Blue White Illustrated

February 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 46 of 67

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 2 47 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M OLYMPIC SPORTS P enn State has had pretty good luck when it comes to hiring volleyball coaches. The Nittany Lion women's pro- gram has had only two head coaches in its 46-year history, and both are in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. That might seem like a daunt- ing realization to anyone who would look to succeed Tom Tait, the program's founder and win- ner of a national championship with the Penn State men's team, and Russ Rose, the legendary Nittany Lion women's volley- ball mentor, who stepped down in December after 43 seasons and seven NCAA titles. But Katie Schumacher-Caw- ley sounds unfazed by the pro- gram's illustrious history as she takes over as head coach. Maybe that's because the Chicago na- tive has already been part of a few induction ceremonies her- self, having been enshrined in the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame alongside the likes of Dick But- kus, Gale Sayers, Andre Dawson and Mayor Richard M. Daley, as well as the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference and Catholic League halls of fame in her hometown. Or maybe it's because she's spent de- cades — first as a player, then as a coach — preparing for this moment. Schumacher-Cawley was announced as the Nittany Lions' new head coach on Jan. 10. Penn State had conducted a national search for the position, one of the premier jobs in collegiate wom- en's volleyball given Rose's continual success. But in the end, the university chose to elevate a coach who was al- ready on campus, one with deep ties to Penn State both as an athlete and as one of Rose's proteges. "During our search pro- cess, we were looking for candidates with demonstrated success as a head coach, a commitment to ex- cellence in competition and academ- ics, and character and values that match Penn State's," athletics director Sandy Barbour said. "We found all that. The future of Penn State women's volleyball is very bright." Schumacher-Cawley called the ap- pointment "a dream come true." "The love I have for this storied uni- versity, passionate community and all things Blue and White is unmatched," she said. For the past four seasons, Schum- acher-Cawley was a member of Rose's assistant coaching staff. During that tenure, the Nittany Lions went 74-31 and made the NCAA tournament four times, reaching the regional finals twice. She helped seven PSU players earn AVCA All-America honors. S c h u m a c h e r- Caw ley j o i n e d R u ss Ros e's staff in 2018, serving as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. As a player at Penn State, she twice won All-America honors and helped lead the Nittany Lions to a national championship in 1999. PHOTO COURTESY PENN STATE ATHLETICS An Inside Job Penn State hires alumna Katie Schumacher-Cawley to helm its storied women's volleyball program MATT HERB | MATT@BLUEWHITEONLINE.COM THE SCHUMACHER-CAWLEY FILE Year at Penn State: Fifth Hometown: Chicago Education: Penn State, 2002 — B.A. Communications Family: Husband: Mike; daughters: Stella, Nora, Shea COACHING CAREER YEARS SCHOOL TITLE 2022- Penn State Head coach 2018-21 Penn State Assistant coach 2017 Pennsylvania Head coach 2009-16 University of Illinois Chicago Head coach 2003-08 University of Illinois Chicago Assistant coach

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