The coaching staff for the Penn State women’s volleyball team is finally complete, and doing so brought back an inportant link to the recent past.
The Nittany Lions on Thursday announced the return of Salima Rockwell as the program’s associate head coach, rounding out a staff that saw two assistant coaches depart in the last month for head coach Russ Rose.
Rockwell brings a strong link to the program’s recent run as one of the nation’s premier programs. She was on the bench from 2006-2008, helping the team to the first two an NCAA-record four consecutive national championships. The 2008 team finished undefeated, won 111 consecutive sets and set a number of other records.
She left Penn State after that season to serve the last five yearson the staff at Texas, where she helped the Longhorns to the 2012 title.
“Salima has a great history at Penn State as a three-time All-American and team captain. Between Texas and Penn State, she’s been on the bench for five final fours and three national championships,” Rose said in a statement from the university.
Rockwell was a three-time All-American as a player in the 1990s and later was a member of the U.S. national team.
One of her many responsibilities during her previous role with the Nittany Lions was the molding of Alisha Glass, who is currently a setter for Team USA.
“Salima has always been a natural leader who brings a set of intangibles to the program,” Rose said in a statement. “She relates especially well with young people, and her impact is very large as a mentor and coach. She’s given a great deal of her life to volleyball and I think volleyball has really benefited from her involvement.”
Rockwell joins Stevie Mussie as recent additions to the staff. Steve Aird left to be come head coach at Maryland, and Kaleena Davidson has departed coaching for personal reasons. Adam Hughes remains as the director of operations for the team.