A former National Player of the Year will return to Pepperdine to take over a men’s volleyball program that has made three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Pepperdine announced on Friday that it hired Jonathan Winder to be its new head coach.
“It’s a great day for our men’s volleyball program,” Pepperdine Director of Athletics Steve Potts said in a statement. “Jonathan is one of the best and most decorated student-athletes ever in our program and we are very excited to have him return to lead our team as the head coach. He so completely embodies the commitment to our institution’s Christian faith, to the academic success of our student-athletes and to maintaining our championship-caliber men’s volleyball program at the highest level.”
This will be Winder’s third stint at Pepperdine – and in a different role each time.
Winder as a setter was a four-time All-American who helped the Waves win the program’s last NCAA championship in 2005 and was named the National Player of the Year in 2007. He also returned to his alma matar following a professional career and served as an assistant coach under Hall of Fame coach Marv Dunphy during the 2014 season.
Winder left Peperdine in 2015 to become an assistant coach with the Washington women’s volleyball team and went on to serve two seasons as head coach of the Washington beach volleyball team. In addition, Winder spent the last four year as the head coach for the Fresno State women’s volleyball team.
“The sense and responsibility I feel to Pepperdine University is immense,” Winder said in a statement. “I believe wholeheartedly in the mission to develop men for lives of purpose, service and leadership through the pursuit of excellence on the court. It is an incredible opportunity to be able to serve Pepperdine by leading the men’s volleyball team, where some of the greatest moments and leaders in Pepperdine’s history have come through. I am thrilled to steward the program with my family and my faith at the forefront of everything we do. We look forward to being back in Malibu.”
Pepperdine finished last season winning the MPSF Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament opening round.
David Hunt following the season resigned as the head coach to move closer to his family and join the coaching staff of the Texas women’s volleyball team. Hunt guided the Waves to two MPSF championships in the last four years and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.