Jason Watson compiled a 74-18 overall record in his three seasons at the helm of the BYU program. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- BYU Athletics Director Tom Holmoe today announced that women's volleyball head coach Jason Watson has resigned his position at BYU to accept the vacant women's volleyball head-coaching position at Arizona State.
"Jason has done a tremendous job over the last three years as the head coach here at BYU," said Holmoe. "He added to the strong tradition of BYU women's volleyball and has always represented BYU Athletics and the university well. We wish him the best."
Watson was named the head coach of BYU's women's volleyball program on Feb. 17, 2005, after serving for three years as an assistant with the team.
"It's been a privilege to have been associated with the BYU women's volleyball program," said Watson. "The athletes I've coached have represented the best there is in student-athletes."
In his three seasons at the helm, he compiled a 74-18 (.804) overall record while leading the Cougars to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and a return to the national rankings. He was named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year in 2005 after posting a 25-4 record in his first season as a head coach and leading the Cougars to their first MWC regular-season title since 1999. In 2007, he guided the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament Regional Finals for the first time since 1998 and helped the program achieve a national ranking as high as No. 9.
Prior to his head-coaching debut, Watson served 11 years as an assistant coach at four universities. After an All-American playing career at BYU, Watson coached two seasons under former U.S. Olympic coach and two-time NCAA Coach of the Year Carl McGown with the Cougars' men's squad in 1995-96. Watson began his women's volleyball coaching career with a two-year stint at Montana State, helping the Bobcats to their best record in almost 15 years. He then spent two years at Arkansas State during which the Lady Indians won consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles.
Watson also served as the associate head coach at Kansas State in 2001 and as an assistant coach in 2000, where he helped guide the Wildcats to two consecutive NCAA Tournament berths. He returned to BYU in 2002 as an assistant head coach for the women's team under Karen Lamb.
Overall, Watson has directed or assisted in taking teams to the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last nine seasons. In addition to his 74-18 (.804) head-coaching record, Watson's teams have compiled a 185-97 (.656) record in his nine years as an NCAA women's volleyball assistant coach.
A search for a new women's volleyball head coach has begun. Until a new coach is named, BYU Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator Janie Penfield will run the women's volleyball program on an interim basis and be assisted by former Cougar All-American Chelsea Goodman.