Nebraska Volleyball head coach John Cook. (Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics)

LINCOLN–(KFOR/NU Athletics May 29)–Nebraska Athletic Director Troy Dannen on Wednesday announced that four-time national champion head volleyball coach John Cook has signed a new five-year contract.

Cook will get an annual salary of $825,000 starting Saturday and represents a $75,000 annual increase and a retention bonus of $70,000 starting July 1. The new deal runs through January 31, 2029.

“We are fortunate to have John Cook leading our volleyball program,” Dannen said. “He is the most accomplished coach in the nation, and one of the top coaches in the history of American volleyball. John’s expectations are for nothing less than excellence in each and every endeavor, and his record reflects that.

“His influence within the department, and the leadership he brings across our 24-sport program benefits Cornhusker athletics well beyond just the sport of volleyball. John’s vision has been to establish Nebraska as a national leader in advancing and promoting the sport of volleyball, and this extension certainly represents the successful outcome of that vision.”

In addition to the annual salary, Cook is eligible to receive bonuses if his program meets certain levels of athletic achievement.

“I am very grateful to Troy and our administration for their support and confidence in our Husker volleyball program,” Cook said.

Cook, who took over the Nebraska volleyball program in 2000, has guided the Huskers to four NCAA Championships, 11 NCAA Semifinals appearances, nine Big 12 titles and four Big Ten titles. His teams have compiled a 689-100 record, owning the nation’s top winning percentage during his tenure. Cook is a three-time AVCA National Coach of the Year (2000, 2005, 2023) and three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2016, 2017, 2023). In 2017, Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame.

In 2023, Cook coached a team with no seniors to the NCAA Final and a 33-2 final record. The Huskers won the Big Ten Championship, and Cook was named AVCA National Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Cook also embraced the challenge of having his Husker team play a volleyball match outdoors in a football stadium, which was an overwhelming success story as 92,003 packed Memorial Stadium for Volleyball Day in Nebraska on Aug. 30, 2023. The event gained worldwide attention as the crowd set a record for the largest ever to attend a women’s sporting event.

Cook’s contract also includes a deferred compensation agreement.

“When Troy and I talked about my contract, I proposed that instead of an annual escalating salary that some coaches do, it would mean a great deal to me if the Nebraska Athletic Department would consider supporting me in purchasing a horse out in central Nebraska that I’ve had my eye on,” Cook added. “The horse, called No. 415, was born and bred at the famous Pitzer Ranch in Ericson and is a once-in-a-lifetime performance horse. He was purchased as a weanling by Mark Wray and then trained by the Wray family. Troy loved the idea and while they couldn’t specifically write that into the contract, the retention bonus will be used for No. 415. I am honored that Troy was supportive of my idea and it means a lot to me. We are all looking forward to what should be an exciting 2024 season.”

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