Jenny McDowell

National Director of Coaching Development, LOVB

National Leadership Council

Jenny McDowell, who had been the Emory University volleyball head coach since 1996, stepped down from her position following 27 years with the program to join LOVB as the National Director of Coaching Development in February, 2023.

McDowell became the third head coach in team history when she took over head coaching duties and elevated Emory into national prominence, setting the standard in collegiate volleyball.

Across her legendary tenure spanning nearly three decades, McDowell and her teams never missed a postseason, earning a berth to 26 consecutive NCAA tournaments – the second-longest active streak in Division III. She guided the Eagles to 21 Sweet 16s, 11 national quarterfinals, seven national semifinals, five trips to the national championship match and won two national championships in 2008 and 2018.

She mentored her players to 52 AVCA All-America First-, Second-, or Third Team honors, two National Player of the Year winners, and saw her players combine for 85 All-Region selections. McDowell has been honored as the AVCA Region Coach of the Year eight times and was selected as the National Coach of the Year by the organization twice in 2008 and 2019.

In her 26 seasons, McDowell led Emory to 10 University Athletic Association championships, with the most recent championship coming earlier this month, and has seen both her and her staff tabbed as the Association’s Coaching Staff of the Year on six different occasions. Eight players have been selected as the UAA Player of the Year under her stewardship while her student-athletes collected 138 All-UAA honors.

She finishes her Emory career with 826 victories, fifth all-time in Division III history, and is one of seven Division III coaches to reach 800 career wins. Her winning percentage of .819 (826-182 overall record) stands fourth all-time in DIII history.

McDowell’s legacy extended beyond in-season competition as she established one of the country’s premier summer camps for volleyball, with over 20,000 girls having participated in camps held at Emory since 1996.

McDowell came to Emory following a five-year stint as the assistant coach with her alma mater, the University of Georgia, helping the Bulldogs to a 128-41 record and five appearances in the NCAA Division I tournament.

She began coaching following a stellar undergraduate career with UGA where she was a three-time team captain, three-time all-region setter, and in 1985 was selected to play in the United States Olympic Sports festival. McDowell became the first and only UGA volleyball player to have their number retired and in February of 2017, she was awarded UGA’s prestigious Bill Hartman Award which recognizes former Georgia student-athletes who have demonstrated excellence in their profession and/or in service to others by 20 or more years of superior performance after graduation.