East Xtra: New Gateway coach looks forward to starting

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When Jay Wu stepped down as Gateway High School's girls volleyball coach, the district was hoping to find a replacement who had previous head coaching experience.

Athletic director Randy Rovesti was happy to find Greg Lockley.

"Greg Lockley has a wealth of coaching experience," Rovesti said. "We're glad to have him join us as our girls coach."

Lockley, a 1984 graduate of Peabody High School, has been coaching and officiating since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor of arts degree in communications in 1990.

"Jeff Beavers hired me as his [boys] assistant coach at Upper St. Clair," Lockley said. "I was with him for three years."

In 1993, Lockley landed his first head coaching positions.

"I was hired as head coach of the boys and girls teams at Woodland Hills," Lockley said. "I was able to build up both programs. We were having success when I stepped down."

Lockley also hooked on as an assistant women's coach at Chatham College while coaching at Woodland Hills.

"I was an assistant for two years, then took over as head coach for 11 years," Lockley said. "I'm the winningest coach in Chatham history in any sport. The team recorded 113 wins during my tenure, including the first 20-win season in school history, and won three Atlantic Women's College Conference titles."

Lockley was also named AWCC Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1998.

In 2005, Lockley took on the challenge of starting a program from scratch at Pine-Richland High School.

"I was a volunteer coach for Chris Rupert [Pine-Richland's former girls coach] for a couple years," Lockley said. "During that time, I told athletic director Clair Altemus that I would be willing to help if a boys team was ever started."

Lockley got his wish in 2004 when Pine-Richland started a boys program. The team played a non-section schedule the first year, then moved into the WPIAL in 2005.

"I was at Pine-Richland for two different stints," Lockley said. "I coached three seasons, stepped away from the program for two seasons, then came back for two more seasons."

Lockley stepped down from his position at Chatham College in 2008 and took over as head girls coach at West Mifflin. He led the Titans to the playoffs in 2012.

"I enjoyed coaching at West Mifflin, but felt it was time to make a move when I heard about the opening at Gateway," Lockley said.

"I saw Gateway play a few times last year and noticed how much talent they have. I'm really looking forward to the challenge of taking this program to the next level."

Wu coached the Gators for four years and led them to the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs once, in 2011 after tying for third place in Section 4. The Gators had a 4-8 record in the section last year.

"We're not a big team, but that doesn't bother me," Lockley said. "We can be small and quick. My goal is to build a successful program that is competing for a playoff spot every year."

Lockley wants to get the school more interested in volleyball.

"I want to see if we can change the school culture toward volleyball," Lockley said. "It's important to get a fan base involved. I want to see more students attending the matches. I was able to do that at West Mifflin. I'm hoping to do the same here at Gateway."

Lockley has served as director of school services and dean of students at the city's Career Connections Charter High School since 2000, but is now looking for a new job.

"We were surprised to hear that the school is closing down," Lockley said. "It's been a long time since I've had to look for a new job. But I'm confident I will find something by the start of the school year."

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