Denver Announces New Volleyball Head Coach Megan Pendergast

Denver announced Megan Pendergast as DU’s new head coach for volleyball Monday afternoon after a lengthy search. Pendergast recently completed her third season as a UCLA Bruins’ assistant coach/recruiting coordinator. Prior to that, she coached at Oklahoma and Tulsa. Pendergast played college volleyball as a libero for Texas A&M.

Pendergast helped UCLA to a 59-25 record, including 43-17 in the Pac-12. In those three seasons, the Bruins won at least one game in each of their three NCAA Tournament appearances and made it all the way to the regional semifinals in their final season in Westwood, the program’s first round of 16 appearances since 2017. In addition to her assistant coaching responsibilities, Pendergast also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator.

In a press release, Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Ritchie Center Operations Josh Berlo said. “All the people we’ve talked to about Megan reference her exceptional knowledge of the game, commitment to academic success and her tireless recruiting of high-character student-athletes. She will be a great addition to the incredible coaching stable we have here at DU, and we are exceptionally excited for her to get started.”

Prior to her time in Westwood, Pendergast was an assistant at Oklahoma. The Sooners posted a 17-11 record, the program’s best mark since 2014. Prior to her time in Norman, Pendergast was an assistant for the Tulsa women’s volleyball team for four seasons (2014-2017). In her final year with the Golden Hurricane, they finished second in the nation in team digs and third in digs per set. Pendergast spent one year (2013) as a student assistant at her alma mater, Texas A&M.

At College Station, Pendergast, who was the starting libero for 59 of her 62 matches for the Aggies, posted 860 digs in two seasons, recording 419 (4.03 per set) as a junior in 2011 and 441 digs (3.90 per set) as a senior in 2012. As a senior, she earned SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors and tied for the team lead with 27 service aces. All told, she had 49 double-figure digs contests. Pendergast began her playing career at Nebraska (2009-2010). The League City, Texas native graduated from Texas A&M in 2013 with a degree in psychology.

Pendergast’s recruiting experience will come in handy as Denver volleyball is left with no setters on the current roster and only one middle, Cadi Boyer.

Note: Coach Pendergast background was pulled from

6 thoughts on “Denver Announces New Volleyball Head Coach Megan Pendergast”

  1. Interesting hire. I am cautiously optimistic…DU is likely gambling a bit with a young hire for less money.

    Pros: Big school pedigree (UCLA, Oklahoma, Tulsa as a coach, Nebraska and Texas A&M as a player), youthful energy and ability to relate to today’s athletes, potential recruiting connections in California and Texas.

    Cons: No head coaching experience, young (early 30s), and was a second assistant at UCLA (not high ranking).

    Let’s see how it plays out…

  2. Certainly no expert here, but Swami’s comments makes sense.

    Separate question: What happened with Jeff Hooker & women’s soccer? New coach seems intriguing, but haven’t heard anything about Hooker’s apparent sudden departure, which is odd given his long tenure here and success.

  3. The reason you haven’t heard anything about Hooker’s departure, even after 30+ mostly excellent seasons on the field, is by careful design.

    What is most interesting to me about this departure is that DU has suffered no player transfers to the portal (as far as I know) in spite of this coaching change. That is almost unheard of in college sports, especially when an otherwise successful long-term coach is suddenly no longer the coach.

    The team obviously loves their school…

  4. I get the ‘careful design’ aspect of info ( lack of ) regarding Hooker. But that leads to speculation of something quite bad… this site usually digs into such dirt, just curious . Honestly hoping it’s not something bad and he just wanted to retire.

    1. Speculating, I don’t believe (yet) that it was anything ‘bad’ that caused the parting, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t a pure retirement, either — the wording in the DU press release was far too terse for a coach who had been winning with the school for 30+ years…

      The primary factor I am hearing so far is roster management-related, but I don’t think any us of here at LGDU have a full picture as yet…

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