Coaches' Stories: Jenny McDowell

Head Volleyball Coach, Emory University

Jenny's Bio               Jenny's Journey         Jenny's Story



Jennifer McDowell has elevated the Emory University volleyball program to national prominence, including its first-ever Final Four appearance, since taking over in the spring of 1996.

She has guided Emory to 12 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament, advancing to the "Sweet 16" round 10 times. In 2003, McDowell and the Eagles reached the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history, finishing fourth in the tournament.

Her 12-year Emory record now stands at 371-106. She has been honored as the regional Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association for the 2004 and 2005 campaigns. Heading into the 2008 season, her 77.8 winning percentage ranks sixth all-time among Division III coaches.

Every year since 1997, Emory has ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation in every weekly poll conducted by the AVCA.

Before McDowell's arrival the volleyball team had 30 wins or more in only one season. In her 12 years, the team has bested 30 wins nine times including the 2007 season when the team's final effort of 33-7 tied the school mark for most victories in a campaign.

The Eagles have finished first or second in the University Athletic Association championship in nine of her 12 campaigns. In 2007, Emory brought home its second conference championship, defeating Washington University in a five-game thriller.

In 2005 Emory captured its first conference championship with a 3-0 sweep of then No. 1-ranked Washington University in the title match. McDowell and her assistants have been recognized as the conference "Coaching Staff of the Year" in 1996, 2000, 2005 and 2007.

Prior to Emory, McDowell was an assistant coach at the University of Georgia for five years in which the Bulldogs compiled a 128-41 record and made the NCAA Division I national tournament every year. With primary responsibilities in recruiting, McDowell helped bring in one NCAA All-American, two NCAA postgraduate scholars, two GTE Academic All-Americans, one GTE Academic All-American of the Year, two Southeastern Conference (SEC) postgraduate scholars and 10 all-SEC Scholar-Athletes.

A three-time all-region selection and three-time team captain in volleyball, McDowell received her undergraduate degree from Georgia in 1989 and her master's in 1990. In 1985, she was selected to compete in the U.S. Olympic Festival. McDowell is the first and only Georgia volleyball player to have her number (16) retired.

McDowell was the interim head coach at Georgia from January to May 1989. She also has been a head coach with the Athens Junior Volleyball Club for three years.

Bio courtesy of Emory University Athletics' Web site

Jenny's Journey

Played in College: University of Georgia (1984-1987)
Coaching Position #1: Second Assistant--Univ. of Georgia (1987-1990)
Coaching Positiion #2: First Assistant--Univ. of Georgia (1990-1996)
Coaching Position #3: Head Coach--Emory University (1996-current)


Jenny's Story


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