Two months after Katie Schumacher-Cawley shocked the team by leaving Penn after just one year for Penn State, Penn Athletics announced Monday that a new head coach had been hired for Penn volleyball: Iain Braddak.
Schumacher-Cawley left the team in February after only one year. She was named head coach following the departure of Kerry Carr, who had coached the team for 19 years, in February 2016. As the third head coach for the Quakers in as many years, Braddak will take over the program during a critical time with the team losing six seniors to graduation, including All-Ivy setter Sydney Morton.
This isn’t a team that has been lacking in leadership for the last two months, though. In the offseason, assistant coach Josh Wielebnicki and members of the team helped to lead workouts and tide the team over until a new head coach was hired.
Now that Braddak has been hired, he will look to replicate the success that he’s enjoyed at other institutions. After graduating Springfield College in 2010, he started his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma mater. Working there for two years, he earned a Master of Science in sports performance and advanced level coaching while helping the team to a NCAA Division III Elite Eight run.
He’s since been a head coach three times at the D-III level, working at Culver-Stockton College, the US Merchant Marine Academy, and at Smith College. He had success at all three, creating a brand new men’s volleyball program for Culver-Stockton and leading the USMMA women’s volleyball team to its first back-to-back winning seasons in a decade.
Braddak gained D-I and Ivy League experience during a brief stint with Columbia last year. He served as an assistant coach for the Lions, who went 5-9 in conference last season. He’ll be moving up by becoming a Quaker, as Penn went 7-7 in the Ancient Eight last season, and will look to use his experience at the rival institution to help the Red and Blue further improve.