Terry Pettit

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Terry Pettit
Biographical details
Born1946 (age 71)
Alma materManchester University
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Head coaching record
Overall694–148–12 (.820)
Accomplishments and honors
1 National (1995)
18 Big Eight (1977–92, 1994, 1995)
3 Big 12 (1996, 1998, 1999)
2x National Coach of the Year
9x Conference Coach of the Year
6x Regional Coach of the Year

Terry Pettit is a retired American volleyball coach. His only major coaching position was at Nebraska from 1977 to 1999, where he led the Cornhuskers to the school's first NCAA National Championship in 1995 by defeating Texas in the final. He led the team to 21 Big Eight and Big 12 conference championships in his 23 seasons as head coach and established Nebraska as one of the most decorated programs in the sport of volleyball.

Early life[edit]

Terry Pettit is a published poet who earned an MFA in creative writing, after earning a B.S. in English from Manchester University in Indiana. He attended graduate school in theology and worked as a reporter for the Church of the Brethren before teaching English at Louisburg College, in Louisburg, North Carolina.

At Nebraska[edit]

Terry Pettit was Nebraska's second coach from, and from 1977 to 1999 he built the Cornhuskers into a national power. He led the program to its first national championship (1995), two national runner-up finishes (1986, 1989), and three other national semifinal appearances (1990, 1996, 1998). Pettit earned 19 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1982 through 1999, and won the Big 8/Big 12 every year except 1977 and 1997, guiding the Huskers to a 694–148 record in his 23 years. He was named the Big 8/Big 12 Coach of the Year in 1985 – 1987, 1989, 1990, 1994 – 1996, and 1998, and the AVCA National Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1994. Pettit was the recipient of the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award in 2004. Under his tutelage, Allison Weston was named National Player of the Year in 1995. Nebraska led the nation in both All-American and Academic All-American selections during his tenure.[1]


Pettit built one of the most tradition-rich and powerful volleyball programs in NCAA history. To this day, Nebraska has sold out over 300 consecutive games between the Nebraska Coliseum and Bob Devaney Sports Center, and participated in the six highest-attended volleyball games in NCAA history. At the top of this list is Nebraska's victory over Florida on December 16, 2017, when 18,516 fans, nearly all of which wore red, watched the Cornhuskers defeat the Gators 3–1 for the national title at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

In December 2008 Pettit authored "Talent and the Secret Life of Teams," a collection of essays, columns, and creative writing on leadership and team-building based on his career as a coach and director of leadership academies at Creighton University, the University of Denver, and Colorado State University. In December 2013 Pettit authored a second book, "A Fresh Season – Insights Into Coaching, Leadership and Volleyball."

On September 6, 2013,[2][3] Nebraska played their inaugural match in the newly renovated Bob Devaney Sports Center which became their new home after playing its first 37 seasons in the historic Nebraska Coliseum from 1975 to 2012. To mark the occasion of the team's move to the newly renovated facility, Terry Pettit was honored with a court-naming ceremony during the match against Villanova University. Terry Pettit Court is etched along the sideline on the southwest side of the court.

Head coaching record[edit]

National champion Conference champion Conference and tournament champion
Season Team Overall Conference Standing NCAA tournament Final
Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Eight Conference) (1977–1995)
1977 Nebraska 42–12–7 1st Regional semifinalist
1978 Nebraska 35–25–2 1st Regional champion
1979 Nebraska 41–8–3 1st Regional runner-up
1980 Nebraska 35–15 1st Regional runner-up
1981 Nebraska 29–10 1st
1982 Nebraska 27–6 1st Regional semifinalist 15
1983 Nebraska 29–4 10–0 1st First round 16
1984 Nebraska 29–4 10–0 1st Regional runner-up 7
1985 Nebraska 28–3 10–0 1st Regional runner-up 6
1986 Nebraska 29–6 10–0 1st National runner-up 6
1987 Nebraska 30–5 10–0 1st Regional runner-up 10
1988 Nebraska 28–5 11–1 1st Regional semifinalist 5
1989 Nebraska 29–4 12–0 1st National runner-up 5
1990 Nebraska 32–3 12–0 1st National semifinalist 2
1991 Nebraska 27–5 12–0 1st Regional runner-up 7
1992 Nebraska 22–6 12–0 1st Regional semifinalist 7
1993 Nebraska 25–6 10–2 2nd Second round 8
1994 Nebraska 31–1 12–0 1st Regional runner-up 1
1995 Nebraska 32–1 12–0 1st NCAA champion 1
Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big 12 Conference) (1996–1999)
1996 Nebraska 30–4 19–1 1st National semifinalist 3
1997 Nebraska 27–7 16–4 2nd Regional runner-up 8
1998 Nebraska 32–2 19–1 1st National semifinalist 3
1999 Nebraska 27–6 17–3 1st Regional semifinalist 11
Nebraska: 694–148–12 214–12

The Big 12 does not play conference tournaments.


  1. ^ "terrypettit.com".
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBY3ua98EGo
  3. ^ https://journalstar.com/sports/columnists/sipple/steven-m-sipple-easy-to-grasp-meaning-of-terry-pettit/article_433b24a0-aed8-555a-b61e-095338662ed1.html

External links[edit]