Ted Snyder takes over at Kutz­town

Cougar alum headed back to his roots

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - SPORTS - By Thomas Nash tnash@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Thomas_Nash10 on Twit­ter

Ted Snyder is of­fi­cially returning to his roots.

Snyder, a 53-year-old Kutz­town High School grad­u­ate, was unan­i­mously hired by the school board on Mon­day, June 26 to be­come the school’s new­est head boys basketball coach.

“I’m ex­cited for the chal­lenge,” Snyder said. “At my age, this op­por­tu­nity won’t come much, so I’m glad I have the chance to be part of it. The pro­gram was down for a while, but com­ing off last sea­son, we’ve got high ex­pec­ta­tions.”

The ex­pec­ta­tions are surely at an all-time high as the Cougars are com­ing off their best sea­son in over a decade.

Kutz­town re­turns all five starters from last year’s squad, which fin­ished 13-10 and bat­tled for the Berks Con­fer­ence III ti­tle. They were edged out by Schuylkill Val­ley for the ti­tle. The sea­son flour­ish snapped their streak of 11 straight los­ing sea­sons for the Cougars, span­ning back to 2006.

At the fore­front of it all was sopho­more Lorencz Jean-Bap­tiste, who av­er­aged a shade over 16 points per game and was only held to sin­gle-digit scor­ing in four games. He looks primed to put to­gether a strong ju­nior sea­son.

“He’s a very ver­sa­tile player,” said Snyder of Jean-Bap­tiste. “He can play any po­si­tion on the floor — one through five — and he’s un­selfish with the ball.”

Bray­den Eck av­er­aged just over 11 points per game his ju­nior sea­son while Matthew Angstadt scored nine points per game on the year un­der then head coach Pete Sovia.

Snyder doesn’t plan to bring all that much of a re­newed ap­proach with him to Kutz­town. Rather, he plans to stick with what’s worked over the years.

“I plan to coach this the way

I’ve al­ways coached,” said Snyder. “I typ­i­cally run a lot of struc­tures and sets...hope­fully it meshes with the way our guys play.

“So far I like what I see. We’ve had a few open gyms, I’ve been watch­ing them in sum­mer league and I watched some film from last sea­son. I re­ally like what we’ve got to work with.”

Of course, the hype around the Kutz­town team may be some­thing new for Snyder.

When he took over the Owen J. Roberts boys team in 1988, ex­pec­ta­tions were low. Same as when he coached the girls team at Ex­eter a few years later. Still, he’s found plenty of suc­cess and was quick to turn things around.

In his 19 sea­sons with OJR, Snyder took the Wild­cats to their first PIAA Tour­na­ment ap­pear­ance (1995-96) and to the pro­gram’s first Pioneer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence ti­tle dur­ing the 2008-2009 sea­son.

He’s also coached golf and tennis with Owen J. Roberts, where he teaches math­e­mat­ics.

Three years af­ter he left OJR, Snyder found plenty of suc­cess at Ex­eter. Af­ter tak­ing over a team that had won only three games, he was named Berks I Coach of the Year in his sec­ond sea­son af­ter lead­ing the Ea­gles to a 16-8 fin­ish. Ex­eter earned a spot in its first district tour­na­ment in 23 years, then fol­lowed that up with a Berks play­off berth for the first time in nine sea­sons.

While a mem­ber of the Cougars, Snyder was a two-sport star — even­tu­ally go­ing on to play both basketball and tennis at Millersville Univer­sity and is a mem­ber of the Univer­sity’s Hall of Fame.

His name still hangs high in the rafters at Kutz­town High School as Snyder is the pro­gram’s fourth all-time lead­ing scorer with 1,270 ca­reer points, help­ing lead his team to a 24-7 and Berks Con­fer­ence run­nerup over­all fin­ish dur­ing his se­nior sea­son.

SNYDER

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