Cougar Volleyball Camps
Head Coach Jason Kepner
In 2016, Jason Kepner enters his 10th season as volleyball head coach with an overall record of 220-81, including a 125-21 mark in conference play. Kepner has led the Cougars to four NCAA Tournament appearances and won the regular season or conference tournament title in his first eight seasons as head coach.
Dating back to 2001, the Cougars have now won a conference regular season or tournament title for 14 straight years. That streak currently ranks first in NCAA Division I volleyball. In those years, the Cougars posted a record of 372-99 for a winning percentage of .789, ranking eighth in the country for wins and winning percentage.
In 2015, CofC finished with a 20-13 record and reached the Colonial Athletic Association Championships title game for the third straight season; the team was the first No. 5 seed to ever reach the final game of the tournament. The program also recorded at least 20 wins for the sixth conseucitve season. Melissa Morello completed her career under Kepner ranked in the top-10 in career kills and digs. Morello was named first team All-CAA, while Allison Beckman and Kennedy Madison were tabbed third team All-CAA and CAA All-Rookie.
The Cougars concluded 2014 with a 23-10 overall record, including a second consecutive regular season CAA championship, while the team’s seven graduating seniors concluded their career in the maroon and white with a five-year overall mark of 131-39. As a group, they also managed a 90% conference win-rate, five conference championships and three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Collectively, Kepner presided over a class that will be collectively remembered as one of the most successful graduating classes in CofC Volleyball history.
In 2013 – the Cougars first in The Colonial – Kepner earned CAA Coach of the Year honors. As a team, the Cougars started the season 8-0, tying the program's best-ever season start. After non-conference wins over Indiana and Georgia Tech, CofC ran through the CAA with a 13-1 record to win the conference regular season title. The Cougars won two games in the North Charleston Convention Center as the CAA Tournament hosts to win the first CAA tournament title in all of the College of Charleston athletic department. The Cougars could not duplicate their NCAA magic from a year prior as Charleston lost to ACC champions Duke in the NCAA First Round.
Darcy Dorton finished her two-year career at CofC with a number of program distinctions. She became the first two-time All-American after being named a 2013 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention. She was the first CAA volleyball player to ever win Preseason Player of the Year, Player of the Year and Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Kallie McKown was named the CAA Setter of the Year. Dorton and Sloane White were All-CAA First Team, while Cara Howley was tabbed for the second team and Kerstin Koehler and Melissa Morello made the third team.
Finishing the 2012 season with a 27-7 record and a Southern Conference tournament championship, the Cougars defeated No. 23 Miami in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for CofC’s first win over a ranked opponent and second NCAA win in school history. CofC finished the year with an NCAA RPI of 45, the highest during Kepner’s tenure and second-highest in CofC history behind the 2005 squad’s rank of 26.
In 2012, first team All-SoCon selection Darcy Dorton was named an AVCA All-South region selection and earned AVCA All-America honorable mention accolades, becoming the first All-America selection in Kepner’s time at the helm. Dorton was joined on the All-SoCon teams by Sloane White (Second Team) and Melissa Morello (Freshman Team). White also won SoCon Tournament MVP honors.
In the spring of 2012, Kepner led CofC as one of 15 squads nationwide in the first season of NCAA Sand Volleyball. The Cougars posted a dual match record of 4-3 and advanced to the AVCA National Championships where the team finished fourth.
The Cougars continued their conference success in 2011 with a South Division championship and yet another trip to the SoCon Tournament title match where they finished runner-up to Samford. The Cougars went 25-10 overall and 14-2 in conference. Senior Elyse Chubb earned First Team All-SoCon honors for the third straight season, while freshman sensation Sloane White was tabbed SoCon Freshman of the Year. Senior Sarah Havel also won First Team All-Conference while garnering First Team Lowe's Senior CLASS All-America honors.
In the 2010 season, Kepner guided his team to a regular season Southern Conference Championship, going 15-1 in conference play. In the SoCon Tournament, Kepner earned his 100th coaching victory with a 3-1 win over UNCG and the Cougars finished runner-up to Georgia Southern. Cougar senior Cole Dawley was picked as the Southern Conference Player of the Year after she finished fourth all-time in career assists with 3,737.
In 2009, Kepner led the Cougars back to the postseason as the College of Charleston finished the season at 18-13 and made a run through the Southern Conference tournament, knocking off the host Furman Paladins to claim the conference title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Four players were selected to the All-SoCon teams with Dawley and Elyse Chubb earning First Team honors and Sarah Havel and Ginny Phillips getting tabbed for the Second Team.
In his second year with the program, Kepner led the Cougars to a 27-7 mark, dominating the Southern Conference with a 17-1 league mark and dropping a narrow 3-2 decision to Furman in the conference championship match. Complementing the team accomplishments in 2008 were numerous individual recognitions, including Kepner's first Coach of the Year honor. He also coached his second consecutive Freshman of the Year in Elyse Chubb, who was also named Second-Team All-Conference and All-Freshman, and First and Second Team selections, respectively, in Dawley and Sawin. Libero Emily Shelton was named to the All-Freshman Team.
In his first year as a head coach in 2007, Kepner guided the Cougars to a stellar 26-8 overall record and the fourth-straight Southern Conference Tournament Championship and fourth consecutive NCAA appearance in program history. The season included a stunning 16-2 record in conference play and a stretch of 22 wins in 24 matches leading up to CofC's match with No. 10 Florida in the NCAA Tournament.
The individual accomplishments were nearly as impressive as they included two First-Team Southern Conference selections in Tiffany Blum and Lindsey Kane as well as second team selection Annie Uthe. Cole Dawley was also chosen as the Conference's Rayna Taylor Freshman of the Year while Blum, Kane and Emily Sawin each added to the season's achievements as they were named to the 2007 Southern Conference All-Tournament team.
Kepner took charge of the program from Sherry Dunbar, who had led the program since 2003. Dunbar guided the Cougars to an impressive 113-22 overall record and 67-3 mark in the Southern Conference in her four seasons and also led the Cougars to three straight NCAA tournament appearances before taking over the volleyball program at Indiana in early January of 2007.
Prior to coming to the College of Charleston, Kepner spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, the Panthers earned two NCAA bids, won a Big East conference title and had two players earn Big East Player of the Year honors. Student-athletes have garnered conference honors every year under his guidance, including two players who received AVCA regional recognition and one that earned AVCA All-America honors. During his tenure at Pittsburgh, the Panthers compiled a 106-48 record while making four consecutive appearances in the Big East Tournament. Before arriving at Pitt, Kepner was the assistant coach for the 2001 season at Nicholls State.
An accomplished volleyball player himself, Kepner enjoyed an outstanding playing career as an outside hitter at Penn State from 1993-97, where he earned AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-America Second-Team honors as a senior in 1997. A member of Penn State's 1994 National Championship team, Kepner currently ranks fifth all-time for the Nittany Lions with 88 career service aces and is among the all-time leaders in digs and kills in the history of Penn State volleyball.
In addition to his accomplishments at the collegiate level, Kepner also boasts a wealth of international playing experience. Following his collegiate career, he played professionally in Holland (1997-98) and was a member of the USA National B Team that competed in the 1997 World University Games in Sicily, Italy. Kepner was also a member of the USA Junior National Team in 1991 and was a First-Team All-America and Silver Division MVP as a member of the 1995 USA Open Nationals Team Reston. In 2004, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Volleyball Hall of Fame.
Kepner currently holds a bachelor's degree in Administration of Justice earned in 1997 from Penn State. He is married to the former Kimberly Seaman, and the couple has three children.