Nittany Nuggets: Volleyball hires new assistant

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Penn State women’s volleyball head coach Russ Rose announced the hiring of former University of Pennsylvania head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley as an assistant coach with the Nittany Lions. A two-time All-American and a member of Penn State’s 1999 National Championship team, Schumacher-Cawley returns to State College after serving as a head coach for the last nine seasons at Penn and Illinois-Chicago (UIC). 

“I want to welcome Katie, her husband, Mike, and their three daughters back to the Penn State family,” Rose said. “She brings experience of going through our program, which when blended with her time as a head coach, will make her a tremendous asset. But, the greatest thing she brings to our program is her energy, upbeat attitude and her work ethic. She will be an outstanding mentor for our student-athletes, which to me is a really important piece.”

“First and foremost, I want to thank Coach Rose, [Director of Athletics] Sandy [Barbour] and [Senior Associate AD] Charmelle [Green] for affording me the opportunity to return to Penn State, a place that means so much to my family, and one with the richest volleyball tradition in the country,” Schumacher-Cawley said. “Coach, [Russ Rose’s wife] Lori and the entire Nittany Lion community have always been so special to me. I am grateful to be come back to State College in a new role and assist Coach Rose in continuing the tradition of excellence the Nittany Lions have established on the court, in the classroom and in our community.

“I’d also like to thank the administration and student-athletes at Penn for the chance to serve as the head coach of the Quakers and for their understanding of the opportunity to return to my alma mater.”

During the 2017 season at Penn, Schumacher-Cawley led the Quakers to a 12-11 record, while going 7-7 in Ivy League play. The seven wins in the Ivy League were the most by a Penn head coach in their first year. She also guided the Quakers to notable conference wins, including defeating Yale for the first time since 2010.

Prior to her tenure at Penn, Schumacher-Cawley spent 14 years coaching at UIC, including eight as the head coach (2009-16). She recorded 113 wins as the Flames’ head coach, which is third on the program’s all-time list, and oversaw UIC’s run to the Horizon League Championship match and a runner-up finish in 2012.

While at UIC, she mentored a two-time Horizon League Player of the Year in Stephanee Yancy (2014 & 2015), along with 11 All-Horizon League selections and three Horizon League All-Newcomer Team recipients.

A 2002 graduate of Penn State, Schumacher-Cawley helped lead the Nittany Lions to the 1999 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship, the program’s first national title, and three Big Ten Conference crowns during her career. She was a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American, three-time All-Big Ten selection and three-time AVCA All-Region selection. Schumacher ended her career with 1,310 kills, 772 digs and 299 blocks. Schumacher-Cawley also played basketball for the Lady Lion Basketball team in 2001-02.

“My time as a Nittany Lion student-athlete was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and one that I look back on so fondly every day of my life,” Schumacher-Cawley said of her alma mater. “All of my coaches and teammates made a lasting impact on me, and that is something I will pass on to our team in the future. Being a member of Penn State women’s volleyball is more than just volleyball; it’s a life experience that will give you an identity to be proud of for life.”

A Chicago native, Schumacher-Cawley played volleyball and basketball at Mother McAuley High School and led the Mighty Macs to state and national titles in volleyball. She was inducted into both the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference (GCAC) Hall of Fame and the Catholic League Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2008, a resolution in the Illinois House of Representatives congratulated Schumacher-Cawley for her achievements. On October 15, 2008, she was inducted into the prestigious Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame for her contributions to the sport of volleyball as an athlete and a coach. She was part of a class that also included Pro Football Hall of Famers Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers and Marv Levy; Chicago Cubs great Andre Dawson and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Schumacher-Cawley earned her Bachelor of Arts in communications from Penn State in May 2002. She is married to Mike Cawley, who was a James Madison University football student-athlete from 1993-95, and they have three daughters, Stella, Nora and Shea.


Penn State senior midfielder Ryan Keenan was named to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division I Team of the Week, announced on Monday afternoon by the organization’s office.

The Smithtown, N.Y. native had a career-high five goal and 2 assists for personal best seven points in Saturday’s season opener. Keenan showcased his versatility as well, adding five ground balls as he was active on both ends of the field

This was Keenan’s third career hat trick, and surpassed 25 career goals, as he now has 26.

This award is newly established by the USILA for this season. The team, which will be announced weekly on Monday afternoons, included 10 players on the initial list, of which Keenan was one of three midfielders.

Penn State returns to action on Saturday, February 10 with a 1 p.m. opening faceoff against Hobart. It will be Penn State’s ‘Lacrosse for Literacy’ book drive as fans are encouraged to bring books to donate to the game.  

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