Sue on her retirement and remarkable coaching career," said Faulstick. "Being the first coach in school history to win over 1,000 games is truly amazing, but not surprising. Sue's teams were always very well prepared and played with an unmatched enthusiasm that will be hard to replicate. No matter what the score of the match was, her teams always looked like they were having the most fun. She is an amazing coach, person and colleague who cared about her students' success and experiences off the courts as much as their success on them. I'm genuinely happy for Sue and her partner, Laurie, and wish them the best in the next chapter of their lives. Although she won't be coaching next year, I'm excited that Sue will be working on the trip to Japan. I know how richly rewarding and educational the trip will be for the students."

"Sue is a highly respected coach who has built an exceptional program with her unwavering focus on her students," said Biddy Martin, president of Amherst College. "Beyond teaching her teams the fundamentals of the sport, she has taught them many life lessons. At an institution that is known for its academic rigor and that can be an intense and challenging environment for 18- to 21-year-olds, Sue cared deeply about all aspects of her student-athletes and helped to guide them to success, both academically and personally. We thank her for her passion, her commitment and her immeasurable contribution to Amherst College."

"I have always counted my lucky stars that I have had the opportunity to share in the educational experience of so many wonderfully talented, intelligent and caring women at Amherst," said Everden. "I have dedicated my professional life to creating a culture of inclusiveness, tolerance, personal and civic accountability -- and flat-out fun. I tried to nurture the passion burning inside every member of my teams in a way that would spark additional flames that would burn bright, not only in their volleyball lives, but in other aspects of their being. An indispensable part of our collective Amherst experience—and certainly mine—has been the undying support of our fans -- family, friends, faculty, staff."

Everden completed her undergraduate work at Slippery Rock University and earned a master's degree in sports teaching and administration at Springfield (Mass.) College. She is a native Ohioan; in addition to continuing to enthusiastically support her hometown's sports teams (Cleveland Browns, Cavs and Indians), Everden reports that, once fully retired, she and her partner also will pay a visit to "Mickey's house," a reference her players, friends and family will immediately understand.

Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, this story also appears on

More on Sue Everden
On Her Way to 1,000 Wins, Everden has Blazed a Trail for Women's Athletics - Oct. 18, 2018
The Wonderful, Whimsical Mind of Sue Everden - Sept. 17, 2008


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