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Stevens Institute of Technology Athletics | August 28, 2020

Legendary Stevens men’s volleyball coach Patrick Dorywalski to retire

2015 DIII Volleyball Championship Full Replay: Springfield vs. Stevens Institute

HOBOKEN, N.J. (August 28, 2020)  — Patrick Dorywalski, the winningest active men's volleyball coach across all NCAA divisions, and the first coach to lead any Stevens Institute of Technology varsity athletic team to an NCAA Championship, is retiring after 31 seasons with the program and 37 years as a head coach at Stevens, Director of Athletics Russell Rogers announced today. The retirement will be effective August 31.

"Stevens has been an amazing enrichment in my life," Dorywalski said. "I have made hundreds of friends, co-workers and professional acquaintances in my 37 years here. I truly enjoyed working with so many amazing people like the AD who hired me, Buzz Seymour, or the AD who mentored me the most, Frank Rotunda, and of course, Linda Vollkommer."

Rogers, who has been the Athletic Director for 20 of Dorywalski's 37 years on Castle Point, is proud of how much his long-tenured coach has advanced the sport of men's volleyball. 

"It is difficult to express in a few words the contributions that Patrick has made to Stevens during his career," Rogers added. "What sticks out, of course, is winning the first NCAA team championship in Stevens history in 2015 and the standard of consistent excellence that his program has established. Patrick is the only [head] coach our men's program has ever known and was also the first [head] coach of our women's program. The impact of his efforts really hits home when one considers how successful both programs have been."

"At the national level, Patrick has been a force in the growth of the men's game; first in the development of the Molten Championship, and ultimately, in the development of the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship," Rogers continued. "These efforts have not only helped shape the college experience for our student-athletes at Stevens, but for so many more student-athletes across the country."

Originally arriving in Hoboken in 1984 as the head coach of the women's club volleyball team, Dorywalski remained in charge of the program as it transitioned into a varsity sport in 1986, amassing a 5-7 record. He would go on to spend 14 seasons as the head women's volleyball coach, compiling 136 victories, three conference championships, and what is believed to be the only tie in program history (1990), before shifting his focus solely to men's volleyball in 1999. Dorywalski was tabbed Coach of the Year by the Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) on five different occasions, including back-to-back accolades in both 1992-93 and 1995-96, and saw 27 student-athletes collect All-Conference recognition. The Ducks' 0.902 winning percentage as a result of their 21-2 record in 1993, remains the program's single-season high-water mark and Dorywalski still ranks second in program history in career coaching wins.

Since the men's volleyball program's inception in 1990, Dorywalski has served as its only head coach, amassing 635 victories against just 279 losses for a 0.695 career winning percentage over 31 seasons. He holds the record for victories by any Stevens head coach and leaves the bench with the fourth-most wins of any men's volleyball coach in NCAA history and his 0.695 career winning percentage ranks 15th all-time. Combined with his victories as a women's volleyball coach, Dorywalski leaves the sport with 771 career coaching victories.

"People will say that my legacy at Stevens is the first NCAA team national championship or the NCAA appearances," Dorywalski reflected. "However, I would say that my legacy is the hundreds of incredible student-athletes that I have had the pleasure of helping through their time at Stevens. They are all great people and I will never forget them."

"The thing I will always remember most about Patrick is his perspective," Rogers offered. "He understood his role as an educator and how much more important that was than the wins and losses. He understood how important it was to help the Athletic Department and his colleagues in any way he could. We will miss him greatly and wish Patrick nothing but the best as he heads into this exciting new phase of his life!"

What They're Saying

Kathy DeBoer, Executive Director, American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA):

"Very few coaches are able to nurture a program from infancy to adulthood. Patrick had the rare combination of confidence, humility, adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit to pull it off. Stevens and Division III men's volleyball grew together in stature and relevance during the last 30 years, and Patrick will always be a key part of both stories."   

John Garrett, Chair, NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Committee:

"Stevens volleyball has had a tremendous amount of success as one of the premier Division III programs in the country. A perennial power regionally and nationally, Coach Dorywalski has built the program from the ground up. I congratulate him on his retirement and wish him the best in his future!"

