Director, Carolina Volleyball Camps, Inc.
HEAD VOLLEYBALL COACH,
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
One of the most successful coaches in college volleyball today, in 2017 Joe Sagula has completed his 28th season at Carolina and 37th year overall. The winningest coach in North Carolina volleyball history, Sagula has been at the helm for seven of UNC’s ACC Championships and 14 of its 19 NCAA tournament appearances. Sagula holds a career mark of 794-446 (64%) in 37 years on the court.
The Tar Heels have gone 591-323 since Sagula joined the program in 1990, an incredible winning percentage of 65 percent. Sagula has achieved this success after coming to Chapel Hill from the University of Pennsylvania, where he compiled a 203-123 record in nine seasons. Sagula notched his 700th career win during the 2013 season. Carolina has won more ACC titles – 12 – than any other volleyball program. And Sagula has the most ACC wins of any coach in history with 290, and his six ACC titles rank second among ACC coaches.
Sagula and the Tar Heels completed a season for the ages with their 2014 campaign, compiling a 29-3 record and a perfect 16-0 record at home en route to the most wins since the 2002 squad. North Carolina earned a series of new program highs during the incredible season, including a No. 7 AVCA Coaches Poll ranking, a No. 5 NCAA RPI ranking and a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament. UNC also peeled off a record 20-straight victories, the longest streak in program history. The season ended for the Tar Heels in the NCAA Regional Finals in Minneapolis, the first time the program had ever reached the Regional Final in Carolina volleyball history. Chaniel Nelson was named First Team All-ACC and an AVCA Second Team All-American, just the second Tar Heel to earn AVCA All-America honors, while Victoria McPherson, Paige Neuenfeldt and Ece Taner all earned All-ACC, AVCA All-Region and Honorable Mention All-America nods. Taner was also named the ACC Defensive Player Player of the Year while Sagula was named the ACC Coach of the Year.
The Tar Heels started off a record-setting 2013 campaign with a 15-0 win streak while recording the team’s best season start in program history. Carolina finished the season 27-5, tallying the most wins in a season since 2002, and grabbed a No. 25 final AVCA ranking for the first time since 2002. In 2012, Sagula led the Tar Heels to an undefeated home record (15-0) and the school’s 14th NCAA appearance. The 2012 squad finished 26-6 earned two AVCA All-America honorable mentions (Emily McGee, Paige Neuenfeldt), in addition to two All-ACC players (McGee, Chaniel Nelson), the ACC Freshman of the Year (Neuenfeldt), two AVCA All-East Region selections (McGee, Neuenfeldt) and the AVCA East Region Freshman of the Year (Neuenfeldt).
Sagula notched his 700th career victory during the 2013 season with an exciting 3-2 extra points win over Maryland on Nov. 24th, and his 500th career victory at North Carolina in the 2014 season. The Bronx, N.Y., native is the 17th coach in NCAA Division I history to compile 600 career victories. In conjunction with nearly 70 percent of his career victories coming at North Carolina, the veteran coach became the first coach in ACC history to ever earn 200 league wins Oct. 6, 2010, at Wake Forest.
Along with the seven ACC titles, Sagula has guided the Tar Heels to 14 top-three finishes in the league’s regular-season standings, including first-place finishes in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2014 and 2016. Sagula has also coached six ACC Players of the Year – Amy Peistrup in 1992, Erin Berg in 1998, Laura Greene in 2002, Dani Nyenhuis in 2005, Kaylie Gibson (Defensive POY) in 2010, Ece Taner (Defensive POY) in 2014, Taylor Leath in 2016, and back-to-back ACC Freshmen of the Year in Cameron Van Noy (2011) and Paige Neuenfeldt (2012).
In 2012 Sagula was inducted into the New Paltz Athletics Hall of Fame at his alma mater, the State University of New York at New Paltz. Sagula’s first introduction to volleyball was at New Paltz, class of ‘78, where he was a three-year letterwinner and captain during his senior year.