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Dartmouth's Larese and Princeton's Ward Stepping Down

Dartmouth Volleyball Coach Ann Marie Larese
Dartmouth Volleyball Coach Ann Marie Larese

Courtesy of Dartmouth Athletic Communications and Princeton Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Dartmouth's head women's volleyball coach, Ann Marie Larese has announced that she will be stepping down at the end of January, while Princeton head women's volleyball coach Jolie Ward has accepted the head coaching position at NYU, both athletic communications offices announced Monday.

Larese is the only full-time head coach the Big Green volleyball program has ever had. She took over the program in 1994 when it became a fully-funded varsity sport. After an initial campaign of 2-18, she ends her Big Green career with a 206-232 record.

"I want to thank Ann Marie for her terrific service to Dartmouth College as head women's volleyball coach for the past 17 years," Dartmouth Athletics Director Harry Sheehy said. "She leaves behind a wonderful legacy of teaching and caring. I know I speak for the entire department in wishing her well as she seeks the next opportunity in her life."

During her time in Hanover, Larese had 8 seasons of .500 or better, including a team-high 24 wins in 1997. That season -- as well as the next -- Dartmouth finished second in the Ivy League. For a six-year stretch (1995-2000), her teams averaged more than 17 wins per season. In 2007 she experienced her best record in nine years when the Big Green went 15-9 overall and was fourth in the Ivy League. Last season Dartmouth burst out of the gate with a 7-0 record before settling for her final winning campaign at 14-11.

Larese mentored a total of 14 players who earned 30 All-Ivy honors, including three players who were named to the first team a total of five times. Two of her former assistant coaches have gone on to be Division I head coaches, and numerous former players have joined the coaching ranks.

Her squads have also seen success off the court, winning the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2009-10 academic year, as well as engaging in a wide assortment of community service activities, many with the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) and David's House.

"It has truly been my privilege and honor to serve as head volleyball coach for the past 17 seasons. Dartmouth is an amazing, unique place with an incredible athletic tradition and I am fortunate to have played a small role in that history. I will be forever grateful to those who took a chance on a 26 year old first time head coach and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime."

The search for Larese's successor will begin immediately.

Ward took the head position at Princeton following the retirement of Glenn Nelson after the 2008-09 season. She led Princeton to a 24-26 record over the last two years and had the Tigers in the Ivy League championship race into the final weekend of the 2010 season. That team was led by a trio of All-Ivy League players, all of whom will return next year, including first-team honorees Lydia Rudnick and Cathryn Quinn.

A national search will begin immediately for Ward's replacement.