Katie (Gilman) McCulley was born and raised in Springfield and is a class of 2000 graduate of Lutheran High School. In 2004 she earned her Bachelor's degree from Lewis University in Romeoville (a suburb of Chicago), IL, where she played NCAA Division II Collegiate Volleyball for the Flyers.

She became the first women's player in Lewis history to be named AVCA National Player of the Week when she claimed the honor on Sept. 16, 2002. She finished her playing career as one of the all-time greats in Lewis Women's Volleyball history earning All-GLVC First Team honors in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and was an All-GLVC Second Team selection in 2000. She was a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Daktronics All-Region selection in 2002 and 2003 and was the AVCA's Great Lakes Region Freshman of the Year in 2000. She was named Lewis' Most Valuable Player in each of her four seasons. Mrs. McCulley also became the first player in school history to record 1,500 kills and 1,000 digs while leading the Flyers to 79 victories. She led the Flyers to the NCAA tournament in 2000 and 2002. In addition to her athletic achievements, she concurrently received the Academic All-GLVC, Lewis' Delahanty Award for academic excellence all four years. 

In 2004, while pursuing her Masters in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, she served as the Graduate Assistant in Event Management for the SIUE Athletics Department. In 2005 she became the Assistant Volleyball Coach alongside Head Coach Todd Gober. 

In 2006, Mrs. McCulley graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. In 2007, she started teaching at Lutheran High School and became the Athletic Director 2011.  

In 2009, she married fellow LuHi alum Dru McCulley, Class of 1996, and they have 2 sons, Callum and Cylas and 1 daughter, Maren.  Mrs. McCulley enjoys bike riding, reading, playing outside with her kids and volleyball.

In 2019, Mrs. McCulley was inducted into the Lewis University Flyers Hall of Fame. She still ranks second in kills per set with 4.09, in points scored (1,871.5), second in points per set (4.91 per set), third in kills with 1,559, third in attack attempts (3,843), fourth in attack percentage (.306), fourth in block assists with 305, fourth in total blocks with 394, tied for seventh in solo blocks (89), 14th in total digs (1,081) and 16th in digs per set with 2.84. She still holds the school single season records for kills per set with 4.71 in 2003 and attack percentage .379 in 2002.

Mrs. McCulley’s favorite Bible verse is from I Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."