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Lockley excited for new start with Gateway volleyball

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Michael Love | The Times Express
New Gateway varsity girls volleyball head coach Greg Lockley conducts practice Aug. 11, 2014, in the gym at the Furrie Sports Complex. Lockley comes to the Gators after five years as the girls head coach at West Mifflin.
Top high school sports
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Greg Lockley's skill and love of the sport of volleyball had its genesis and early growth while a student at Peabody High School in the early 1980s.

The new Gateway varsity girls head coach graduated from Peabody in 1984 and continued his education and athletic pursuits at the University of Pittsburgh.

Lockley was an outside hitter and defensive specialist for the Panthers and was on the court as a key player right from the start of his freshman year.

The Pitt men's volleyball program dropped from a varsity sport to club status after his freshman year, but Lockley stayed with the program and was a part of teams that traveled and played in big tournaments.

After graduating with a communications degree in 1990, he returned to Peabody and began a coaching career in the sport that has spanned close to a quarter of a century.

“I really enjoyed my time at Pitt and grew a lot in the game,” he said.

“My high school coach was always big on going back and giving back to where you started. That's where I started to develop my coaching style. Through the years, the coaches I have worked for and with have helped with that, too.”

His experience at the high school and college levels has brought him to numerous stops.

In June, he began a new journey at Gateway — taking over for Jay Wu, who had resigned after four season at the helm� — and, he said, he wants to build on the talent in place and get everyone excited about the program.

“(The players) are working hard and learning a lot,” Lockley said.

“About 17 or 18 girls came consistently to workouts over the summer. They were very dedicated and changed schedules to be here. They've really taken advantage of the shorter period of time we've been together. It's a lot of new information for them, and they've responded.”

Lockley served as a boys varsity assistant at Upper St. Clair in 1991 and 1992 before being named the head coach of both the boys and girls teams at Woodland Hills in 1993.

While at Woodland Hills, he became an assistant at Chatham College and later started a strong 13-year tenure as the head coach at the school. He won more than 100 games as the Chatham head coach, captured three conference titles and earned coach-of-the-year honors twice.

He was a driving force in starting the Pine-Richland boys program in 2004, and the Rams played in the WPIAL officially for the first time in 2005.

“The sport has opened up opportunities and has taken me to more places than I possibly could've imagined,” he said.

Lockley came to Gateway from West Mifflin where he served as the girls head coach for five years. He took over the Titans program after ending his tenure at Chatham College. West Mifflin made the playoffs two years ago.

“The opportunity presented itself in June to come (to Gateway),” Lockley said. “I wanted to come here and have the chance to really get something started.”

In addition to his experience in the high school and college ranks, he also is the co-director for the Westmoreland Elite volleyball club with former Franklin Regional head coach Ray Reilly.

The club teams play and practice at the Monroeville Sports Center.

Lockley said he knows a lot about the talent and potential of a Gateway girls volleyball player. He coached Gators graduates and former Gateway volleyball standouts Allie Briley and Sam Taylor on his club teams.

Gateway is coming off a 4-8 record in Section 4-AAA in 2013. The Gators last made the WPIAL playoffs in 2011

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


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