Julie Jenkins hits 1,000 wins as Trinity volleyball coach

Celebrating 1,000 wins


Photo provided by Trinity Sports Information

“Trinity Sports Information” credit

Now in her 38th year at the helm of Trinity volleyball, head coach Julie Jenkins has moved further up the all time wins list, surpassing the 1,000 win mark in her time as a Tiger. It makes her just the second coach of a Division III program, and only the seventh across any NCAA division, to accomplish the feat. She recounted her early days as a Tiger and what has meant the most in her journey to 1,000 wins since arriving in 1985.

Trinitonian: What played into the decision to take the coaching job here at Trinity?
Jenkins: I was the interim head volleyball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, a I played at William and Mary and we played VCU. So it was a great opportunity for me to get my foot in the door, but I knew I only had it for one year.

When I was interviewing for positions that year, Trinity’s job came about and I was familiar with Trinity because of tennis. I went to William and Mary to play tennis and volleyball … so that piqued my interest. When they called me for an interview, when I came here and saw Trinity, I was obviously impressed with [the] campus, impressed with the president at that time, but it wasn’t the best of times to come here as a coach. But I think I thought based on that interview, that things were going to change.

T: What stands out to you from your early years coaching here? Do you remember early milestones?
J: I’m still in touch with some of the people that [were] on that team. Some of them live here locally and they come out to matches. We weren’t very good, but they were good people, you know? They were fun to coach and they definitely were driven and they wanted to do well, but it was a pivotal time for me. I came very close to leaving. I mean we had five years of losing seasons that just drove me crazy. But man, the second we got into a conference we had more to sell recruiting-wise, and I was able to get my first all American in ‘91, but it was trying times those first five years. I didn’t like it but I stuck with it.

T: What other milestones do you remember?
J: Oh, I definitely remember 500. And there was never ever, ever a goal to go to 1,000. I remember when one of my colleagues hit 1,000. His name is Larry Bock, from Juniata. And I said to myself, ‘who does that? That’s crazy.’ So I know I never had that as a goal. Never. That was not in the plan. It just happened.

T: Now that you are there, do you think about the fact that you are third on the Division III all time wins list?
J: No, no. None of that matters to me. I mean, I know that it’s nice. And, you know, I appreciate people recognizing it. But no, it’s more about me trying to get our teams to meet their full potential and we are so close to being the best team in Division III. That’s always been my goal.

T: Outside of winning, what is the thing you cherish the most?
J: For sure the relationships, and it’s not just the four years that we’re here. I stay in touch with my alumni and they’re just a classy group of women. You know, you coach because you enjoy not just those relationships but also seeing the growth in those four years that they’re here: their level of confidence being at an all new high,their work ethic, their leadership. All those things just seem to all come together by their senior year. It’s a lot of fun and as a coach is very rewarding.