September 11, 2013

Roberts retiring after 29 seasons at Grove City

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Grove City College volleyball coach/associate director of athletics Susan Roberts will retire from the College at the end of the 2013-14 academic year.

Since taking over as head coach in 1985, Roberts has directed Grove City to nine Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) championships along with three Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Southern Championships.

She has guided Grove City to 13 20-win seasons and seven total postseason appearances. Roberts owns a 570-412 (.580) record in 29 seasons as Grove City head volleyball coach. She earned her 500th win as Grove City volleyball coach Sept. 18, 2007 as the Wolverines defeated Penn State Behrend.

Roberts became Grove City College’s all-time leader in total coaching wins Oct. 28, 2008 when the Wolverines downed Bethany. She has 737 wins as a head coach at Grove City.

On October 5, 2011, Roberts recorded her 600th win as a collegiate volleyball coach when the Wolverines earned a 3-2 win at Waynesburg. Overall, she has a 622-436 career record in 31 years as a head volleyball coach.

Roberts made an immediate impact on the Grove City program, leading Grove City to a 41-1 record in 1985, including the program’s first PAC title and a berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament. Roberts earned the Collegiate Volleyball Coaches Association’s Division III Coach of the Year award following the 1985 season.

Grove City finished the regular season ranked No. 1 nationally in the AVCA poll that year.

Grove City closed the 1980s as the PAC’s dominant program, winning conference titles in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1989. That dominance continued into the 1990s as the Wolverines won conference crowns in 1992, 1993 and 1995. The 1994 team became the first College team to earn an ECAC title as the Wolverines swept Washington & Jefferson and Rutgers-Newark for the ECAC Southern Championship crown.

Grove City then repeated as ECAC champion in 1995.

Grove City returned to the top of the PAC in 2000, capturing the program’s eighth conference title under Roberts’ guidance. The Wolverines advanced to the ECAC Southern Championship Tournament semifinals before falling to top-seeded Carnegie Mellon.

The following year, the Wolverines stormed to their ninth PAC title and returned to the ECAC Tournament. Entering as the sixth seed in the six-team tournament, the Wolverines upset Johns Hopkins, Franklin & Marshall and host Moravian to clinch their third ECAC title in seven years.

From 1985-93, Roberts coached Grove City’s women’s basketball team to a 101-78 overall record. The 1986-87 team won the program’s first PAC title.

She then coached the softball program from 1994-98, compiling a 66-48 mark. Her 1998 squad set a new program record with 20 wins and won the conference title.

Roberts is the only active coach in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference to win conference titles in three different sports currently sponsored by the league.

Her 36-year coaching career began at Davidson College, where she started the field hockey program and worked as the first full-time women’s basketball coach.

Roberts then spent two years as head women’s basketball coach at Furman University before working as head volleyball coach and head basketball coach at King College for two years.

A native of Ontario, Ohio, Roberts added the role of associate director of athletics in 1998. She also holds the rank of professor of physical education.

She earned her undergraduate degree in physical education from Ohio University in 1975 and then earned her master’s degree in biomechanics from the University of Arizona.

Roberts lives on Lake Latonka, near Mercer.

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