Head Coach Alexa Keckler
In four seasons as head coach at Muhlenberg College, Alexa Keckler has turned the program around from a last-place team to a contender for the Centennial Conference championship.
The Mules won 20 matches and advanced to the CC championship match for the first time in 12 years in 2013, just three seasons after tying for last place in the league. And with plenty of young talent on the roster, Muhlenberg is poised to remain near the top for years to come.
Inheriting a young, rebuilding team, Keckler coached the Mules to a 6-21 record in her first season, including four wins in their last six matches. In 2011, Muhlenberg improved to 10-18 and came within one win of earning a CC playoff berth. The Mules took two of the five CC playoff teams to a fifth set. The following year, Muhlenberg posted the second-best improvement in program history, going 17-11 with a roster that included two all-conference freshmen.
The 2013 team featured three all-conference selections - all freshmen and sophomores - including the program's first CC rookie of the year.
In nine total years as a college coach, Keckler has an overall record of 149-117. She came to Muhlenberg in 2010 after five years as head coach at CC rival Gettysburg, where she compiled a record of 96-55 (.636), including a 40-10 (.800) CC mark. The Bullets posted at least 18 wins in each of her five seasons and captured their league-best 11th CC championship in 2005. In 2008, Gettysburg was 9-1 in the CC, earning the right to host the conference playoffs.
In Keckler’s five years as head coach, 19 Gettysburg players landed on the All-CC team, including six on the first team.
Before taking over at Gettysburg, Keckler piloted her alma mater of Smithsburg (Md.) High School to an 18-2 record in 2002 and guided Littlestown (Pa.) High School to an 18-5 mark and a district playoff appearance in 2004. In between those assignments, she served as head coach of the Tri-State FCA Volleyball Club’s 15-and-under girls team, leading that squad to a 49-25 record in 2003-04.
An all-region most valuable player and junior college All-American at Hagerstown Community College, Keckler earned her associate’s degree in 1998 before graduating from Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University with a bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science in 2000. She was a two-year letterwinner with the TNU volleyball program, earning TranSouth Athletic Conference academic honors both seasons.
She acquired a master’s degree in human performance from Frostburg State University in 2002 and also has CAP 2 coaching certification from USA Volleyball. In addition to her coaching duties, she has served as the director of the Mid-Maryland Volleyball Camp since 1996.
Keckler and her husband, Drew University men’s basketball head coach Darryl Keckler, have three daughters, Olivia, 7, and Camryn, 4, and Mallory, 1, and a son, Maddox, 1.
Andrew Pile joined the Muhlenberg coaching staff for the 2013 season and made an immediate impact, helping the Mules become the top blocking team in the Centennial Conference. Pile is a 2013 graduate of Limestone (S.C.) College, where he was a four-year starter at setter and right-side hitter for the volleyball team. He served as team captain all four years, helping the Saints reach their first-ever conference championship match in 2013. Pile went to nearby Emmaus High School, where he was an all-state selection in volleyball. He served as a volunteer assistant coach for the girls team at Spartanburg High School and has worked camps in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.
Assistant Coach Allen Cerullo
Allen Cerullo joined the Muhlenberg coaching staff in 2006. His experience includes junior varsity women's volleyball coach at William Allen High School and head coach for both Lehigh Valley Christian High School and Whitehall High School. He has also coached several club volleyball teams, including Crosscourt Volleyball Club, Push the Rock and Synergy Lehigh Valley, since 1999 while holding a Level II coaching certification from the Coaching Accreditation Program. Cerullo, who earned his bachelor's degree from DeSales, has worked at PPL for the last 35 years.
Student Assistant Coach Christopher Zumberge
A senior at Muhlenberg, Christopher Zumberge is in his fourth year as a student assistant coach with the volleyball team. Zumberge won three letters as a middle hitter for nearby Parkland High School, earning all-state honors as a senior. He is a double major in computer science and physics