Location:Home > sneakers > Baranek: The shoe fits at Penn for McAuley graduate Katie Schumacher

Baranek: The shoe fits at Penn for McAuley graduate Katie Schumacher

Time:2017-03-03 08:23Shoes websites Click:

Penn Penn State High school girls volleyball prep girls volleyball college womens volleyball

Baranek: The shoe fits at Penn for McAuley graduate Katie Schumacher-Cawley

Baranek: The shoe fits at Penn for McAuley graduate Katie Schumacher-Cawley

UIC athletics

After eight seasons as the women's volleyball coach at UIC, Katie Schumacher-Cawley is moving on to the University of Pennsylvania.

After eight seasons as the women's volleyball coach at UIC, Katie Schumacher-Cawley is moving on to the University of Pennsylvania. (UIC athletics)

Tony Baranek

Tony Baranek

Privacy Policy

Katie Schumacher-Cawley has always maintained she's been very lucky in life.

I've always maintained that she's earned everything she has ever achieved.

Either way, the updates we do about her are always good ones. This one is no different.

The former Mother McAuley and Penn State volleyball standout was hired Feb. 24 as the new women's volleyball coach at the University of Pennsylvania.

Schumacher is leaving UIC after 14 seasons — eight as the head coach. She coached the Flames to 113 victories, including a program-record 10 consecutive victories to start the 2016 season.

At Penn, she will replace Kerry Carr, who captured five Ivy League championships in 18 seasons.

It's a big move, both schoolwise and lifewise. But "Schu" is up for it.

"I am super excited," Schumacher said. "I'm eager to get going. I wasn't really looking for a new job, but it's something that happened really fast.

"I had a lot to think about and talk about with my husband (Mike). We had to make a decision fairly quickly. We decided that being able to coach at that level at such a prestigious school was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

If you aren't familiar with Katie Schumacher, here are the highlights.

She was, in my opinion, the best two-sport female athlete that has ever graced the Southland.

A student/athlete at Mother McAuley from 1993-97, Schumacher was a star player on both the basketball and volleyball teams. The results were astounding. In four basketball seasons, her teams went to state three times. In four volleyball seasons, her teams went to state all four times, and were state champions in Class AA in 1994 and '95.

The fortunate college volleyball coach who got her was Penn State's Russ Rose. Schumacher led the Nittany Lions to an NCAA national title in 1999.

After that came the recognition.

Schumacher was inducted into the GCAC Hall of Fame in 2001, the Catholic League Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

The following year she was named the head women's volleyball coach at UIC.

Now, you are familiar. Impressed?

Rose was so impressed he was one of the first to speak to Penn about hiring Schumacher, according to Penn assistant athletic director Scott Ward.

"Coach Rose very highly recommended her," Ward said. "That kind of led to our reaching out to her. When we spoke initially, it was such a comfortable conversation that it led to another and another."

A visit to the campus clinched it.

"We were appreciative to find somebody with head coaching experience and things we were looking for," Ward said. "Things like being able to recruit in an urban environment and providing the best student-athlete experience .

"Another big part of it was her personality. We felt it would lead to such a great fit in our environment."

I didn't ask if they went to UIC looking for a reference. But if they did, I'm sure they got a good one. Senior associate athletic director Denny Wills, for one, appreciated her efforts.

"UIC is a better place for her eight years of service here," Wills told me. "She was very good with student-athletes, very good with staff, did everything we asked her to do.

"She obviously has been rewarded with a pretty good job. It's our loss."

In a sense, it is for "Schu" as well. Leaving UIC, which she has called home for more than a decade, is truly bittersweet.

"It was hard and it still is," she said. "It was such a difficult decision. My family is here and you get comfortable making the same ride to the same school for so many years and working with so many supportive people.

"It's going to be a big change, but it's one I'm going to be ready for."

abaranek@tribpub.com

Twitter @tbaranek

Copyright © 2017, Daily Southtown

underwearwine

Copyright infringement? Click Here!

Related reading
Related recommend