Just one week after Penn State announced that former UVA assistant coach Stevie Mussie would be replacing outgoing PSU assistant Kaleena Davidson, who had been on staff for five years after playing on the team from 2002-2005--and we have even bigger volleyball news announced.
Today, the University announced that former assistant coach Salima Rockwell, whom Davidson had replaced on staff, is back with the Nittany Lions in the newly-created Associate Head Coaching position (in title, at least, as former PSU assistant Steve Aird is now the Head Coach at Maryland). Rockwell returns to Happy Valley after five years at the Texas Longhorns, having been their Associate Head Coach--and being named the 2013 national Assistant Coach of the Year.
It was tough seeing Rockwell on the sidelines with the Horns against the Nittany Lions in so many key matchups--and, more recently in September 2013, Texas had gotten the better of Penn State before falling in the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA tournament to Wisconsin, whom the Nittany Lions beat for the national title. While in Austin, she helped coach one National Championship team (2012) and three semifinal teams.
Before being hired away by the resurgent Texas program, of course, Rockwell had spent a number of years at Penn State, where she had played in the early '90s. She is credited with being a strong force, along with Rose, behind the dominant performance of the record-setting 2008 national championship team, who didn't drop a single set until the national semifinal match (and won the finals in straight sets).
Welcome back to Happy Valley, Coach Rockwell! We volleyball fans are excited to have you back.