Julie Torbett, who played an integral role in the success of a nationally-prominent Penn State program as a student-athlete and followed with 338 wins in a 20-year coaching career, has been named head volleyball coach at East Carolina University according to an announcement from athletics director Terry Holland Tuesday.
“From her playing days at Penn State through her 20 years as a Division I head coach, Julie Torbett has sought and achieved excellence,” Holland said. “She has high expectations for her student-athletes in every area of their lives and is known as a “player’s coach” because her players respond positively to Coach Torbett’s enthusiasm and quest for success.
The search committee and our athletic administration are all very excited that she has accepted the position as our head coach.”
Torbett comes to ECU after a two-year stint at Winthrop where she guided the Eagles to a 20-8 Big South Conference record and a 34-24 overall mark.
In her first year, Torbett’s team tied for the Big South regular-season championship, the first for Winthrop since 2007, and earned a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
In her two years with the Eagles, Torbett’s squads made an appearance in the Big South Conference Tournament and she coached six all-conference selections including the 2011 Big South Player-of-the-Year Becca Toor.
Prior to her time in Rock Hill, S.C., Torbett was at the helm of the UNC Asheville women’s volleyball program where she led the Bulldogs to 304 wins in 17 seasons from 1994-2011.
She led Asheville to a pair of Big South regular-season championships, a No. 10 ranking in the NCAA South Region, and was named Big South Conference Coach-of-the-Year on two occasions (2002 and 2009).
In addition, she served as the department’s senior woman administrator for 13 years.
In more than 20 years as a head coach at the Division I level, Torbett has accumulated 338 career wins to become the winningest coach in Big South volleyball history.
Additionally, she has coached and mentored numerous NCAA All-America selections, NCAA statistical leaders, and more than 40 all-conference honorees.
“I want to thank Athletic Director Terry Holland and the ECU athletics department for giving me such a phenomenal opportunity,” Torbett said. “I am honored to lead the volleyball program as we move forward into a new chapter that will be fun and exciting. I am proud to be the newest member of the Greenville community and Pirate Nation.”
The former Penn State middle back and defensive specialist under legendary head coach Russ Rose helped the Nittany Lions to four Atlantic 10 championships, four NCAA Regional appearances, and a perfect 31-0 conference record before earning her degree in exercise and sport science in 1990.
She holds her student-athletes to a higher standard in the classroom as she has coached 18 Academic All-Big South selections and several of her teams have garnered the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) Academic All-America Award which is presented to programs with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher.
In addition to an emphasis on academics, community service also plays a large role for Torbett as she and her teams have participated in various community outreach programs.
While at UNC Asheville and Winthrop, Torbett’s squads actively visited local elementary schools, retirement communities, and volunteered in an abundance of fundraising events.
In 2011, the Eagles volleyball team helped raise more than $800 for the American Cancer Society.
Torbett has three sons, Nathanael, 18, a freshman soccer player at Winthrop, Colby, 14, and Tristan, 12.