Denise has recently retired from Stanford University as Associate Head Coach, ending her illustrious career with back-to-back National Championships. Her passion for the sport and education continues as she joins the JVRA Executive Board.
A former U.S. National Team player and one of the nation’s most respected assistants, Denise Corlett spent 32 years on The Farm as an interim head coach, an associate head coach and an assistant coach. In 2019, she completed her 24th year in the associate head coach role of the indoor team and 31st overall on staff. She is a two-time AVCA National Assistant Coach of the Year, most recently receiving the honor in 2012.
The Cardinal was 875-146 (.857) during her association with the program, having won an unprecedented nine NCAA Championships and 18 Pac-12 Championships (formerly Pac-10). The Cardinal twice won three NCAA titles in a four-year span during her tenure (1994,1996-97 and 2016, 2018-19). The conference titles included six in a row between 1994 and 1999, and more recently, 10 out of the past 14 years. At Stanford, she coached in 14 national championship matches, helped lead the team to 17 Final Fours and guided 38 players to 93 AVCA All-America awards.
Following the Cardinal’s national title victory in 1996, Corlett was promoted to associate head coach.
Corlett also made a name for herself at the national level. She spent the summer of 1993 serving as an assistant coach for the silver medalist U.S. National Team at the World University Games in Buffalo, New York, which included former Stanford All-American Cary Wendell. Corlett also spent time with the 1997 World University Games squad, which featured Stanford products Eileen Murfee and Lisa Sharpley.
Corlett was tabbed an assistant coach for the 2003 Pan American Games team, which claimed the bronze medal with help from former Stanford All-Americans Ogonna Nnamani and Cynthia Barboza. Additionally, she was an assistant coach for the USA A2 Team that went to Montreux, Switzerland in 2005, was the head of delegation for the Junior World Championship Team in 2007 and served again as the head of delegation for the Junior NORCECA Team in 2008. In June 2008, she was the head of delegation for Team USA at the Pan Am Cup in Mexicali, Mexico, a squad which included former standouts Barboza, Alix Klineman and Kristin Richards.
During the summer of 2009, she served as the head of delegation for the Junior National Team at the World Championships in Mexico. In 2013, she was a team manager for the U.S. Junior National Team, which featured Jordan Burgess, Kelsey Humphreys and Merete Lutz in the Czech Republic.
Prior to coming to The Farm, Corlett served as an assistant at San Jose State during the 1987 and 1988 seasons. During that time, the Spartans went 42-24 and reached the NCAA Tournament twice. Before her tenure at San Jose State, Corlett spent five years assisting at UCLA, her alma mater. Corlett served as a graduate assistant for two years and a volunteer assistant for three seasons, helping the Bruins to the 1985 Final Four. She also spent time as the business manager for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
From 1990-96, Corlett founded and coached the Griffin Volleyball Club and immediately established it as one of the nation’s top programs. Her 1994 18-and-under team took third place at the Junior Olympics and featured future Stanford great Lisa Sharpley, as well as several other top collegiate players. In recognition, USA Volleyball named Corlett the Outstanding Female Junior Olympic Coach for 1994. Corlett also helped start Vision Volleyball Club and Club Yahoo.
Corlett received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UCLA in 1981. At UCLA, Corlett played three varsity sports and was named the All-University Athlete of the Year in 1979. She was the national badminton champion in 1977 and won the Broderick Award in that sport. She was a three-time All-American in volleyball and played on the Bruins’ national championship women’s basketball team. She led her USVBA team to national championships in both 1978 and 1979, played for the USA in the 1979 University Games in Mexico City and played for the U.S. National Team in 1982 and 1983. In 1997, she was selected as one of the top 25 players in UCLA women’s volleyball history and, in 1999, was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame for volleyball, basketball and badminton. Her class included track and field great Gail Devers and football quarterback Troy Aikman. In 2005, Corlett was named to the Cal-Hi Sports Top 100 Female Athletes list.
Corlett’s grandfather, Bruce Alexander Russell, was the editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times for 33 years, and won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartoons in 1946.