Insix seasons, John Kosty has directed Stanford men's volleyball back into the national elite. No other school in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation - one of the toughest conference in any collegiate sport - has finished among the top four in the standings the past five seasons as Stanford has.
And 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.
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 finalafter going17-5, its best conference regular-season record in 15 years.
Entering his 23rd season on the Stanford staff and seventh as head coach, Kosty has been a part of two national championship teams and four conference champions. His career head-coaching record is 106-69, but he has been a part of 371 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.