COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jen Flynn Oldenburg, a former four-year standout for the Buckeyes, is returning to Columbus as the head coach of the Ohio State women’s volleyball program. Oldenburg is the sixth head coach in program history, the Ohio State Department of Athletics announced Friday.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jen back to Ohio State,” Janine Oman, deputy director of athletics and women’s volleyball program administrator for Ohio State, said. “Her energy, diverse coaching experiences and passion for Ohio State and our women’s volleyball program were the determining factors in her selection. We are excited for the future of the women’s volleyball program under Jen’s leadership.”
“I would like to thank Gene Smith, Janine Oman and the Ohio State athletics leadership for the tremendous opportunity and privilege of leading the women’s volleyball program,” Oldenburg said. “I am honored and humbled to accept such an important role during such an exciting time for the program. With the overwhelming support I have felt from the administration from the second I returned to campus along with the love that has been shared from the alumni, I cannot wait to get started with this group of talented young women to lead them back to the national stage.”
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 received 13 first team All-Big Ten honors.