A large crowd of fans and alumni packed the Bryce Jordan Center practice facility on Friday, as newly appointed head coach Carolyn Kieger was welcomed with a celebratory introduction.
Penn State Vice President of Athletics Sandy Barbour took the podium and made the public aware that their process of finding the next head coach was not easy, but everyone within the athletic board knows that they have found a great head coach in Kieger.
Barbour made it very clear that Kieger was a name which all of those involved had on their list and hiring her was a decision which the entire university is extremely proud of.
The fifth year athletic director went on to say that the hire was due to, “Her combination of proven success as a head coach, her track record of student athlete development, and her passion for engaging and igniting a community”.
After Barbour’s introduction, the new hire was introduced to a standing ovation from the crowd and the energy in the building was apparent.
The ex-Marquette head coach started by saying how this was a tough choice considering Marquette was her alma mater and the place she had grown from player to coach.
But ultimately if Kieger found the right opportunity she was going to grab it-- and that is just what she did by landing in Happy Valley.
“I will be forever grateful for the years at Marquette,” Kieger said. “But what attracted me to Penn State was the unmatched commitment from the university to develop better young people and better student athletes.”
Kieger ensured that her spirit and motivation will be present everyday throughout the press conference and her attention to detail will be consistently at one hundred percent.
The new Lady Lion coach preached an acronym which she says the team will live by through every practice, game or anything they partake in.
The acronym of PRIDE, which represents passion, respect, investment, discipline and excellence will be a cornerstone of Penn State women’s basketball through this new era it is embarking on.
“It describes the mindset that we will relentlessly be working toward with our players and staff on and off the court,” Kieger said.
Kieger looks to fix a program which has strung together a few disappointing seasons in a row and in need of an energy boost, something which she clearly has plenty of.