Penn State women’s volleyball head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley is among a large group of coaches and staff members who will assist Karch Kiraly in running the 2022 U.S. women’s national team open program February 25-27 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
College-age athletes will participate in the training sessions as part of the selection process for the U.S. women’s national team, collegiate national team, and NCAA elite athlete list. Schumacher-Cawley was named Penn State’s third head coach in program history on January 10 after a nearly three-week search for Russ Rose’s successor.
Almost 50 coaches, led by U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly, will be on staff at the 2022 WNT Open Program on Feb. 25-27 at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. #WNTOP
— USA Volleyball (@usavolleyball) February 9, 2022
The U.S. won its first Olympic gold medal in indoor women’s volleyball last summer in Tokyo, Japan, and Penn State alumnae Haleigh Washington and Micha Hancock each played significant roles on that team. Washington took home Best Middle Blocker honors after starting all eight matches. Fellow Nittany Lion Megan Courtney was named an alternate at libero despite playing outside hitter at Penn State and professionally in Italy.
Several Big Ten representatives will join Schumacher-Cawley later this month in Colorado Springs, including Maryland assistant coach Becca Acevedo, Ohio State assistant coach Brian Wright, Minnesota assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Jennifer Houk, and Nebraska video and administrative coordinator Brian Magbitang.
Notre Dame head coach Salima Rockwell, who was formerly an associate head coach, assistant coach, director of operations, and three-time All-American setter at Penn State, will also be in attendance after taking her first head coaching position with the Irish on January 6.
“We are so grateful to have this wonderful lineup of coaches to help run our 2022 Open Program,” Kiraly said in a release. “As good as this event has been in the past, we’re aiming to make 2022 the best one yet, and the skills and enthusiasm these coaches bring is critical to that effort.”
Schumacher-Cawley and Rockwell will have a chance to catch up and evaluate some of the nation’s top collegiate players, facilitate court activity, and collect performance analytics during the three-day program, an experience that will only help them as they return to their respective campuses and resume spring practices with their own teams.
Schumacher-Cawley and her new assistant coaches, Daniel Gwitt and Brian Toron, have already landed commitments from two incoming transfers in former Long State Beach outside hitter Kashauna Williams and former Purdue middle blocker Taylor Trammell so far this month. Williams announced her transfer to Penn State on February 3, while Trammell picked the Nittany Lions on February 12.
Schumacher-Cawley was a two-time All-American outside hitter and helped lead the Nittany Lions to their first NCAA national championship in program history in 1999. She graduated from Penn State in 2002 and previously held head coaching positions at University of Illinois at Chicago and Penn before returning to her alma mater as an assistant coach in 2018.
“We will always honor the things that Coach [Rose] has done,” Schumacher-Cawley said at her introductory press conference. “I think, with this new coaching staff, we’ll have new ideas in the gym, new ideas for the strength training and conditioning. I think we’re always trying to change a couple things here and there, but as far as the work ethic of this team, that will never waver. I think that that’s something that the alums and the past has provided for the future.”