(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – Two longtime members of the Carnegie Mellon University Athletics community, Head Volleyball Coach Kim Kelly and Coordinator of Athletics Support Services Joan Maser, have announced their retirement, with Kelly expanding her role as Associate Director of Athletics.
Kelly has served as the head coach of the Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team for the last 14 seasons. She has compiled a record of 303-187 at the helm of the Tartans and an overall career mark of 553-269 in 23 years as a head coach. Under Kelly, the program has earned five NCAA Championship bids, two runner-up finishes in the ECAC South Volleyball Championship and five top-three finishes in the University Athletic Association (UAA).
“Kim has had an amazing coaching career and has achieved national success for more than two decades,” said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. “Most important, she has impacted the lives of her players in profound ways. She is a wonderful coach, but what has always made her great is the natural way she mentors and educates young people. Kim is a role model for young men and women, and I am excited that she will have an opportunity to broaden her impact within our university and athletics community.”
Kelly has also led the Tartans to six straight seasons of at least 20 wins, and won 20 or more matches in 10 of her 14 years on the Carnegie Mellon sidelines. In 2017, the Tartans recorded a 30-win season, achieved the program’s best national ranking (6th), and finished ranked 15th in the nation by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). That same season, Kelly was named the AVCA North Region Coach of the Year. She closed her career leading the 2018 Tartans to the NCAA Regional Final for the first time in school history.
Kelly coached 14 AVCA All-Americans, 23 All-Region selections and 50 UAA honorees during her tenure at Carnegie Mellon. In 2014, she coached the program’s first UAA Rookie of the Year selection.
“I want to thank all of my alums for having such a profound influence on me,” said Kelly. “It has been a privilege and honor to be able to call all of them family.”
Kelly, who was promoted to Associate Director of Athletics in May 2018, will continue her administrative responsibilities. She has provided oversight for sports medicine and strength and conditioning as well as the swimming and diving programs. Additionally, Kelly will continue to oversee the Student-Athlete Leadership Development Program in conjunction with Andrew Girard, Head Women's Tennis Coach and Operations Manager for Intercollegiate Tennis. Kelly maintains her roles as Senior Woman Administrator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator and NCAA Compliance Officer.
“It is tough to think about a part of your life coming to a close, but I am so excited about what the future holds,” Kelly said. “It is my ambition to help influence all of our student-athletes as much as I hope I have been able to influence my volleyball players through the years in a positive way. What gets me through is that I am not leaving Carnegie Mellon.”
Prior to Carnegie Mellon, Kelly was the head women’s volleyball coach at Gettysburg College from 1996 through 2004. Under her leadership, the Bullets posted a 250-82 record, captured eight Centennial Conference titles and appeared in eight NCAA Division III Championship Tournaments. She was an assistant coach at Gettysburg for four seasons before becoming head coach and was inducted into the Bullets’ Hall of Fame as a coach and player in 2016.
A 1992 graduate of Gettysburg, Kelly was regarded as one of the top setters ever to play for the Bullets. During her four seasons (1988-91), she was credited with 2,079 assists, the highest total in school history upon graduation. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Gettysburg and a master’s of business administration from Mount St. Mary’s University in 2003.
Maser, who has been a member of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation since 1981, has served many roles in her 37 years. Most recently, Maser has been the Coordinator of Athletics Support Services since 2008. For 17 years prior, Maser was an Associate Director of Athletics.
“During the last 37 years, Joan has influenced nearly every aspect of our athletics department operation. She has been a steady presence for us all, and has touched the lives of multiple generations of students, staff and faculty,” Centor said. “It is difficult to imagine Carnegie Mellon without Joan Maser, but I am thrilled that she will have the opportunity to pursue her passions throughout her well-deserved retirement.”
From 1981-84, Maser was Carnegie Mellon's head women's field hockey coach and a physical education instructor. In 1984, she was promoted to assistant director of athletics before becoming associate director in 1991. She also served as an assistant athletic trainer from 1981-1991.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work at Carnegie Mellon for more than 37 years. Our athletic programs and facilities have grown tremendously throughout these years and I’m proud to have played a role in that development,” said Maser. “The relationships I have with members of our athletic family, as well as across campus, are lifelong. I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life and to coming back to campus to watch our teams play. Go Tartans!”
Maser came to Carnegie Mellon from the Southwest Butler County School District, where she was a physical education instructor and head athletic trainer.
A native of Lititz, Pennsylvania, Maser received her bachelor's degree in health and physical education from the University of Pittsburgh, along with her National Athletic Trainers Association Certification in 1979. She earned her master's degree in physical education and exercise physiology from Pitt in 1983.
Maser will stay on staff until the end of the academic year, June 30, 2019. A national search will be conducted immediately for the next Tartan volleyball coach.