The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Christian Kiselica named head volleyball coach

Christian Kiselica led George Washington to a top-25 ranking prior to coming to Lafayette. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)
Christian Kiselica led George Washington to a top-25 ranking prior to coming to Lafayette. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Christian Kiselica will become the new head coach for the volleyball team on Monday.

Kiselica replaces Ryan Adams, who accepted a head coaching position at William & Mary in January after four seasons with Lafayette. Assistant coach Ryan Mather has been working as interim head coach since Adams left.

“I want to acknowledge how fortunate I am to have Mather as the interim head coach. I think he’s done a really fantastic job in this transition, and the team has really enjoyed having him there,” Kiselica said.

Kiselica, who has six years of experience coaching at several athletic programs, comes to College Hill after leading Division I Cedar Crest College last season.

Kiselica made a big impact at Cedar Crest despite being the head coach of the program for only one year. He guided the Allentown, Pennsylvania school to a Colonial States Athletic Conference title, and took the team to its second NCAA Tournament berth in program history. Among his team were six student-athletes that earned all-conference honors, including a defensive player and rookie of the year. The program ranked first in the league in eight statistical categories while boasting a 3.6 team GPA.

Something different for Kiselica will be having almost double the roster size at Lafayette than at Cedar Crest.

“Balancing how we prioritize winning with … making sure everyone feels like they have a role on the team, I think that will be a little bit of a challenge,” he said. “I think that’s an area where I really excel, making sure everyone feels cared for so it’s actually something I’m just looking forward to.”

Kiselica has played volleyball throughout his life and began coaching at the age of 19.

“The one thing that I always came back to was volleyball and coaching. And so [I] very quickly realized this is the career path I was going to take,” Kiselica said.

Much like Lafayette, all of the teams that Kiselica has coached for prioritize their performance in the classroom as much as their success on the court.

“I love working with those type of students,” he said. “One because they’re often multi-talented … so I can connect with them in different ways. But also, they challenge me … and that just makes me a better coach.”

From 2019-2022, Kiselica was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at The George Washington University.

“The day I filled my paperwork out, they announced the school was shutting down for COVID,” he said. “My first five months of that job were remote, which obviously as a coach is very unnatural.”

Despite the unique circumstances, Kiselica pulled multiple top-50 recruits at GW and produced one of the top recruiting classes in 2022. He served as interim head coach in his last season and guided the team’s libero to a top-25 national ranking in digs per set as the defensive coordinator.

Prior to his time at GW, Kiselica spent three years with the volleyball program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). UMBC was experiencing staffing changes at the time, which allowed him to spend time as an interim head coach and work as both the offensive and defensive coordinator.

“I was like twenty-three years old and took over the program midseason … You learn by getting thrown into the fire sometimes,” he said.

Kiselica started his career after graduating from Temple in 2017 with a bachelor of science in sports and recreation management. At Temple he was a member of the men’s club volleyball team, leading the program to two top-10 finishes in the country as an outside hitter and libero.

He served as Temple’s director of volleyball operations at a time when the Owls reached a program-best top-40 ranking. He also spent time as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.

In an interview for GoLeopards, Lafayette Athletic Director Sherryta Freeman described Kiselica as an energetic and “dynamic leader” who is passionate about both the sport and the student-athlete experience.

Kiselica said that as much as he values the sport and winning, he wants to take on a mentorship role with his student-athletes.

“You only get four years in college, and I want them to be the most memorable, exciting times of their lives. My goal is to give them a holistic experience,” he said. “Make sure I’m taking care of their mental and physical health, giving them opportunities … to build a network … and ensure that they have a good academic experience.”

Kiselica is slated to officially start his journey with Lafayette this upcoming Monday.

“[I’m] just so fortunate, thankful, every positive word you could possibly think of. I’m excited for the opportunity,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Caroline McParland
Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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    PhilOct 6, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    What an ass!! Two faced lies.