DeVito to bring fresh start to Norwin girls soccer program

The former Penn Hills standout coached her alma mater for seven years

Mon Apr 01, 2024 - 10:23AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Tue Apr 02, 2024 - 2:03AM

Just months after she concluded her soccer career at the college level, Ashley DeVito jumped into the coaching ranks, guiding the girls team at her alma mater, Penn Hills. While DeVito possessed the passion and the requisite soccer knowledge, she quickly learned of the myriad of other responsibilities that comes with the position.

Nearly a decade later, DeVito is fully prepared for what awaits her as the new head coach for the Norwin girls program. Hired last month, DeVito has already met the players and is in the process of filling out her staff in preparation for the 2024 campaign.

A 2011 Penn Hills graduate, DeVito continued her career on the pitch at Edinboro University. She played in more than 70 matches as a defender and midfielder for the Fighting Scots before graduating in 2015.

That fall, she commenced her role leading Penn Hills, a position she held until after the 2021 campaign. During that time, the Indians compiled a record of 44-76-3, qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs four times.

“Having seven years of high school coaching experience afforded me a great opportunity,” DeVito said of her tenure with Penn Hills. “I was able to speak to the experience I’ve had leading young women.

“At 22 years old, I knew so much about the game itself…but I had so much to learn about the operations and logistics of what it takes to actually run a program,” added DeVito.

She stepped away from the high school ranks as she shifted focus to her career with a new administrative position. But as she’s become acclimated to that role, she was ready to return to the sidelines, and Norwin checked multiple boxes for her.

“Every player and parent that I’ve worked with from the community over the last decade or so has been fantastic,” she said, highlighting her interactions through coaching with the Beadling Soccer Club.

“I think that the community and the players are looking for a fresh start, and I am a completely unbiased third party,” she detailed. “I was also looking for a competitive program, a program where I could really try to broaden my horizons as a coach.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to work with a program with players that are training at a high level all year round,” DeVito continued.

She inherits one of the most accomplished programs over the past several decades, as Norwin has claimed four WPIAL titles and two state titles in program history, and is less than five years removed from playing for the district gold.

However, the Knights have uncharacteristically struggled the past few seasons. Last year, Norwin went just 4-14-0, missing the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Previous head coach Diane Metzger stepped down after three years at the helm, opening the door for DeVito.

Before DeVito sets her sights on capturing championships, however, she has focused her efforts on setting the foundation for the program’s future.

“I want every single girl and every single stakeholder to feel invested in the program,” she said. “I want to see the girls get better every single day. Hopefully by the end of the season, we’re coming into form, we’re playing the best we’ve played yet, and maybe hopefully we can make it to the playoffs and make a little run.”