PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Get To Know Penn State Women’s Volleyball Coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley

Earlier this week, Penn State women’s volleyball made history when it named Katie Schumacher-Cawley the third head coach in program history.

Schumacher-Cawley was likely an easy choice for Penn State given her long-running familiarity with the program. She’s been with the Nittany Lions as their top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator since 2018. More recently, she served as interim head coach for a few weeks once Russ Rose retired to cap off a 43-year career.

Before coaching at Penn State, Schumacher-Cawley spent the better part of a decade leading smaller programs, including Illinois-Chicago and Penn. Over a nine-year span, her teams compiled 125 wins.

Up in the Windy City, Schumacher-Cawley began her coaching career as an assistant for six years before assuming head coaching duties in 2009. Over an eight-year coaching stint, Schumacher-Cawley led the Flames to 113 wins — the third-most in program history. At Illinois-Chicago, she coached student-athletes who earned two Horizon League Player of the Year honors and 11 All-Horizon League accolades.

Later on, Schumacher-Cawley spent a single season as Penn’s head coach and compiled a 12-11 record. At the time, it was the best season for the Quakers in nearly half a decade.

Long before coaching, though, Schumacher-Cawley played for the program she now leads. From 1998 to 2002, she served as a cornerstone of the Penn State women’s volleyball team and brought home the Nittany Lions’ first national title back in 1999.

Schumacher-Cawley left the program as a two-time All-American when she graduated with a degree in communications in 2002. She finished her career with 1,310 kills, 772 digs, and 299 blocks under her belt.

“She always had an incredibly strong arm and loved to attack, went hard every day, and was an individual who cared about the team,” Russ Rose said in a phone interview with DigNittanyVolleyball. “[She] was focused on what was best for the team, and not necessarily what was best for her as an individual player. I admire the fact that Katie as a player was committed to the team and was a key contributor to the team’s success, and as a coach understands the various roles that each player needs to embrace for the group to succeed.”

Across campus, Schumacher-Cawley spent time playing for Penn State women’s basketball as an upperclassman. Just the other day, she visited the Bryce Jordan Center with her family to receive a warm welcome from Penn State fans (and hand out some free t-shirts).

Moving forward, Schumacher-Cawley is tasked with succeeding Rose, who ended his career with a seemingly insurmountable seven national titles, 17 Big Ten championships, and a 1,330-229 (.853) overall record. However, he believes his former assistant has all the makings to keep Penn State’s program in contention.

“I’m thrilled that a number of our former players are electing to take positions in coaching…I think it’s a great indication that they had good experiences and want to continue in the industry,” Rose told DigNittanyVolleyball this week. “I think that’s a source of pride for me and others who have been involved in the program for a long time.”

For now, Schumacher-Cawley’s biggest focus likely lies in restocking a depleted roster. A handful of players — Jenna Hampton (South Carolina), Gabby Blossom (San Diego), and Annie Cate Fitzpatrick (Florida) — have already transferred from the program, although the former two depart the program with degrees from Penn State. Star middle blocker Kaitlyn Hord and setter Emily Oerther are also reportedly in the transfer portal.

Penn State will train over the summer before officially beginning the Schumacher-Cawley era when the season begins in late August. The Nittany Lions are coming off of a 21-11 season that ended with a second-round NCAA Tournament loss to Pitt.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.


State College Links
Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Matt

Penn State’s COVID-19 Cases Hit New 12-Month High

For the second straight week, Penn State reported a yearly high in COVID-19 cases at its University Park campus.

Struck By Car, Penn State Grad Finishes Live News Report

Who Knew The Buffalo Bills Loved Penn State Wrestling?

10 Questions With State College Mayor Ezra Nanes

“I hope that in my four-year tenure, I am able to elevate the community, energize people…and help the people in this community to recognize their own unique and valuable contributions.”

10 Questions With State College Mayor Ezra Nanes

“I hope that in my four-year tenure, I am able to elevate the community, energize people…and help the people in this community to recognize their own unique and valuable contributions.”

No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Stays Undefeated, Takes Down No. 3 Michigan 29-6

The Nittany Lions used another dominant second-half lineup to take down the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.

Taking A Look At Penn State’s Latest Financial Statements

Have you ever wondered how much Penn State is worth these days?

Send this to a friend