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Seton-La Salle's new volleyball coach on the move

| Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, 10:23 a.m.

Kevin Hummert is spending a lot of time in the car these days.

Hummert, 36, was named head coach of the Seton-La Salle girls' volleyball team in June. Since then, he has been making the long commute from his home near Cranberry to Seton for open gyms and practice.

"It's a little challenging, but it's working out,"Hummert said. "I definitely need to find some talk radio stations I like."

Hummert graduated from Norwin High School in 1994, where he played soccer, basketball, track and tennis. He continued his soccer career at Geneva College in Beaver Falls.

While there, Hummert began playing men's volleyball for Geneva's club team. He was hooked immediately.

"It's the best team sport I've ever played," he said.

Despite being a club sport, Hummert recalls playing against a lot of high-quality programs, including the University of Pittsburgh.

Until the frequent travel became a burden, Hummert also played on the Association of Volleyball Professional beach tour and USA Indoor Volleyball league.

"It gave me an appreciation of the time needed to succeed at a national level," he said.

Hummert went on to earn a health and physical education degree from Slippery Rock University, and began teaching at Shenango Valley Middle School.

Hummert started his volleyball coaching career as an assistant at Ambridge Area High School.

He went on to coach boys' and girls' volleyball at Seneca Valley High School. In 2007, Hummert took over as the girls' volleyball coach at Shenango High School.

In his five years there, Hummert is credited with building the program into a consistent contender in Section 3A. He led the Lady Wildcats to their first WPIAL playoff victory in 2010.

But in March, Hummert said he was dismissed amid lingering concerns from a small number of parents regarding his coaching style. His release prompted an outcry from various players and parents who supported him.

When Hummert met his new Seton-La Salle team and parents, he was open about the circumstances of his departure from Shenango.

"I believe in honesty," Hummert said, adding that his firing was reported widely by New Castle area news outlets.

Hummert is excited about taking over the Seton-La Salle girls' program. The Lady Rebels haven't won a section championship since 2008.

"I couldn't ask for a better group,"Hummert said. "It was hard leaving the Shenango girls, but the Seton team has made it easy for me."

A self-described "win-first" coach, Hummert believes winning breeds other positive results - like sportsmanship, leadership, character and discipline.

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