Volleyball head coach Sarah Bernson will not be returning to the program after serving four years in the position.
The department announced last month that Bernson will not return as coach and athletics officials will immediately begin the search for a new head coach. The announcement came just two days after Bernson announced the addition of three new recruits for the 2022 season.
“We appreciate Sarah’s years of service to our GW student-athletes and our alumnae,” Athletic Director Tanya Vogel said in the release. “Sarah led our volleyball program through exceedingly difficult times and was a key contributor to the lives and experiences of our staff as well. We are grateful to Coach Bernson for her commitment to her student-athletes and her contributions to our entire department.”
Athletics communication associate Ashley Harding declined to facilitate interviews with department officials regarding the exit.
Bernson first came to the program as its ninth head coach during the 2017-18 season. During her debut season with the Colonials, Bernson led volleyball to the final four of the Atlantic 10 Championship, where they became the first team in A-10 history to win in the current postseason format as the No. 6 seed, toppling No. 3 Saint Louis in a wild five set affair. The Colonials finished the year with an 11-21 record and a 6-8 conference mark.
During her second year at the helm, the Colonials hit an 11-15 mark, closing the season on a strong note after winning their final three matches. In the following season, the Colonials entered the A-10 championship as the No. 4 seed, their highest seeding since 2015. She finished her career at GW with a 40-84 overall record and registered only one winning year through five seasons, earning a 15-14 overall and 8-6 conference record in 2019.
Before coming to GW, Bernson served as an assistant coach at American University for five seasons, where she helped the Eagles to an overall record of 136-36 with four consecutive Patriot League Championships and trips to the NCAA tournament.
Prior to her time at American, she spent eight seasons at Cornell, including three years as the head coach, where she led the Big Red to three Ivy League Championships from 2004-06 and two NCAA tournament appearances. Her time at Cornell was highlighted by the development of the program’s first ever All-American and all-time kills leader.