The girls’ volleyball program received some surprising and somewhat bittersweet news last week as Head Coach Alexa Keckler resigned from her position.
After eight years as head volleyball coach at Muhlenberg, she stepped down to make the move up to the Division I, and become the head coach for Lehigh University.
“I would like to thank Corey Goff for his support and encouragement throughout this process and throughout my tenure,” said Keckler of her time at Muhlenberg. “I would also like to thank President John Williams and Dean Allison Gulati for their professional and personal support.”
Keckler took charge of the program in 2010 after completing five seasons as head coach of Centennial Conference rival Gettysburg, where she built up a solid record of 96-55, along with a sparkling 40-10 conference record.
“I will be forever grateful to Muhlenberg College for the opportunity to lead the volleyball program for the last eight seasons” – Coach alexa keckler
Throughout her tenure at Muhlenberg, Keckler had her program thriving year in and year out. She established the Mules as a perennial contender in the Centennial Conference, as she led the the team to the conference tournament in four of the last five seasons. Keckler also holds the title of winningest coach in Muhlenberg program history, with a 141-96 record.
Part of her winning culture was captured in wild improvement. In a rocky 2010 campaign when Keckler inherited the program, the Mules finished dead last in the Centennial Conference and won just six games. Yet three years later, the 2013 squad racked up 20 victories and reached the conference title match. The following year, they reached the championship stage again amidst a record setting season that included wins in 25 matches, along with a school record of a 13 game winning streak.
Under Keckler, the Mules received votes in the national poll for the first time ever, along with boasting a roster that included the program’s first All-American in 10 years.
“I will be forever grateful to Muhlenberg College for the opportunity to lead the volleyball program for the last eight seasons,” said Keckler. “I am sad to leave such wonderful young ladies and such an amazing institution, but I am excited to begin the next chapter in my career.”
Despite her departure, Keckler leaves the program in solid shape. Next fall the team will return its entire roster, after going 24-6 without a single senior on the team. The women earned votes in the national poll, along with receiving an NCAA regional ranking of fifth, the team’s highest in program history.
“It’s hard for us to see a coach that we all liked and respected leave the program, but we are all excited for her opportunity at Lehigh,” said Tara Register ‘20.
Laura Boll ‘20 echoed Register’s sentiments.
“The team is really excited for Coach Keckler and her amazing opportunity. We know that she is going to do great things at Lehigh,” said Boll. “Although we are sad to see her leave, we’re looking forward to spring season and the new experiences it has in store for us.”
In the upcoming months, the Athletic Department will conduct a nationwide search for the next coach.