#BlackHistoryMonth Proudly sharing the stories of Penn State student-athletes and coaches who have shaped Nittany Lion history.

cumberland posey

Penn State's first African American student-athlete, in 1909, Cumberland "Cum" W. Posey was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2016. He is the first person to be inducted into the National Baseball and Naismith Basketball Halls of Fame.

Preparing students for a lifetime of impact. #BlackHistoryMonth #WeAre

"Being here on the track & field team where it's very diverse has been a great experience to say the least. We have people from all over." - Tichina Rhodes

Former track & field assistant coach Warren Coleman was the first black coach at Penn State. #BlackHistoryMonth #WeAre

All-American linebacker Andre Collins now serves former NFL players as an executive director of the NFL Players Association.


Penn State's first African American female student-athlete to play on the field hockey team, Lady Lions basketball team and women's lacrosse team.

Born in Huntington, Pennsylvania, a small town less than 50 miles from Happy Valley, Lorraine (Hutchings) Oliver grew up in a big family, all of whom were active in athletics. Long before cell phones, computers and video games, for Oliver, sports were an outlet.

"In high school, I would use athletics as my entertainment. My family is an athletic family so we always played sports. I just started playing field hockey and I loved it, it was just a part of our lives."

Penn State's 16th football head coach made conference history in 2016, becoming the first Black coach to guide his team to a Big Ten Conference Championship. #BlackHistoryMonth #WeAre

"Black History Month, to me, means a lot especially as an African American it's something that's part of who I am." - Leroy Clarke

All-American Charlie Pittman epitomized Penn State’s tradition of student-athlete comprehensive excellence. #BlackHistoryMonth #WeAre

"It's a great experience, it's always good to be able to identify with another person in all different ways so having friends on the field hockey team, the basketball team, who are African American and going through the same things that I am, it's just like something I've never had before." - Salina Williford

Women's volleyball's Salima Rockwell earned three consecutive All-America honors, later serving as the United States women's national team captain in 1997 and 1998.

coquese washington

In her 10th season at the helm of the program, Lady Lion hoops head coach Coquese Washington is Penn State’s first African American female head coach.

Since arriving on campus, Washington has brought the Lady Lions back into the national spotlight, igniting energy on the court to change the program for the better. Washington however, cares not just about her team’s performance on the court though, placing just as much emphasis on how her teams spend time off the court too.

“We try to expose our student-athletes to all the various aspects of what the human condition means and it has to be about us being external."
“When I think about diversity at Penn State and Penn State athletics in particular, I really think that diversity, inclusion, connection, community is really a part of the fabric of what Penn State is all about." - Coquese Washington

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