The athletic department announced last week that this season would be coach Rosie Wegrich’s last of a 42-year hall of fame career.
This season will be Wegrich’s 27th and final season as head coach of the volleyball team.
“Since I was 24 I’ve been coaching,” Wegrich said. “I want to do other things with my time left on this earth.”
According to Wegrich, she had been considering this being her last season at the end of last season and made it official in the spring by telling Athletic Director Brian Swanson of her decision.
The next step came when Wegrich decided to tell the team of her decision.
She decided that last week had to be the time to tell the team because of California Collegiate Athletic Association play was set to begin this past weekend.
After practice last Tuesday, Wegrich let the team know about her retirement.
“I was a little bit surprised and I definitely cried a bit, the whole team was kind of in tears,” senior outside hitter Andrea Bosnic said. “I think it’s like a big moment for her and she made that decision for herself.”
Wegrich’s previous contract expired in June of this year and instead of the usual one-year extension, she asked for a six-month extension to finish the season that expires Dec. 20.
The team’s large senior class played a part in Wegrich’s decision for this to be her final season.
“I just wanted to coach the season and be part of this journey,” Wegrich said.
The team has started the season strong with a 9-1 record which included a 3-0 sweep of Chico State on the road.
“It’s more of an honor to play for her [during] her final year and to be a part of this experience,” Bosnic said. “A lot people are going to be looking at us this season, already because we’ve been playing so well, but also just everybody loves Rosie.”
Wegrich coached the University of Minnesota and Arizona at the Division I level before arriving at Cal Poly Pomona in 1992.
She currently sits at 765 career wins, 429 of those coming while at CPP.
According to the athletic department, Wegrich has the 14th most wins of any coach in any division and 8th most among Division II coaches.
She was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2017.
“It inspires me and others coming in every day to see her care, concern, enthusiasm and just overall excitement to see her student-athletes succeed,” Swanson said. “That’s something you can’t coach in a coach, you have to have that intrinsically and that’s something that Rosie has brought to this department.”
With three months still left in the season, Swanson said the search for Wegrich’s replacement has not started. Swanson met with the team on Wednesday to discuss the plan for this season and moving forward.
“Our priority for us is for our team and our coaches to do the best they can this year,” Swanson said. “It’s premature to speculate on some type of time line and what that may be … I want to make sure that the team is focused on this year rather than worrying about what our time line is for the next year.”
With the number of seniors on the team, the team was hoping to return to the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament and the NCAA Division II tournament after missing out the last few seasons.
The fact that this year is her last will not change the way Wegrich is approaching games this season.
“You take each game, you don’t look at pressure type things like you have to make playoffs,” Wegrich said. “It is liberating to know that this is it for me.”
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