Penn State New Kensington hires new basketball coach
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 10:45 p.m.
Penn State New Kensington is putting the future of its men's basketball program in the hands of one of its former players.
The school announced Thursday that it has hired Art McCray as its new head coach.
McCray, 36, a supervisor and head basketball coach at Summit Academy for the past three seasons, replaces Joe Mandak, 22, who served as interim coach for the final five games of this season.
Mandak filled in for Doug Schneider, who resigned in January for reasons related to a business venture.
McCray is used to high turnover since players usually leave Summit, a school for court-adjudicated boys, after one year. Players often leave PSNK's team early, too, many times to transfer to the main campus.
It's common for players to leave after a semester.
“Given the circumstances of not having returning players, losing starters due to positive completion of the program and students coming from different backgrounds and areas, it (winning section titles) was a great accomplishment for those young men, and it was great to be a part of it,” McCray said of Summit Academy.
“Now my staff and I come into a situation with student-athletes who have played together and have a decent basketball IQ. This gives us confidence that we can be successful.”
McCray played at PSNK in 1996 and '97 under coaches Paul Holzshu and Lance Maha. He is a Chartiers Valley graduate and played for coach Tim McConnell.
“Those three (coaches) have taught me a lot and for that I thank them,” McCray said. “The way they attack their offseason workouts, conditioning programs and how they prepare for games is what make them successful. I plan on using the same approach here.”
Known for his defense, McCray led the team in rebounds and blocks during a two-year stretch that saw the Lions win a pair of conference titles.
The 6-foot-6 forward went on to finish his playing career at Lock Haven.
McCray plans to stress academics.
“They will dive on the floor for books before they will be given a chance to dive for a loose ball,” he said.
This season, PSNK finished 1-17, 1-16 in the PSUAC.
While at Summit Academy, McCray, who lives in Apollo, was 39-31, including a 23-11 section mark with back-to-back section titles. Two years ago, he guided the Knights to the second round of the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs.
PSNK hasn't had a winning season since 2008-09, when the Lions went 22-6 and finished No. 6 in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association rankings.
All five starters from this year's team are expected to return, including freshman guard Rashon Boone, who played for McCray last season at Summit.
PSNK also has filled another coaching vacancy. Head golf coach Bill Woodard has stepped down after 12 years but will stay on as an assistant.
He will be replaced by Tom Crombie, the head golf professional at Stoney Creek Golf Center.
The school is in the process of hiring a men's soccer coach.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Norwin graduates boost Pitt-Greensburg hockey team
- Campus clippings: Zalewski back to old self at Kent State
- Point Park women look to break through at NAIA tournament
- Former St. Joseph swimmer Stein headed to national meet with Edinboro
- Seton Hill baseball team makes early impact in PSAC
- Penn State New Kensington softball hit hard as season nears
- Thomas Jefferson grad Stoner fosters strong leadership abilities at IUP
- Seton Hill third baseman Sell’s career turning golden
- Local college notebook: St. Vincent men take PAC title, on to NCAAs
- A-K Valley campus clippings: Kiski Area product Weyant named NCAC Player of Week