PHILADELPHIA Kerry Carr, head volleyball coach at the University of Pennsylvania, has announced the hiring of Ambrose Crenshaw and Chad O’Brien as her assistant coaches for the 2006 season.
Crenshaw comes to Penn after spending the last two years as an assistant coach at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. A native of Philadelphia, he returns home after playing volleyball at Drexel and serving stints as an assistant coach at Philadelphia University and Rowan University. He also has experience coaching multiple high school and club volleyball teams in the area.
“I am very excited to have Ambrose as our first assistant,” said Carr. “His collegiate and club coaching experience make him a perfect fit to coach the Penn student-athlete. His credentials on and off the court will help this program grow, and his expertise in recruiting academic student-athletes will have an immediate and positive impact on this program.”
After a four-year playing career at Drexel, Crenshaw continued to play on the amateur volleyball circuit in the greater metropolitan area. Soon after graduation he began his coaching career with local programs at Buxmont Volleyball Club and Bensalem High School. Over the next four years, Crenshaw served as assistant coach, head coach and assistant director with various club and high school programs. As a testament to the success of his programs,more thana dozen players went on to play at Division I, II, and III collegiate programs, while others became active in the local club coaching scene.
Crenshaw made the jump to collegiate coaching in 2000 when he served as an assistant coach with Philadelphia University, working primarily with offensive development. In 2003, he assisted with the Rowan University volleyball program under future Mercer University head coach Noelle Hughes. While he was at Rowan, the team gained national recognition when the starting middle blocker earned the Division III National Statistical Kills Leader Award. During 2003, Crenshaw also served as a head clinician with Community Volleyball Association where he was responsible for running kids, adults and coaches clinics.
In 2004, Crenshaw moved to Division I coaching with Hughes, asher assistant coachat Mercer University. While at Mercer he was involved with all aspects of the program. His primary responsibilities included operations, scouting, recruiting and working closely with outside and middle hitters. In his two years at Mercer, the program produced two second-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference selections, one All-Freshman Team awardee and, statistically, a No. 18 national ranking in digs.
Crenshaw is a 1998 graduate of Drexel with a degree in information systems. He received his masters of education in holistic education from Mercer in 2006. Crenshaw resides in Elkins Park, Pa.
O’Brien comes to Penn from New Oxford High School in Pennsylvania, where he was the head girls’ volleyball coach and an assistant with the boys’ volleyball team. During that time he was also the director and coach of the New Oxford Juniors Orginization club volleyball team.
“Chad’s experience as a player and coach will help the development of our setters,” said Carr. “He brings a lot of energy, and I’m really excited to add him to this program.”
O’Brien got his feet wet in coaching before graduating from St. Francis. From 2002-04 he served as a camp counselor at both St. Francis and Penn State’s volleyball camps. His first full-time coaching experience came as an assistant for the boys’ team at New Oxford, in 2003. In 2005, O’Brien helped lead the New Oxford boys to the York/Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association regular season and tournament championships, and a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) state championship. O’Brien also was involved in coaching at the middle school level, to initiate interest and skills in the sport for boys.
O’Brien played at George Mason as a freshman before transferring to St. Francis. During his career with the Red Flash, O’Brien was a three-year starter at setter and team captain as a senior. During his sophomore year, St. Francis won the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA)Hay Division title. O’Brien graduated from St. Francis second all-time in career assists and holding the No. 2 and No. 3 spots on the school's single-season assist list.
O’Brien graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. Francis in 2003 with a bachelor’s of science in mathematics and a secondary education teaching certificate.