Linda Volkommer-Lynch, Head Women's Fencing Coach, Stevens Institute of Technology:

"Patrick Dorywalski is not only one of the greatest coaches in Stevens history because he's accomplished something that no other coach in school history has been able to do in winning a team national championship, but it could be said that he is one the greatest to ever coach the sport of volleyball. Coach Dorywalski made the student-athlete experience more than just about playing volleyball. He spent many long hours planning winter break trips all over the world, as they competed against teams in Luxembourg, Scotland, England and Germany, with the purpose of expanding the student-athlete experience to more than just volleyball. Additionally, the team traveled to Hawai'i to play against Division I competition and he always challenged his team with a difficult schedule. Patrick was a mentor, a counselor and a friend to his team and he has wonderful relationships and friendships with most of his alumni.

"Patrick is also only a personal friend (I am the reason he came to Stevens), but he has done so much beyond his duties at Stevens like printing archery targets or helping me with computer problems. We have had a running debate as to who has the most career wins at Stevens. He would constantly make the total to include his wins from his time as the head coach of both the men's and women's volleyball teams, of which I would answer that is two separate teams! Well now, just counting his men's volleyball victories, he has overtaken me, but, with his retirement, I now have a chance to forge ahead! That being said, and in all seriousness, I will miss him immensely and miss not being able to go over to his office for quick hello, a little help or for some coaching advice!"

Annie McShea, Head Women's Volleyball Coach, Stevens Institute of Technology:

"Patrick is leaving a lasting legacy on Stevens and the sport of volleyball as a whole. He was, and will continue to be, a very well-respected member of the volleyball community and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be his colleague for this short time. It was a thrill to be able to watch his men's team have so much success and to carry on the history of the women's program that he created. Without Patrick, both the men's and women's volleyball teams at Stevens would not have the recognition and accolades that they do today. We are indebted to everything Patrick has done for our sport and athletic department and he will be missed! This is a well-deserved retirement and I wish Patrick all the best in the next chapter."

Austin Voges, Interim Head Men's Volleyball Coach, Stevens Institute of Technology:

"Patrick has done some very special things at Stevens. From starting both the men's and women's volleyball programs to taking multiple team trips to Europe, to winning the school's first team national championship and more, he has given his student-athletes amazing experiences while they were at Stevens. As a fellow coach, and someone I am also proud to call both a mentor and friend, I wish him the best of luck in his retirement!"

Jose Pina, Head Men's Volleyball Coach, New York University:

"I will miss Patrick as a competitor, a friend and a source of advice. He has been one of the most successful coaches in volleyball. But, even more importantly, he has been a great ambassador, volunteering for countless committees to advocate for the betterment of our sport. He has mentored younger coaches; he was always there for the conference, for the division, for men's volleyball, and, he was always there when I called or emailed for opinions and advice. A true gentleman and friend, Patrick will be missed on the sidelines of the Stevens Institute of Technology men's volleyball program. But, he has left the sport in a better place for having been part of it. Enjoy your hard-earned free time. I hope to see you in the stands at the next NYU vs. Stevens match."

Charlie Sullivan, Head Men's Volleyball Coach, Springfield College:

"Patrick Dorywalski has been an important part of Division III Men's Volleyball because he is responsible for the start of our sport. Patrick gave Stevens an amazing amount of support when it was not common in Division III men's volleyball and that raised the standard for our sport. We owe a lot of the things that we have today to Patrick's efforts to make our sport better by running his team and working behind the scenes at the AVCA."

Richard Gary, Head Men's Volleyball Coach, Vassar College:

"Pat has not just brought elite volleyball and sustained success to Stevens, he's mentored countless young athletes and coaches, who are now out there making a difference. I'm sad to lose him as a competitor, but very lucky to have experienced his generosity of spirit and the excitement he brought to the game every day. He raised the bar in Division III men's volleyball."

Glenn DeHaven, Head Men's and Women's Volleyball Coach, Juniata College (and former Stevens Head Women's Volleyball Coach):

"It has been an enormous pleasure to have played against, coached with, and coached against Patrick. He is truly an iconic coach in Division III men's volleyball and I will be truly sad to see him go! Not many coaches have had the opportunity and ability to start a program and build it into a national power the way Patrick did with Stevens. I wish Patrick all the best! He will be missed!"

