Ted Snyder takes over at Kutztown
Cougar alum headed back to his roots
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.