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John Kosty
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: UC Santa Barbara ('87)
Experience: 9 Years
Kosty Photos

In nine seasons as head coach and 25 on the Stanford staff, John Kosty has placed Cardinal men's volleyball firmly among the national elite. He enters his 10th year at the helm of the program in 2015-16.

Some numbers for Stanford since Kosty took over as head coach in 2007:

  • Finished ranked among the nation's Top 15 in each of the past eight seasons.
  • Assembled seven consecutive winning seasons and as many consecutive postseason berths (2008-14).
  • Ranked No. 1 or No. 2 at some point during five of the past six seasons.
  • Has been represented on the AVCA All-America first team for six of the past seven seasons.
  • Two alums are members of the U.S. national team in World League competition.

It's quite possible that no coach in the sport's history has ever brought a team so far so fast as Kosty, the 2010 AVCA Division I-II National Coach of the Year, did from 2007-10.

Stanford's three-year transformation from 3-25 to national champion will forever be a memorable part of the school's rich athletic history as the team that went "worst to first."

In his fourth season as head coach, Kosty guided Stanford to a 24-6 record and the program's first national championship since 1997, by sweeping Penn State in the NCAA final at Maples Pavilion. Besides his AVCA honor, Kosty was named Coach of the Year by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

In 2012, Stanford finished 22-7 and with a No. 3 national ranking. The Cardinal reached the MPSF tournament final after going 17-5, its best conference regular-season record in 15 years. And Stanford's 15-13 season in 2013 was met with the optimism of an even better campaign in 2014, with its entire starting lineup returning, including three All-America players.

That optimism proved correct as the 2014 season was one that will always stand out to Cardinal fans. The team finished the year 24-9 overall and as the national runner-up after beginning MPSF play 6-7. The Cardinal went on a 13-match winning streak, the second-longest in program history, and reached the national championship match for the fifth time. It marked the first time in school history in which Stanford produced three All-MPSF first team selections and had a program-record three or more All-Americans for the fifth straight season. When it was all said and done, Kosty was named the MPSF Coach of the Year for the second time in his career, while also capturing Volleyball Magazine Second Team All-America Coach.

Entering his 26th season on the Stanford staff and 10th as head coach, Kosty has been a part of two national championship teams and four conference champions. His career head-coaching record is 155-109, but he has been a part of 420 Stanford victories since he arrived in 1991.

His first season as a head coach, in 2007, was notable for the arrival of five talented freshmen who would grow into vital leadership roles and become the heart of the championship team. That trust in his players has been a trademark of Kosty's coaching style.

Kosty was an assistant under Ruben Nieves with the 1997 squad that won the national championship and has helped coach three conference championship teams and 13 teams that finished ranked among the nation's Top 10 before he became a head coach.

Kosty proved to be one of the most talented and effective assistants in the country, first under Nieves and later under Don Shaw, and has taken those experiences and built on them. Stanford has seen rapid growth and continued improvement keyed by elite recruiting classes.

As a college player, the Fountain Valley, Calif., native earned All-America honors at UC Santa Barbara, where he played for three seasons after spending a year at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Kosty also holds the distinction of having been part of the U.S. national-team program as a player and a coach. He toured Europe as a member of the U.S. junior national team during his UCSB days and later served as an assistant for the U.S. at the 1995 World University Games in Japan. Kosty was a technical advisor to the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, scouting opponents at the 1995 European Championships in Greece and the 1996 Olympic qualifiers in Portugal. In addition, he was an assistant for the U.S. junior team during the summer of 1998.

On top of his duties at Stanford, Kosty also was the head coach USA Volleyball's boys' High Performance camps from 2003-05 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Kosty, his wife Sonja Paoletti, and children Sara and Cameron live in Hayward. Kosty's brother, Chris, starred at University of Hawai'i, and also has been a college coach.

Year-by-Year Records
Year Overall Record Nat'l Rank Conf. Record Conf. Finish
2007 3-25 -- 2-20 11
2008 17-11 9 12-10 T-4
2009 21-11 6 14-8 4
2010 24-6 1 16-6 1
2011 19-9 7 15-7 3
2012 22-7 3 17-5 T-2
2013 15-13 6 12-12 T-6
2014 24-9 2 17-7 3
2015 10-18 14 7-15 T-9th
Totals 155-109 .587 112-90 .554