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PSAC begins new era with the addition of Seton Hill, UPJ

| Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A new era began at the start of July for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Already the largest NCAA Division II conference in the nation, the PSAC officially added the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Seton Hill University as full-time members.

Back in August 2012 both schools accepted invitations to join the league following unanimous consent by the PSAC Board of Directors. Both schools had been members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) for the past seven years.

“Adding Seton Hill and Pitt-Johnstown will undoubtedly bolster the PSAC's reputation on a regional and national scale,” said PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray. The conference coaches, student-athletes and administration continue to raise the bar of competitiveness each year, and I'm convinced our league will develop even further with the addition of these two exceptional institutions.”

This marks just the second time in the 61-year history of the PSAC that the conference has expanded its full-time membership. Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Gannon, IUP, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Mercyhurst, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester universities have been members since the league was formed in 1951. Gannon and Mercyhurst Universities joined the 14 charter members when the PSAC initially expanded in 2008-09.

The addition of the two schools, which are located approximately 50 miles apart from each other in the southwestern part of the state, elevates the conference to 18 members all located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“We are thrilled to be joining the highly competitive environment of the PSAC,” said Chris Snyder, Seton Hill‘s executive director of athletics. “Our student-athletes and coaches are excited and ready for the challenges and opportunities that the PSAC provides. We look forward to building new rivalries with our fellow conference members.”

Cal U names 2 coaches

California University of Pennsylvania recently named Emedin Sabic as its new men's soccer coach.

Sabic was a four-year player from 2003-06 for the Vulcans. Following his playing career, he served three seasons as an assistant with Cal U's women's soccer program before joining the men's soccer coaching staff in 2010.

He replaces Dennis Laskey, who retired on June 29.

A lifelong resident of Dunlevy, Laskey compiled a 258-223-41 overall record in 27 seasons as head coach of the Vulcans. The program's inaugural head coach in 1984, he ranks second in PSAC history and is tied for 26th in NCAA Division II history in career victories.

He guided the program from club status into an NCAA II varsity program in 1984 . From 1991 to 2001 he was the head coach of both Cal U's men's and women's soccer teams. Laskey left Cal U for two years and led Upper St. Clair High School's girl's team to consecutive WPIAL championships in 1989 and 1990.

He began his head coaching career by guiding the boy's soccer program at his scholastic alma mater, Charleroi High School, from 1978-83. He also served as the co-founder and first president of the Mon Valley Youth Soccer Association.

A four-year starting defender at Alderson-Broaddus University, Laskey joined the U.S. Navy in 1972 and continued his playing career throughout Europe for the U.S. Navy Phiblant team stationed in the Mediterranean.

For his multi-faceted contributions to Mon Valley soccer as a coach, player, referee, developmental coach and administrator, Laskey was inducted into the Mid-Mon Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Cal U also selected Katie Tetzlaw as the women's basketball full-time assistant coach under third-year head coach Jess Strom.

Tetzlaw served last season as an assistant coach at Slippery Rock following a two-year tenure as head coach at Keystone (Pa.), a NCAA Division III program in La Plume. She also has served as an assistant coach at Bethany (W.Va.), Allegheny and Washington & Jefferson.

Bruce Wald is a contributing writer.