Jen Greeny begins her fifth season at the helm of the Washington State University volleyball program in the fall of 2015, and another nationally-ranked recruiting class has fans eager with anticipation.
Greeny and her staff have been consumed with a concerted effort to return the Cougars volleyball program to the national prominence it received when Greeny was a player and an assistant coach. To that end, the Cougars ranked No. 17 in recruiting class rankings from 2013-15 according to PrepVolleyball.com, which includes two classes ranked among the Top 21: No. 14 in 2013, and No. 21 in 2015, with the 2014 class garnering honorable mention accolades. Among WSU recruits are five PrepVolleyball.com Top 100 players and two Gatorade State Players of the Year. Greeny credits her husband and lead recruiter, assistant coach Burdette Greeny, with achieving these fine recruiting classes.
The Cougars compete in the country’s strongest volleyball conference, the Pac-12 Conference, where an NCAA record of 10 teams competed in the NCAA Championship tournament last year. The 2014 season found WSU facing 12 NCAA Championship tournament teams in 20 of its 32 matches, with the Cougars leading the nation in sets won versus Top 25-ranked or receiving votes teams by a non-ranked team. WSU’s 2014 regular season schedule was rated the fourth most difficult among the Pac-12 member schools (Pablo rankings). In four years, Greeny’s WSU teams have posted a 40-7 non-conference record.
Meeting tough competition has brought out great performances by Cougar players. The 2015 senior libero Kate Sommer, the first recruit signed by Greeny, has accumulated 1,475 digs in three years which is second-best in WSU all-time records and only 298 digs from claiming the school record. Sommer’s season totals of 521 digs (2014), 495 digs (2013) and 459 digs (2012) rank fourth, sixth, and eighth-best in WSU’s single season school records. Sommer was selected from the 2015 USA Open Tryouts to compete for the USA team at the 11th Annual Global Challenge tournament in Croatia in the summer of 2015.
A pair of 2014 seniors tallied impressive statistics on the court: Jaicee Harris was the fourth Cougar to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career, and Chelsie Bettinson was second in the Pac-12 in blocks per set, and fourth in the nation in total blocks, during the regular season.
Kyra Holt enters her junior season on the verge of reaching the 1,000 kills threshold. Holt, the 2013 AVCA Pacific North Region Freshman of the Year as well as an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and Pac-12 All-Freshman First Team selection, starts the 2015 season with 871 career kills, just 129 kills from 1,000. Holt also has 590 career digs and her 999.5 points is eighth-best in WSU’s all-time records.
In March 2011, Greeny became the 12th coach in the history of the Cougars volleyball program. She has compiled a four-year record of 53-76 at WSU and has an eight-year career record of 165-100. As Jennifer Stinson, Greeny played and coached at WSU during the program’s most successful years on the Palouse and when hired, Greeny made a commitment to not only restore the program but to take it to the next level of success.
Under Greeny’s mentoring in 2011, Megan Ganzer became the fourth All-America player in WSU history and the first selected since 1996. Greeny, and her assistant coach Burdette Greeny, have coached eight All-Americans and several players who have had successful professional careers including Ganzer (Puerto Rico, Romania, and Germany), Camryn Irwin (Austria and Sweden), Chelsie Bettinson (Sweden) and Anile Clemente, a three-time All-American at Lewis-Clark State (Denmark).
Greeny has also changed the academic culture of the program with seven consecutive semesters of a team grade point average of 3.0 or better.
As the head volleyball coach at Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston, Idaho) from 2007-10, Greeny accumulating an impressive 112-24 record (.824) while turning the Warriors’ program into one of the premier NAIA teams. She took the reins of a struggling program and led it to success, winning four consecutive Frontier Conference regular season titles and four consecutive berths to the NAIA National Tournament. The Warriors finished in the top 13 in the nation each year and ended the 2010 season at 31-3 (.912), the best mark in the history of the program. Greeny was a four-time Frontier Conference Coach of the Year and the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association’s Northwest Region Coach of the Year.
Jennifer Stinson was a stellar multi-sport athlete at Davenport (Wash.) High. At WSU she became the seventh player in WSU history with 1,000 career kills. A three-time All-Pacific-10 Conference selection, Greeny’s statistics are prominent in WSU’s all-time career lists ranking third in block assists (360), fourth in total blocks (419), and seventh in solo blocks (59). She trained with the 1997 U.S. National volleyball team.
Greeny also excelled in the classroom where she was WSU’s Athlete of the Year in 1998-99. She was a CoSIDA District VIII Academic All-America first-team and second-team selection her final two years and was a Pac-10 Volleyball All-Academic selection three times. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from WSU in 1999.
Greeny spent four and one-half years on WSU Head Coach Cindy Fredrick’s volleyball coaching staff. At the time of her departure, Greeny had been involved in six of the 10 seasons Cougar volleyball qualified for postseason action, three as a player and three as an assistant coach. During her playing career, WSU was ranked as high as fifth in the country and made the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championship Tournament. Greeny was instrumental in WSU’s second and only other appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, in 2002, this time as an assistant coach.
Greeny and her husband, Burdette Greeny, a former standout pitcher at WSU and an assistant volleyball coach at WSU, have two daughters Lauren and Leah. She is a member of the Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation.