After 14 years as the head coach of the Wisconsin volleyball team, Pete Waite has resigned from his position, Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez announced Monday.
“I would like to thank Pete for his years of service to the Wisconsin volleyball program,” Alvarez said. “He always ran his program with respect and dignity, and was a good representative of the athletic department. We wish him all the best.”
Waite leaves as the winningest coach in Wisconsin history with a record of 305-146 (.676). He is the only coach at UW to accumulate 300 overall wins and 150 Big Ten victories. Waite held a Big Ten record of 170-108 (.612).
Waite led the Badgers to nine NCAA appearances, leading the team to the national championship match in 2000. Wisconsin won Big Ten regular season titles in 2000 and 2001 with identical 19-1 records. The team finished second in 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2007.
Wisconsin has not reached the NCAA Tournament and has not finished better than seventh in the Big Ten since 2007 after reaching the tournament in Waite’s first nine seasons as head coach.
“I’ve decided to resign from my position to allow someone else the opportunity to take this program back to the top of the Big Ten,” Waite said. “We have some very good players in the program right now and have signed three excellent recruits for 2013. I wish them all nothing but success and I look forward to following the rest of their careers.
“I want to thank Pat Richter for hiring me and Barry Alvarez for his support. I want to thank all of the players, assistant coaches, fans and support staff in the department who have helped us along the way. I especially want to thank my family for their support and love over the years.”
Waite earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2001 and 2006. He has coached 10 All-Americans, 14 AVCA All-Region first-team selections, two Big Ten Players of the Year and 20 first-team All-Big Ten honorees.
Waite has also coached 91 All-Academic Big Ten honorees, with seven of those student-athletes earning Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
The Badgers had a promising start in the 2012 season, winning 12 of their 13 matches in the nonconference schedule, including a win over South Alabama that gave Waite his 300th victory as Wisconsin’s head coach.
Wisconsin won its first Big Ten contest of the season against Northwestern and followed that with a narrow defeat to then-No. 22 Illinois in five sets. However, the Badgers continued to struggle against the top conference teams and even last-place Indiana at the UW Fieldhouse. The team suffered three consecutive losses in straight sets late in the season, including a 3-0 loss to Michigan — a team Wisconsin swept earlier in the season.
The Badgers eventually finished tied for ninth in the league with just five conference victories in 20 matches. Wisconsin dropped eight of its final nine matches to end its season and finished as one of the bottom four Big Ten teams in hitting percentage, kills and assists.
Wisconsin struggled to find consistency throughout its season, with the team showing flashes of potential but with the players often having a difficult time finding a sense of rhythm on the court.
Ten of Wisconsin’s 15 conference defeats came in sweeps, including five in its last seven matches.
Prior to his Wisconsin career, Waite was the head coach at Northern Illinois for 11 years. He is the winningest coach in NIU history at 266-102 (.723) and led the Huskies to eight first-place finishes in the conference season and four NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Wisconsin Athletic Department said it will begin searching for Waite’s replacement immediately.