The second in a series on Penn State Women’s Volleyball players who moved into coaching after their playing careers were over.
In four years as a member of the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team, Kate Price compiled an enviable record: Big Ten ‘Freshman of the Year,’ Stanford Invitational ‘Most Valuable Player,’ Penn State Invitational All-Tournament Team, and AVCA Honorable Mention All-Mideast Region and Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors. She was a member of four consecutive Big Ten championship teams, and capped off her career when the Nittany Lions won the 2007 National Championship.
Kate unquestionably was a gifted and highly decorated player. But when asked about Kate Price, Russ Rose often talked about her floor leadership and intelligence on the court. “In my mind,” Rose said prior to the 2007 season, “she has our team’s highest volleyball IQ.” High praise, considering that Nicole Fawcett, Alisha Glass, Christa Harmotto, Megan Hodge, Roberta Holehouse, and Melissa Walbridge also were members of that 2007 squad.
Kate may not have been born to be a volleyball player, but as Penn State’s Daily Collegian noted in a 2007 article, Volleyball is a family tradition for Price. She was introduced to volleyball at age 12 by her oldest sister Kim, and quickly was hooked. Kate and her cousin Angie McGinnis followed Kate’s sister Kelly (an OH at Loyola University Chicago) to matches throughout the midwest. As Kelly explained to the Daily Collegian: “[T]hey just had a good opportunity to see what good volleyball looked like, and it helped them from a young age.”
Kate’s combination of volleyball savvy and experience playing against high calibre competition has proved to be invaluable as she has pursued her coaching career. After hiring Kate as Eastern Illinois University’s new assistant volleyball coach, head Coach Alan Segal said: “We’re really excited to have Kate join our program. She played four years at Penn State, winning a National Championship just two years ago. Plus she has experience as an assistant coach at Centenary and comes from a great volleyball family up in Michigan.”
Among Kate’s first tasks in her new job will be to host EIU’s upcoming All Skills Volleyball Camp. Says Kate: “I am looking forward to the summer camp. It will be good to enjoy some time in the gym with current EIU players,” and to have “a chance [to give] more one-on-one attention to each of our campers.”
It’s still early days, but we wouldn’t bet against the Price family tradition or Kate Price. Whatever her role, Kate Price has always been a winner.