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Penn College Fall Sports Teams Have Three New Coaches


When Pennsylvania College of Technology fall sports teams begin their seasons over the next two weeks, three will be under new coaches.

Monica Brown succeeds Bambi Hawkins as coach of the women’s volleyball team, Adam Matter replaces Enrique Castillo as coach of the men’s soccer team and David Mendez follows Mike Paulhamus as coach of the men’s and women’s cross-country teams.

Monica L. Brown
Monica L. Brown

Brown comes to Penn College after a stellar collegiate career.  As a freshman and sophomore, she was a member of the Iowa Western Community College women’s volleyball team that placed in the top six at the National Junior College Athletic Association championships both years.  After transferring to Lock Haven University, she became the starting defensive specialist and helped the team to berths in the National Collegiate Athletic Association regional tournament and a second-place finish in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championships. After graduating with a degree in sports administration, she stayed on as a volunteer coach for the team. Penn College opens its season Aug. 30 at Keystone College.

Adam W. Matter
Adam W. Matter

A native of Montoursville, Matter served as the assistant women’s soccer coach at Lycoming College from 2011-13. There, he coordinated recruiting efforts, generated scouting reports and developed a conditioning program for the team. Prior to Lycoming, Matter was the assistant women’s coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he led team practice sessions and trained goalkeepers in addition to recruiting and conditioning roles. Matter is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education and sport/exercise science. While at IUP, he was a member of the men’s soccer club team. The Wildcats open their season Aug. 30 at Alfred (N.Y.) State University.

David J. Mendez
David J. Mendez

Mendez served as the head coach of Our Lady of Mercy Academy track team in Newfield, N.J.  While there, he coached two New Jersey state champions, won the Penn Relays and was named Coach of the Year. Mendez is no stranger to success, having coached 20 individual state champions, six team state champions and four Olympians over the years. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois and Monmouth universities. Penn College opens its season Sept. 7 in the Dutchmen Invitational at Lebanon Valley College.

In other sports, Markus Rybak returns for his fourth season at the helm of the women’s soccer team, which opens its season Aug. 31 at Rosemont College; Matt Haile begins his fifth season as coach of the golf team, which opens Sept. 4 at the Penn State Mont Alto Invitational at the Penn National Golf Club in Fayetteville; and Robert Kemrer is back for his third season as coach of the women’s tennis team, which gets underway Sept. 5 hosting Baptist Bible College.

In a change this year, what had been a co-ed tennis team has been split into separate women’s and men’s teams, with the women playing their season in the fall and men in the spring.

“The Penn State University Athletic Conference and Penn College wanted to fall more in line with the NCAA model. This allows us to not only play a conference schedule, but allows the team to play nonconference opponents, which gives them more opportunities to play,” said Jami Hughes, college coordinator of intercollegiate athletics and sports information.

Also, since the college’s spring sports season ended, it was announced that Penn College was accepted into the North Eastern Athletic Conference for full membership beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.

The first year of NEAC membership is on a provisional basis. Full membership is contingent upon Penn College being accepted for provisional membership in Division III of the NCAA. The NEAC is an NCAA Division III-recognized conference.

On Sept. 1, Penn College begins a one-year exploratory status with NCAA Division III.

“This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Penn College Athletics,” said Scott E. Kennell, Penn College director of athletics. “We are very excited to be joining the North Eastern Athletic Conference and extremely grateful for the invitation to join the league. Our athletic programs have the opportunity to build upon and enhance their existing rivalries with many of the NEAC members. The North Eastern Athletic Conference is a tremendous fit for Penn College, offering top-quality competition and increased exposure within our region.”

Currently, the NEAC includes five public and seven private institutions from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The conference offers NCAA automatic qualifiers in men’s baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis, as well as women’s basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball and lacrosse. Other sports sponsored are men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s swimming, and men’s volleyball.

Accepted into the NEAC as a full member at the same time as Penn College was Bryn Athyn College.

“The NEAC is excited about the quality of these two programs and about the complement of sports they will bring to the conference while strengthening the southern region of the conference,” NEAC Commissioner Candice Murray said. “The uniqueness of both institutions continues to demonstrate the NEAC’s commitment to diversity and excellence. We welcome them and are excited about the future.”

Cedar Crest College will join the NEAC in 2013-14 as an associate member for women’s swimming and diving.

Current NEAC full members are Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Keuka College, Gallaudet University, Lancaster Bible College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, SUNY Morrisville, Wells College and Wilson College.

Associate members are Hilbert College, Medaille College and Rutgers University-Camden.

With the addition of Penn College and Bryn Athyn in 2014-15, the NEAC will have 14 full-member institutions.

In the provisional year of competition within the NEAC, Penn College teams will be eligible for playoffs and championships, though they will not be eligible for NCAA championship play. Until the college becomes a full NCAA member, it will continue to hold membership in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, which will allow its teams to still compete for national championships.

While Penn College’s archery and wrestling teams will continue as varsity programs, they will not compete in the NEAC, because the conference does not offer those sports.

Penn College teams competing in the NEAC will be men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s soccer, golf, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and softball.

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