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Former Penn State All-American Salima Rockwell enters her third season back at Penn State since rejoining the program after serving as both an assistant and associate head coach at Texas for five seasons. Widely regarded as one of the nation's top assistant coaches, Rockwell returned to Penn State as an associate head coach for the Nittany Lions.
In just her first season back, Rockwell helped guide the Nittany Lions to their seventh NCAA national championship in program history. Rockwell also mentored setter Micha Hancock to AVCA DI National Player of the Year honors. During her second season back, she helped guide the team to the NCAA regional semifinals, while mentoring setter Bryanna Weiskircher to AVCA All-Region distinction.
Rockwell spent five seasons as an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Texas before returning to Penn State. While with the Longhorns, Rockwell helped guide Texas to three NCAA national semifinal appearances, including a national championship in 2012. She also helped sign the No. 2 recruiting class in 2012, which included three top 10 recruits. Most recently, Rockwell was the recipient of the 2013 AVCA National Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
During her collegiate career at Penn State, Rockwell (Davidson) was a three-time All-American under coach Rose from 1991-94, picking up four All-Big Ten honors, including three first team selections and Big Ten Player of the Year honors in 1993. She also earned back-to-back NCAA Tournament All-Tournament team honors at the 1993 and 1994 national finals.
Following her time in the Blue and White, she played with the United States National team from 1995-99, serving as an alternate on the 1996 squad at the Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia. She also served as team captain in 1997 and 1998, earning MVP honors at the Montreaux BCV Volley Cup in 1998.
After leaving the court as a player, Rockwell accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Pittsburgh, where she began to emerge as one of the nation's top recruiters, signing four of the team's five top-ranked recruits in 2002.
"Salima has always been a natural leader who brings a set of intangibles to the program. 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," head coach Russ Rose said.
In 2006, Rockwell returned to Rec Hall as the Nittany Lions' director of volleyball operations after spending a season at Oregon State, under the direction of head coach Terry Liskevych. From 2007-08, she served as an assistant coach, helping guide Penn State to back-to-back national championships. Rockwell also mentored multi-year All-American, Alisha Glass, who directed the Nittany Lion offenses to some of the nation's highest hitting percentages, including a .350 clip in 2007 and a .390 efficiency in 2008.
Rockwell and her husband Jeff have two sons, Logan and Rylan.