Janice Kruger, 20th year at Maryland, 30th overall (Nebraska `77)
Maryland volleyball head coach Janice Kruger's career accomplishments have reached an apex in recent years: five ACC titles, seven trips to the NCAA Tournament, five ACC and AVCA Region Coach of the Year honors and the top spot among all-time winningest coaches in ACC Volleyball history.
Kruger boasts an impressive .652 overall winning percentage since the 2003 season. After winning the ACC Championship in 2004 with an 18-15 season record, the Terps improved to 28-5 in 2005 to win their third-consecutive ACC Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year. Maryland eased past Kentucky in the first round of the 2005 NCAA's, before dropping a close contest to Louisville.
The AVCA named Kruger the East Region Coach of the Year in 2005, marking the fifth time she won the award. In 2003, Kruger was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year after leading Maryland to the ACC Championship. Kruger became the ACC's all-time winningest coach that year and now, heading into the 2007 season, ranks first in conference history with 363 victories at Maryland.
After nearly two decades as one of the top coaches in the ACC, Kruger is set to embark on her 20th season as head coach of the Terrapins. With 738 career victories, Kruger has built a powerful program in College Park that includes ACC titles in 1990, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2005 and trips to the NCAA Tournament in 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Kruger's success has not gone without notice, as she has been named both the ACC and AVCA District/Region Coach of the Year in 1990, 1996, 1997, 2003 and 2005. During her coaching career, Kruger has amassed an amazing 738-340-6 mark, including a stellar 363-235 record in College Park.
With an impressive track record at both Maryland and her previous school, Nebraska-Omaha, Kruger is considered one of the elite coaches in the country. She ranks seventh all-time among active coaches in victories at four-year colleges with 715.
The 2005 season marked two significant milestones for Kruger. First, she surpassed the 700 career-victory mark after the third game of the season and notched her 350th Maryland win in the match over Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. In addition, the Terrapins were undefeated in the Comcast Center, posting a 14-0 record as well as winning 14 consecutive matches to start the season, another school record.
In 2002, Kruger guided the Terps to an 11-0 start, the longest winning streak to begin a season in Maryland history at that point. In 2001, she led Maryland to its 700th win as a volleyball program on Oct. 7 in a 3-1 victory over NC State at Ritchie Coliseum. In 32 seasons of volleyball at Maryland, just two coaches, Kruger and Barb Drum, have guided the Terps, combining for a remarkable record of 820-462 (.640 winning percentage.)
In 1996, Kruger's Terps became the first ACC team to finish a conference schedule 16-0. Maryland closed that magical season by winning the ACC for the first time in six years. One year later, Kruger led Maryland to an even more impressive feat, as the Terps completed the 1997 regular season with an overall record of 25-0. In the process, Maryland became just the eighth team in the nation to roll through the regular season without a defeat. The Terps finished that historic year by reaching the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year.
Under Kruger's guidance, many players have flourished in the Maryland program. In 1997, Eden Kroeger became the first Terp to earn All-American honors. That same year, Kroeger also became the third player during Kruger's tenure to earn ACC Player of the Year honors (Colleen Hurley in 1990 and Duane Koester in 1992 are the others). In 2005, four Terrapins garnered All-ACC honors (Rachel Wagener, first team; Stephanie Smith, first team; Jade Brown, second team, Maggie Schmelzle, freshmen team). Additionally, Wagener and Smith were named AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans, while Smith, Stephanie Doiron and Beth Gillming received All-ACC Academic honors. Since Kruger came to Maryland in 1988, the Terps have had 31 All-ACC selections and 15 all-district picks.
What has made Kruger's program at Maryland all the more impressive is the emphasis put on academic excellence. Since 1988, nearly 50 players have been named to the ACC Honor Roll at least once during their careers at Maryland, including ACC Players of the Year Hurley, Koester, and Kroeger. A Maryland volleyball player has received the prestigious Weaver-James-Corrigan Scholar-Athlete Award from the Atlantic Coast Conference four times. Shannon Saltzman earned the award in 1997, Eden Kroeger was honored in 1998, Beth Murphy earned the impressive award in 1999, and Kathy Shahrokh most recently won it in 2004. On the national level, Kroeger, Nicole Lantagne (1995) and Aimee Huddleston (2004) have earned Co-SIDA Academic All-American honors, while Saltzman has been named both a USA All-America Scholar and a Collegiate All-America Scholar.
Prior to her arrival at Maryland, Kruger was the head coach at Nebraska-Omaha from 1979-87. In her nine seasons, she attained a sparkling record of 352-96-6 (.783) and led her squad to NCAA Division II semifinal appearances in 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987, as well as five consecutive North Central Conference championships from 1983-87. Twice during her career at Nebraska-Omaha, Kruger was named the AVCA Division II National Coach of the Year (1983 and 1986.)
In 1978, Kruger took over as head coach at Platte Technical Community College in Columbus, Neb., where she led her team to a 23-9 record and a spot in the national junior college tournament. One year later, she became head coach at Nebraska-Omaha.
Kruger earned her bachelor's degree in 1977 from the University of Nebraska, where she was a four-year letterwinner and captain of the Huskers volleyball team. The following year, she earned her master's degree in athletic administration from Nebraska.
Kruger's Career Highlights
- Four ACC Coach of the Year honors (1990, 1996, 1997, 2003)
- East Region Coach of the Year honors (1990, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005)
- Ranks seventh among active NCAA coaches in victories at a four-year college with 715
- .686 career winning percentage at an NCAA four-year schools ranks 31st among active coaches
- All-time winningest coach in the ACC with 363 Terrapin victories
- Member of the AVCA-Tachikara 700 Victory Club with 738 career coaching victories
- Two National NCAA Division II Coach of the Year honors at Nebraska-Omaha (1983, 1986)
- Five ACC titles (1990, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2005)
- Back-to-back record-setting undefeated ACC regular-season records (1996, 1997)
- One of 10 teams in NCAA history to record a perfect regular season (25-0, 1997)
- Seven NCAA Division I Tournament Appearances (1990, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005)
- Finished in the AVCA Top 25 or received votes four seasons (No. 21 in 1996, No. 23 in 1997, No. 25 in 2003, RV in 2004, RV in 2005)
- Coached Maryland to win No. 700 in school history, vs. NC State in 2000
- Five consecutive North Central Conference championships at Nebraska-Omaha (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987)
- Four NCAA Division II semifinal appearances (1983, 1985, 1986, 1987)
- 18 first team All-ACC selections
- Three ACC Player of the Year award winners
- Six ACC All-Freshman selections
- Five AVCA Honorable Mention All-America selections
- One Volleyball Monthly All-America selection
- Two CoSIDA-Verizon Academic All-Americans
- 16 AVCA All-Region Award Winners
- Three Weaver-James-Corrigan ACC Scholar Athlete Award winners
- Nearly 50 players have been named to the ACC Honor Roll at least once during their careers at Maryland
- Six players named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary Team (Elizabeth Efron, Colleen Hurley, Duane Koester, Eden Kroeger, Nicole Lantagne, Sherry Smith)
- Three players named to inaugural ACC All-Academic team in 2005
- Former players currently coaching at NCAA schools: Nicole Lantagne-Welch - Head Coach, Miami (Fla.) Carrie Muenzer - Assistant Coach, Central Michigan