Hall of Fame Ohio State coach Hanson announces his retirement

Photo courtesy of Ohio State athletics

Three NCAA championships, 18 conference titles and more than 700 victories later Pete Hanson is officially concluding a Hall of Fame coaching career.

The 35-year tenured Ohio State head coach announced Thursday that he is retiring.

“Reflecting back on the 35 years spent as head coach at Ohio State I would be remiss if I did not say ‘thank you’ to the many people who helped me not only begin my journey at Ohio State, but also provided support and guidance along the way,” Hanson said in a statement. “Thank you to Jim Jones, Jim Stone, Phyllis Bailey, Bill Myles, Andy Geiger, Michelle Willis, Chris Schneider, Janine Oman and most especially Gene Smith for his support of our program, as well as men’s collegiate volleyball. In addition, I’d like to express my gratitude to Tim Embaugh, Sean Byron and Kevin Burch, three of the best coaches that I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

“I would also like to say thank you to the many, many student-athletes that chose to enroll at Ohio State and become members of our volleyball program.  The legacy of Ohio State volleyball was and has been built by all of those fine young men that wore the Scarlet and Gray. I am forever indebted to them, as they helped to ensure that Ohio State volleyball remained one of the most respected programs in the country.”


Hanson guided the Buckeyes to the program’s first national championship in 2011. Ohio State also won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2016-17, including winning the 2017 championship on its home court.

The Buckeyes during those two championship seasons also set an Ohio State record for any team sport with a 42-match winning streak.

Ohio State under Hanson won at least 20 matches in 22 of the coach’s 35 seasons. In addition, Hanson finishes with the third-most victories in NCAA men’s volleyball history at 712.

Along with the victories and national championships, Ohio State won 18 MIVA regular season titles and reached the NCAA Tournament 15 times.

Hanson also was a three-time National Coach of the Year recipient and was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2015.

Hanson was hired in 1985 to become the Buckeyes head coach after spending two years as the head coach of the Wyoming women’s volleyball team. As a player in the MIVA, Hanson was a junior college All-American at Kellogg College and then after transferring to Ball State was a two-time All-MIVA selection and led the Cardinals to the 1979 NCAA Tournament.

The retirement announcement comes a week after Ohio State suffered a season-ending loss to the Loyola in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals. The Buckeyes return multiple starters for the upcoming season and will move into a new volleyball arena.