“After much prayer and thought, I intend to pursue other areas of interest that exclude coaching and teaching,” said Gregory. “I have spent my entire adult life in education and coaching and would like to try another path. God has opened another door for me and I would like to see where He takes me. My experiences at Azusa Pacific have been very positive and spiritually enriching.”
In six seasons at the Cougar helm, Gregory posted a 110-72 record, just seven wins shy of becoming Azusa Pacific’s all-time winningest coach. After inheriting a program that had fallen on hard times since its last postseason appearance in 1994 and notching a 9-14 mark in his initial campaign of 1998, he led the Cougars to five straight winning seasons, a program-first three straight 20-win seasons from 2000-02, and an NAIA National Tournament appearance in 2000.
“My career at Azusa Pacific has been a real joy for me,” said Gregory, who led the Cougars to a 17-14 overall mark this past season. “I have loved teaching college-aged students and have been blessed by coaching the awesome Christian volleyball players at Azusa Pacific for the past six years.”
Gregory, a name well known in volleyball coaching circles, concludes a 24-year coaching career that included stints at NCAA Division I Oregon State (1980-82), Wyoming (1983-85) and Oregon (1986-94) as well as Azusa Pacific. He accumulated 440 career wins, thanks to eight 20-win seasons and had each of his programs ranked in their respective Top 25 polls.
A Long Beach, Calif. native, the 52-year-old Gregory also served as the girls’ volleyball head coach at Wilson High in Long Beach for three years (1995-97), leading the Bruins to three Moore League championships and a pair of CIF top five finishes. He also has experience with national and international volleyball as a player and coach. He served on the U.S. women’s team advisory staff during the 1990s and coached the U.S. team at the 1990 World University Games.
As a player, Gregory was a 12-time NCAA and USVBA All-American honoree. He was a member of the U.S. national team from 1974-79 and was a member of the 1979 national team that was forced to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. He was named USVBA Player of the Year in 1980 and was inducted into the USVBA Hall of Fame in 1984.
“We will miss his humble spirit and have appreciated his willingness to fit into this institution and be a team-player,” said Azusa Pacific Athletic Director Bill Odell. “He established several long-lasting, quality relationships with the players that have made their way through the program.”
A search for a new head coach will begin immediately.