KENNESAW, Ga. – Following two outstanding seasons, Kennesaw State Athletics has awarded a four-year contract extension to Owl volleyball head coach Keith Schunzel and a three-year contract extension to Owl women’s lacrosse head coach Laura ManessKSU Director of Athletics Milton Overton announced on Monday. Schunzel’s contract will now run through the end of the 2026 volleyball season, while Maness was extended through the end of the 2025 season.
“Keith Schunzel spirit Laura Maness have been outstanding in their roles in leading our Owl volleyball and women’s lacrosse teams,” said Overton. “Not only have they enjoyed great success on both the court and the field, their teams also have shown outstanding achievements in the classroom, both earning national academic recognition, and they are very active in the community as well. Keith and Laura both represent the “Gold Standard of Excellence” the Owl Nation has come to expect from our athletics program, and I’m excited to have them continue in leading our teams.”
“I’m genuinely honored to continue to have the opportunity to be the head volleyball coach at Kennesaw State,” said Schunzel. “My family and I have been bought into KSU and this community since the day we arrived on campus nearly 10 years ago, and I look forward to continuing to mentor and develop our amazing student-athletes and pursue more championships for years to come.
“I want to thank you Milton Overton and (Chief Operating Officer) Tamica Smith Jones for believing in me and the vision for Kennesaw State Lacrosse,” said Maness. “I look forward to a new season and getting to work with our incredible athletes and staff along the way. The future is very bright for KSU Lacrosse!”
Schunzel comes into the fall on the heels of four consecutive 20-win seasons (not counting the COVID-shortened season of 2020-21). Two of those campaigns resulted in ASUN Tournament championships and trips to the NCAA Tournament, and the Owls have finished in the top 75 of the RPI three times, including a program-best 42nd in the 2017 season.
The Owls have posted six consecutive top-two finishes in the ASUN, including this past season when its 13-3 league mark was tied for second-best in the conference standings. In 2021, Schunzel guided the Owls to their sixth win over a Power Five school in the past five years with a 3-0 sweep over Alabama. KSU also recorded a 12-game win streak during the season, which was the 7thth-longest such streak in the nation at that time before the Owls suffered a 3-2 loss in the ASUN semifinals.
The two-time ASUN Coach of the Year brings a 158-89 all-time record at KSU into the fall season, and is just four wins away from 100 league victories with a 96-38 ASUN mark. He has also seen the Owls perform at a high level in the classroom over his nine seasons, with four AVCA Team Academic Awards and 18 straight semesters with a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Maness guided the Owls to a record-setting season on the lacrosse field in 2022. The second coach in program history, she led KSU to a school-record 11 victories (11-7 overall) and a third place finish in the six-team ASUN conference, which ties for the team’s highest finish in the league. Among this past season’s highlights was the first-ever win over a Power Five team as KSU took down the Oregon Ducks 14-13 on Feb. 20.
Over her tenure at the Nest, Maness has coached 14 all-conference selections, eight first-time honorees, as well as one all-American (honorable mention) and one all-region selection. KSU has prospered in the classroom as well during her time at the helm of the team, having earned five straight IWLCA Academic Team honors as well as boasting the past two ASUN Scholar-Athletes of the Year.