position Head Coach
Alma Mater Ohio State, 2001
Jen Flynn Oldenburg, a former four-year standout for the Buckeyes, returned to Columbus as the head coach of the Ohio State women’s volleyball program on Jan. 17, 2020. Oldenburg is the sixth head coach of the Buckeyes in the 48-year history of the program.
In June 2020, Oldenburg was selected to join the Big Ten’s Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition as one of eight Ohio State representatives. The goal of the Coalition is to seek tangible ways to actively and constructively combat racism and hate around the world while also empowering student-athletes to express their rights to free speech and peaceful protest.
Oldenburg led the program to its second-consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in the fall of 2021 after hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus for the first time since 2015 and the first time ever in the Covelli Center. This was the 18th regional appearance in program history. The Buckeyes concluded the season with a 27-6 record and a 15-5 mark in Big Ten matches, earning five ranked wins and concluding the regular season on a seven-match win streak. Ohio State spent 14-consecutive weeks in the AVCA top-10, which is a program record, with the previous record being 10-straight weeks in the top-10 in 2004.
Ohio State had plenty of postseason awards and honors to show for a successful fall 2021 season. Rylee Rader was named AVCA All-American Second Team, while Mac Podraza made the third team and Emily Londot received an honorable mention. For the second-consecutive season, the Buckeyes had the AVCA Regional Freshman of the Year, while Londot, Podraza and Rader were all on the AVCA All-Region list and Kylie Murr was an honorable mention. Murr and Podraza also were selected to the 2022 Women’s Collegiate National Team. The Buckeyes had two on the All-Big Ten First Team, one on the second team and one on the freshmen team. On the academic side, 15 student-athletes were named Ohio State Scholar Athletes and 13 were named Academic All-Big Ten following the 2021-22 school year.
Oldenburg graduated from Ohio State in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in sport and leisure studies and spent the 2001 season on staff as a volunteer assistant coach for the Buckeyes. During her time on the court from 1996-99, she recorded 3,213 career assists (7th) and 1,138 digs (12th) to secure her place in the program’s history book. She handed out 1,587 assists during the 1997 campaign to check in at No. 4 among OSU’s single-season leaders.
Oldenburg led Ohio State to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and was the first conference player to be named All-Big Ten at two different positions (setter and outside hitter). In the classroom, she received OSU Scholar-Athlete laurels every year and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Following her undergraduate career, Oldenburg went on to be the starting setter for the USA National Team and led the squad to a silver medal at the 2002 World Championship. She also started for the Grand Rapids Force (USPV) and played on the USPV “Dream Team,” starting at setter for the Millennium Cup Champion USPV All-Stars, where she was named to the all-tournament team.
The Pittsburgh, Pa., native is coming back to the Buckeye State after spending six years as the club/associate director of the Pittsburgh Elite Volleyball Association. She was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the club, handled recruitment for potential collegiate athletes and worked as a private lessons instructor.
Oldenburg returned to her Buckeye roots in 2019 when she joined former Ohio State head coach Jim Stone’s staff as an assistant coach for the USA Volleyball Girls Youth National Team. She helped coach the U18 team to a world championship title in Cairo, Egypt, securing the first gold medal for a U.S. age-group team at that event.
Prior to her time in Pittsburgh, Oldenburg spent nine seasons (2003-12) at the University of Illinois as an assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team. She had a hand in all aspects of the program during her tenure, focusing on recruiting, on-court training, travel and summer camps while serving as a liaison for multiple entities throughout the athletics department. Her work with the team’s serving and passing as well as the defensive specialists was instrumental in leading the Illini to four-straight NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and the NCAA runner-up finish in 2011. Five of her players earned All-America honors and nine different players have received 13 first team All-Big Ten honors.
Oldenburg and her husband, Steve, have two children – Maverick and Kassidy.