Penny Lucas-White

Former United States National player, Penny Lucas-White, has just concluded her fourth season as the head volleyball coach at Alabama State University.
The Lady Hornets’ mentor draws her coaching expertise from an impressive playing career at the collegiate, national and international levels, as well as coaching some of the top scholar athletes in the nation.
Among numerous career highlights, Lucas-White:

  • Played at LSU (1980-83) and as a professional, domestically and internationally (1984-91, 1997)
  • Played as a member of the USA National Volleyball Team (1985-86)
  • Spent 22 seasons as a coach, 16 as a college head coach (Memphis 1991-95, Air Force Academy 1996-2009, Alabama State 2011-present)
  • Coached athletes that earned MIT, Rhodes and Alberta Bart Holaday Scholarships
  • Guided the Lady Hornets to a second consecutive SWAC championship on Nov. 23, 2014 when Alabama State defeated Southern in two championship matches to cap a 6-1 tournament record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season
  • 2014 SWAC Coach of the Year
  • Led Alabama State to another 8-0 record in SWAC conference play during the 2014 season to extend their winning streak in conference regular season games to 16.  

During her tenure at the helm for the Lady Hornets, Lucas-White has upgraded the non-conference schedule to include trips against some of the top teams in the country. In 2014, the team again traveled out west to the University of Arizona as well as to Fort Myers, Florida, to compete in the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament. The team also hosted two ISTAP Collegiate Cups at Lockhart Gymnasium and the Dunn-Oliver Acadome against top competition such as Alabama.  In 2013, she led the Lady Hornets to the program’s first SWAC conference championship with an 8-0 mark and guided the team to a 16-win improvement from the previous season.  In doing so, ASU qualified for the NCAA Tournament and traveled to Seattle, Washington, to take on the University of Washington.  Prior to that, she led the Lady Hornets to consecutive third-place finishes in the always tough SWAC Eastern Division.  In 2012, the Lady Hornets finished third at the SWAC Tournament.

Lucas-White has always emphasized work in the classroom and that has not changed since she arrived on the ASU campus.  Following the 2012-13 season, the volleyball team received the Large Team Academic Award at the ASU Athletic Banquet based on the overall team grade point average.

One of her crowning achievements happened two summers ago when she and her assistants were chosen by the State Department to be special envoys to China’s Sichuan Province.  It was an area that had been devastated by an earthquake.  The coaching staff was part of a sports delegation that went into Chengdu, China to hold volleyball clinics for the children from the devastated area.

As head coach at Memphis, Lucas-White led the program to back-to-back Great Midwest Conference titles in 1993 and 1994, earning Coach of the Year honors both seasons. Her Lady Tiger squads maintained a 3.0 team GPA during her tenure at Memphis.

Lucas-White took the reins at Air Force Academy in 1996, the school’s first season competing in Division I in the highly competitive Western Athletic Conference (now known as the Mountain West Conference). A total of 18 cadet-athletes earned academic All-Mountain West Conference honors, including one Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year. 

Among her community involvement, Lucas-White has been an active member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. In 2003, she helped the AVCA receive an NCAA minority coaches grant for a program entitled “Volleyball: Live it! Love it! Coach It!”

She earned first-team All-SEC honors, as well as the MVP award, in her first season playing at LSU. After a three-year career, she left college to begin her professional playing career domestically in the United States Volleyball League and internationally in Italy and Germany. 

While competing professionally in the United States and Europe, Lucas-White began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Auburn from 1987-89.

Lucas-White earned the honor of playing on the United States National Volleyball Team in the 1985 NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean) Games, competing against the best players in the world.