May 21, 2012
Van Norden most recently served as the head coach at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Md. She has amassed 176 wins in 11 seasons as a head coach, posting three 20-win seasons and collecting two coach of the year nods.
"If you've met Millicent you know Pitt is getting an exceptional person and very talented coach," said Rens of Van Norden, who will serve as the Panthers' recruiting coordinator. "I've been able to view her work ethic and sincere approach to what she does from afar and have always thought highly of her. I am thrilled to welcome her to our volleyball family. Her tireless work ethic and commitment to doing things the right way make her an outstanding fit for Pitt."
From 2007-10, Van Norden was head coach at South Carolina State where she transformed the Bulldogs program. South Carolina State finished the 2010 season with a 6-2 conference record after posting a 1-7 league ledger in her first season. In addition, Van Norden had three players represented on the all-conference team in 2010. During her tenure at SCSU, 11 players were named to the MEAC all-academic squad. Van Norden earned Coach of the Year honors in 2008.
Prior to her stint at South Carolina State, Van Norden served as the head coach at North Carolina A&T for three seasons. She was tabbed MEAC Coach of the Year in 2005 after guiding the Aggies to a 9-1 league record.
Van Norden began her coaching career at her alma mater, Alcorn State University, in Lorman, Miss. In three seasons, she posted a 71-42 record, won two Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Eastern Division titles with two SWAC Tournament championship match appearances.
A native of Laplace, La., she graduated cum laude from Alcorn State in 2000 where she earned letters in volleyball and track and field. Van Norden (nee Sylvan) was a two-time All-SWAC selection and was named the pre-season volleyball SWAC Player of the Year in 2000.
Van Norden was a 2000 USA Track and Field Indoor National Participant and a provisional qualifier in the long jump and the 100-meter hurdles that same year. She was an eight-time SWAC Champion in the triple jump and earned seven honors in the high jump. Van Norden was a six-time SWAC Champion in the long jump.
As an undergraduate, Van Norden was active in several student organizations including the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, SWAC Student-Athlete Association and the Alcorn State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. A four-year SWAC Scholar-Athlete, Van Norden was awarded the Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Athlete Award in 2000.
She holds a master's degree from Alcorn State in secondary education (2003). Van Norden is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association and USA Volleyball. She previously served as the MEAC representative for the 2005 East Regional ranking committee.
"The opportunity that Coach Rens and Pitt's athletic department has given to me is wonderful," said Van Norden. "I sincerely feel I joined an extension of my family, not just transitioned into a position. I will be able to align my goals and continue to grow as a coach and as a person as I share Coach Rens' views, values and approaches to success. I am looking forward to learning and supporting Pitt Volleyball on all levels."
Van Norden and her husband, Allen Van Norden are the parents of three children, Christian (8), Cain (4) and Loki (2).
Watch: Jenna Potts Feature
Volleyball to Hold Blue-Gold Scrimmage
Volleyball Single-Match Tickets Now on Sale
Blog: Ellie Watkins Returns to Europe
Fisher, Team USA Take Home Bronze Medal at Pan American Cup
Fisher, Team USA to Play for Bronze Medal at Pan American Cup