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Feb. 6, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's volleyball head coach Russ Rose has announced the hiring of former Virginia assistant Stevie Mussie, as an assistant coach for the Nittany Lions. Mussie will take over for five-year assistant coach Kaleena Davidson, who recently resigned.
"We're excited to announce the addition of Stevie Mussie to our staff at Penn State, she came highly recommended from two people whose opinions I value very highly in Dennis Hohenshelt, my former assistant coach and the current head coach at Virginia, and Jim McLaughlin, who was her coach at the University of Washington," head coach Russ Rose said.
At Virginia, Mussie was involved in all aspects of recruiting, as well as training passers and pin hitters. During her time at Virginia, she helped transform the program, moving the team from a 9-22 record in 2012 to a fifth-place finish in the ACC in 2013. She also assisted in the development of 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year, Jasmine Burton, as well as two AVCA All-America Honorable Mentions and two All-ACC selections.
"Her mentors identified that her strengths are that she's enthusiastic, very competitive and committed to the growth of the players she interacts with," Rose said.
Prior to her tenure with the Cavaliers, Mussie spent two years as an assistant at North Carolina State, where she helped the team move up 150 spots in the NCAA RPI rankings. The increase marked the largest improvement by a first-year staff in history.
Mussie graduated from Washington in 2008, with a bachelor's degree in sociology after transferring from Pacific in 2004. In her senior season with the Huskies, she was named the most outstanding player at the 2006 NCAA Seattle regional and also earned first-team All-PAC 10 honors.
Following graduation, Mussie spent a year as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado, before moving to the junior club level, where she was the regional director at Team Complete Athlete from 2009-10.
Mussie replaces Nittany Lion assistant coach Kaleena Davidson, who resigned to pursue other career opportunities outside of coaching. Davidson originally returned to Penn State for the 2009 season after spending two years as an assistant at the College of Charleston.
According to Rose, "I'm excited that she (Davidson) is staying in State College with her husband, Cam, and not only is the door always open, but I hope she comes by all the time because I thought she was an incredibly valuable person to have around."
While at Penn State, Davidson served as the Nittany Lions' recruiting coordinator, and was also involved in the training and development of the back row.
"I've known Kaleena for half of her life, so I look at her in three different phases," said Rose. "I knew her as a high school player, I coached her as a college player, I monitored and mentored her in her coaching career, and I was fortunate to have had the last five years with her, working side by side," Rose said.
Along with helping the team to three NCAA national championships during her tenure, Davidson played a key role in signing the nation's top-ranked recruiting class in 2014. She also served as a mentor to some of Penn State's top talent, including four-year AVCA All-American Deja McClendon, as well as Alyssa D'Errico and Dominique Gonzalez, who were both liberos on PSU national championship teams.
Davidson, a former Penn State All-American and Big Ten defensive player of the year, was the starting libero for the Nittany Lions from 2002-05. She presently holds the top three single-season dig marks, including the all-time career digs record (1,957).
"I have great confidence in Kaleena's work and I'm glad she will be here to assist with Stevie's transition as well as the addition of another staff member, who will be announced shortly," Rose said.
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