Alexa Keckler, head coach of the Lehigh volleyball team, begins this season with a record of 39-35 over her past four years with the program.
During her time with the program, Keckler has led Lehigh to a Patriot League Tournament berth in 2019 and has had five players earn Second Team All-Patriot League honors, as well as three Academic All-Patriot League selections.
As a mother of four, Keckler’s players said that she brings a family-oriented approach to coaching.
Emily Poole, a graduate assistant who played for Keckler for two years, attested to Keckler’s developmental strategies and her relationships with players.
“She’s a wonderful person to play for and work with now,” Poole said. “She’s incredibly family-driven. She cares a lot about her athletes both as players and as people.”
Poole said Keckler’s coaching style is a blend of cheering her athletes on while also keeping analytics in mind.
Players echoed those sentiments when describing Keckler’s in-game coaching style.
“She’s definitely (a) very analytical coach, and she really makes sure that she and the coaching staff get straight to the point,” said Hannah Wright, a fifth-year senior.
Keckler said her foundational coaching practices stem from something she learned growing up.
“One of the biggest things I heard was that your players don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Keckler said. “For me, it’s important to make sure they know that I care about their overall well-being and it’s not just about performance on the court.”
Before Lehigh, Keckler spent eight seasons coaching at Muhlenberg College, where she compiled a record of 141 wins and 96 losses.
Keckler said the transition from Division III to Division I was more challenging than she initially expected. She said Division I requires more time and there is more difficulty in recruiting from balancing out scholarships and non-scholarships.
Keckler said that changing the program’s dynamic is still a work in progress.
“For me (it’s been important) to change the composure (and) the composition of the team to be more dynamic, more athletic and more well-rounded from a ball control standpoint,” Keckler said. “Because if we have that, we are capable of doing so much more in the gym.”
After a season that was impaired by COVID-19, Keckler is excited about being able to coach a full season again.
Keckler and the Mountain Hawks return home on Sept. 14 for a matchup against the University of Pennsylvania.