Lehigh Valley taps local talent to lead athletic teams

September 16, 2014

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Penn State Lehigh Valley’s growing athletics department has announced the addition of three new coaches this fall. Lorie Khalil takes the helm as head coach of the women’s basketball team, now prepping for its second season, and assistant coach of the women’s volleyball team. Brittni Kholi will serve as head coach of the newest campus team, women’s volleyball, and assistant coach of women’s basketball. Both teams compete in the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC). Finally, recent campus alumna and standout cyclist Mandy Marquardt, a 2014 graduate, takes over as head coach of the cycling team.

“Having these three talented women coaches on board will not only provide a great experience for our student athletes, but will help raise the profile of our program in both the university and local communities,” said Rich Fatzinger, director of athletics at Penn State Lehigh Valley.

Lorie Khalil joins the Penn State Lehigh Valley athletic staff with nine years of head coaching experience at the NCAA Division III level. Khalil spent six seasons at Centenary College (Hackettstown, New Jersey) and three seasons at Arcadia University (Glenside, Pennsylvania). In 2009 and 2010, Khalil's teams led the NCAA Division III in scoring offense averaging 81+ points per game. In 2010, her team was recognized by the WBCA for having the second highest team GPA in the country with a 3.613. Prior to coaching, Khalil played college basketball at Delaware Valley College and Moravian College. She hopes to build upon the Lehigh Valley campus team’s commendable first season when they start league play on Nov. 17.

“I look forward to guiding this young program to even greater success and to join a team of dedicated coaches, particularly under the leadership of athletic director Rich Fatzinger,” said Khalil. “Having a local legend like him as a mentor made accepting this position all the more exciting.”

Fresh off winning its first two matches in campus history, the new women’s volleyball team is looking at a promising season under new head coach Brittni Kholi. KholiI was a three-year varsity starter for volleyball and a captain for varsity basketball while at Dieruff high school. She went on to play college basketball, finishing her career at East Stroudsburg University. While attending Lehigh Carbon Community College for a year, she was captain and starter for the state championship team. This is Kholi’s first year coaching volleyball and serving as a basketball assistant coach, but she has coached at Lincoln Leadership Charter School in Allentown for two years, as well as multiple youth programs.

“We are fortunate to have some seasoned players on this inaugural team, and our goal is to make Penn State Lehigh Valley a force to be reckoned with in the PSUAC,” said Kholi.

The volleyball team will play its first home game against Penn State Wilkes-Barre at 7 p.m., Sept. 16 at Cedar Crest College.

Mandy Marquardt, a standout cyclist during her four years at Penn State Lehigh Valley, looks to build on the tradition of excellence established by cycling legend Jim Young as she takes over as head coach. Marquardt, who races as an elite cyclist, holds two current national titles in track events, and is eager to promote cycling in the local community.

“This campus has produced national champions, five Olympic team members and a number of future Olympic hopefuls. I want to continue that tradition and raise the profile of collegiate cycling in our community,” said Marquardt.

Last Updated September 17, 2014