J.J. O'Connell, Head Women's Volleyball Coach, Current SUNY Oswego  (and former Stevens Head Women's Volleyball Coach):

"Patrick was such a great mentor to have during my first head coaching position while at Stevens. He helped me to understand how to use all the strengths that existed within the university to build the women's team into one of the top teams in the nation. It certainly helped to be able to piggyback on the successes of his teams in selling my vision for a winning culture to top recruits. I truly enjoyed my time working alongside Patrick and was so happy for him when his team won the university's first team national championship. Best of luck to Patrick in all future endeavors!"

Ralph Bednarczyk, Play-by-Play Announcer (Called Stevens' national championship victory over Springfield College at Canavan Arena in 2015):

"The thing that I will always [remember] about Patrick is that his gyms were so consistently stacked and talented that his challenge every year was to try to organically bring out the best in such loaded and deep rosters and also have so many talented [student-athletes] buy-in to perhaps different roles. Chris Vaughan, for example, having to be a libero in 2015; [student-athletes] having to buy-in to splitting the setter position; elite outside hitters that would be a libero for a year to get the best seven guys in a rotation - so that was always his challenge that he had to balance with so much talent. He was effectively able to do that for a very long time. So I think that was Pat's greatest strength: managing a gym unlike many others, and most others, in Division III volleyball. Best of luck in your retirement and I hope to see you around future NCAA Championships."

In addition to his remarkable stretch of 17 seasons with at least 20 wins, which include eight straight if you look past this year's 18-win campaign that was abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dorywalski has coached two AVCA National Players of the Year in Andrew Cranford (2009) and David Evans (2015) and 31 AVCA All-Americans (with 15 earning first-team honors), including David Lehman and Grant Burden, who each received the distinction this season. For Lehman, it was his fourth consecutive accolade, making the Oakland, California native the first four-time All-American in program history to have earned each of his four awards while representing Stevens. Of the numerous student-athletes that have suited up for Coach Dorywalski, three (William Molina, Chris Bock and Cranford) are enshrined in the Stevens Athletics Hall of Fame.

Also of note, a Stevens men's volleyball student-athlete has earned a major award from either the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) or the North Eastern Collegiate Volleyball Conference (NECVA) on 11 different occasions with Dorywalski himself earning Coach of the Year recognition in 2006 (NECVA Metro), 2007 (NECVA) and 2015 (UVC). When combined with his accolades from his time on the women's volleyball sidelines, Dorywalski is an eight-time Coach of the Year.

While Dorywalski's program's performance on the court speaks for itself: 635 career wins, seven NCAA Tournament appearances, five NCAA semifinal appearances, five Molten Final Fours, four NECVA titles, two UVC championships, two Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) crowns and one NCAA national championship trophy, perhaps the Ducks' most significant area of success came in the classroom. Winners of five straight AVCA Team Academic Awards, three Ducks have earned the NCAA's prestigious Elite 90 Award, with the program claiming four total since 2014. Additionally, the program has produced nine Academic All-Americans, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, including Lehman this year, who earned his second straight award.

Keeping as busy off the court as he was on it, Dorywalski served on numerous committees, including stints on the ECAC Selection Committee, the NECVA Executive Board, Chairman of the WIAC, the AVCA All-American Selection Committee, the AVCA Coaches Voting Committee and was the first chair of the UVC. He also served a six-year term on the AVCA Board of Directors as the Division III Men's Representative, the first DIII men's head coach to be named to the board. Lastly, for nearly 10 years, Dorywalski has worked on the opposite side of the court, officiating matches for the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials (PAVO) and the NCAA, a role he plans to continue with now that he's retired from coaching.

"There are far too many memories and people to choose ones that stand out," he reflected. "But I will definitely miss all my friends, the student-athletes, the people I worked with and everyone that's been a part of my coaching career for these past 37 years."

Rogers has named Voges Interim Head Coach. Voges returned for his second stint on Castle Point in 2019 and has spent five total seasons with the program after first arriving in Hoboken prior to the 2011 season. Between stints with the program, Voges amassed 51 victories over two seasons as the head men's volleyball coach at Hunter College in New York City.

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