Golf pro ready to take reins of Greensburg Salem boys basketball team
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Greensburg Salem's new boys basketball coach, Craig Mankins, might be an unknown to some people around the city, but the Hannastown Golf Club director of golf knows the game.
Mankins, 36, has been eager to get back to coaching since he came to Greensburg in 2009.
He was hired last month by the Greensburg Salem school board to replace veteran coach Paul Sapotichne, who resigned after the 2011-12 season.
Sapotichne spent 29 seasons at Greensburg Salem, where he compiled a 399-306 record and finished with a 427-343 career mark. Sapotichne was the 2009 Class AAA Pennsylvania coach of the year after guiding the Golden Lions to the PIAA title game.
Mankins played high school basketball at Malvern, Ohio, located near Canton. After graduation in 1994, he attended Indiana (Pa.) University and was an NCAA Division II golf All-American and Academic All-American.
Mankins coached three years at Penns Manor High School in Clymer, Indiana County, from 2002-06 and compiled a 48-34 record. He helped turn the program around and got Clymer into the PIAA playoffs after a 14-year drought. He also was an assistant girls coach at Elderton (2001) and assistant boys coach at Indiana (2005-10).
He left Penns Manor for family obligations and took a new job at Punxsutawney Country Club.
“I wish I could have stayed at Penns Manor,” Mankins said. “We took a team to the playoffs which weren't supposed to be very good. But we were starting a family and coaching takes up a lot of time.”
Mankins' wife, Lisa (Zelenak), was also coaching at Indiana, so being an assistant coach was better for his future. He and his wife have three children: Jeffrey (10), Abby (8) and Kaitlyn (6).
“When Paul resigned, I decided to throw my name in the hat,” Mankins said. “I was helping in the Greensburg Salem elementary program and I knew it was time.
“I like to play man-to-man just like Coach Paul and Coach Chris (Neurohr). I'd like to be a run-and-jump squad, but I'll adapt to the talent. I'm familiar with section, and I believe we can compete for the title.”
Mankins plans to sit down with Sapotichne to talk about the players and then will meet with the players to get the offseason program going. He also hopes to hire assistant coaches soon.
His wife, a former basketball standout at St. Vincent, now teaches at Greensburg Salem Middle School.
“I'm sure she'll be my biggest critique,” Mankins said about his wife. “I'm eager to get started.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-836-5095.
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.
- Knoch girls seek dividends of experience
- Knoch basketball team gets reinforcements
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Serra girls expecting repeat success
- Kiski Area boys a team in transition after graduation of top scorer
- With star Satira gone, Serra Catholic boys basketball to rely on team effort
- Latrobe boys look to defend Section 1-AAAA title with experienced lineup
- Elizabeth Forward boys basketball preparing to fill big shoes
- Steel Valley boys put focus back on basketball
- Frazier girls expect success under 2nd-year coach
- Parham set to lead Deer Lakes boys in challenging Section 1-AAA