Carlow University Announces Hiring of Men’s Volleyball Coach for Inaugural Season

Athletics For Immediate Release
Karina Graziani, Sports Communication Manager May 01, 2020
412-578-6310 (phone)
814-279-5649 (cell)

Pittsburgh Native Val Pennington Has Coached Club and High School Volleyball for Decades 

Pennington, a Pittsburgh native, was chosen from a pool of candidates looking to make history with the Celtics.

“Val brings with him a wealth of volleyball knowledge and experience that will be beneficial in jump-starting the new men’s program at Carlow,” Director of Athletics, George Sliman, said. “We are excited to have him on board and to begin our newest men’s sport with Val at the helm.”

Pennington was excited about the opportunity to coach collegiate volleyball in Pittsburgh, an area that he said has been a “hotbed” for boys’ and men’s volleyball for decades.

“There has been an incongruence between high-level players and local opportunities for them to play in and around their hometown. Players have had to travel far to play [men’s collegiate volleyball] somewhere,” Pennington said. “Sitting on top of such a nice talent pool is so exciting. The athletes want to stay here; it’s a fantastic place for Carlow to be situated.”

Since coaching the University of Pittsburgh men’s volleyball club team in the early 90s, it’s always been a dream of Pennington’s to coach varsity men’s volleyball at the collegiate level. Upon hearing of the opening at Carlow, he submitted his application right away. “I have been looking for this opportunity for a long time,” he said, citing that not having to relocate was an important factor since he was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area.

“The hiring committee chose Val because of his extensive local history and connections with the sport,” Sliman said. “Val was the right fit for Carlow, and we look forward to seeing where he can take the Celtics.”

Pennington’s background includes several area clubs and high school teams. Most recently, he was the varsity girls’ head coach at Northgate High School since 2017. He also spearheaded the boys’ volleyball program at Moon High School from 2004-2008, and was the co-founder of United Volleyball Club from 2006-2009. He also coached Renaissance Volleyball Club from 1999-2005 and holds certifications and has worked for many years as a PIAA and USAV official.

Pennington was the game day announcer for the University of Pittsburgh from 1995-2009 and was the voice of the Big East Championships. He is eager to begin his tenure with the Celtics.

“I think it’s significant that we’re bringing collegiate men’s volleyball back to Pittsburgh. It’s historic, and I’m looking forward to it; I’m proud to be part of that history,” he added.

For more information about the men’s volleyball team, visit

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