Coaches' Stories: Mary Wise

Head Volleyball Coach, University of Florida


Mary's Bio            Mary's Journey            Mary's Story



Since arriving at Florida in 1991, Wise has propelled a once lackluster program into the epitome of excellence. In 2008, she guided the Gators to their 18th-straight SEC regular-season title, setting an NCAA Division I women's volleyball record for most consecutive conference championships won. 

A pioneer with tremendous vision, passion and enthusiasm for the sport of volleyball, Wise's penchant for prosperity on the court has also transcended into the regional community. Florida ranked among the top-10 schools in the nation in attendance for the 18th year in a row in 2008, as countless Gator fans moved through the turnstiles at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center to provide Florida with one of the most electric, intimidating and inspiring volleyball venues in the country. In the last eight years, more than a quarter of a million fans have moved through the turnstiles of the "O' Dome" to cheer on Gator volleyball. The NCAA recognized the enthusiasm of Gator fans by awarding Florida NCAA Regional hosting duties in 2006 and 2007, as UF became the first school to host back-to-back regionals and the first to host three total regionals since the pre-determined format was adopted in 2003.

Florida is one of only two schools in the nation to win more than 90 percent of its matches, and one of just three to record 500 wins, since 1991, while the Orange and Blue has averaged a final AVCA ranking of 7.41 since Wise took over - the nation's fifth-best mark. In 2007, the Gators' 29 victories extended the nation's longest streak of 25-win seasons to 17 in a row, and UF, which finished eighth in the final AVCA poll of last season, is one of just two schools in the nation to complete the season as a top-15 team in each of the last 17 campaigns.

Florida's aforementioned dominance of the SEC and of teams in the region has been remarkable under Wise's direction. Since 1991, 32 players have earned 62 All-District or All-South Region honors. Dating back to Wise's first season, 47 UF players have been named All-SEC a staggering 83 times - an average of nearly five per year. Florida upped the ante even more in 2003, 2006 and 2007, as a whopping six players were named All-SEC in each of those campaigns.

Wise graduated from Purdue in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in physical education after a standout career as a setter for the Boilermakers. A dean's list student, Wise was a member of Purdue's 1979 and 1980 Big Ten championship teams. A native of Evanston, Ill., Wise resides in Gainesville with her husband, Mark, and their two sons, Matt (19) and Mitchell (14).


Bio courtesy of University of Florida Athletics' Web site



Mary's Journey

Coaching Position #1: Head Coach--Iowa State University (1981-1984)
Coaching Position #2: Assistant Coach/Associate Head Coach--University of Kentucky (1986-1990)
Coaching Position #3: Head Coach--University of Florida (1991-present)


Mary's Story

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