Four PSU Abington earns NCAA D-III membership volunteers to be honored
Baseball Association. Under his direction the asVRFLDWLRn KDV flRuULVKHG WR the point where it is one of the leading baseball associations in the region. In addition, Larcinese also has been coach of the Visitation CYO softball team. He is known for keeping winning and losing, for youngsters, in proper perspective.
For 40 years John Yorgey has been dedicated to coaching youth football. He started with the Bridgeport Dragons, before moving to the King of Prussia Indians and now coaches with the Methacton Wolverines. In 2008 he was named the Pop Warner Coach of the Year. In 2007 his 105-pound team was ranked third in the nation. In 1994 his undefeated Bridgeport Dragons team RnH WKH fiYH-VWDWH 0LG AWODntic Championship.
The four members of the new Honor Roll class, along wLWK WKH fiYH SUHYLRuVOy Dnnounced Coaches Hall of Fame inductees — Bill Anderson, Gregg Downer, Rick Carroll, Joan Moser and Ernie Hadrick — along with a yet-to-be-announced Lifetime Achievement Award winner will be inducted at the Oct. 9 banquet.
Tickets for the banquet are available for purchase by contacting any member of the Hall of Fame Advisory Board. Additional information can be obtained by going to the website – www.mcchof.com or by calling the banquet manDJHPHnW RIfiFH DW 610-2799220.
For coaches like David Castellanos, the mens’ soccer coach at Penn State Abington for the past six years, the ability to bring in higher caliber athletes just became a task nRW DV GLIfiFuOW DV LW PDy KDYH been in prior years.
On July 24, the Abington branch of Penn State University was granted with full active membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, which will become effective on Sept. 1.
The NCAA Division III Management Council and President’s Council gave its finDO DSSURYDO MuVW wHHNV ago after the Membership CRPPLWWHH FHUWLfiHG WKDW WKH Abington campus successfully completed the provisional and reclassifying process. The achievement gives the Penn State branch the ability to have its athletes become eligible to play in NCAA championships, eligible to be ranked and eligible for All-American status, as well as post-graduate scholarships.
“We’re really excited at the opportunity at trying to make the NCAA tournament now, while giving a good name to PSU Abington individually in all of our sports,” said Castellanos, PSU Abington’s longest tenured athletic coach. “We were all really excited and it was a sigh of relief for everybody. We’ve been trying to push it to recruits and we knew we were close with our status the last few years. We’re just very relieved and excited and anxious to go to work.”
PSU Abington currently has an athletic program which consists of 14 different sports, including baseball, softball, men’s golf and women’s volleyball, as well as men’s and women’s teams in basketball, lacrosse, cross country, soccer and tennis.
And now, all of those teams will be eligible for Division III play once the upcoming school year begins.
“, wDV WKULOOHG WR finG DERuW our status being approved,” PSU Abington athletic director Dr. Karen Weaver said. “It’s something that we worked very hard for as an institution and wH wHUH YHUy FRnfiGHnW WKDW we could do it, so it was a real accomplishment for the entire institution.”
Weaver, who has been the athletic director at PSU Abington for six years, was the associate athletic di- rector at the University of Minnesota before joining the Nittany Lions’ family. And with the phone call back on July 24 that she received regarding her school’s newfound status, she couldn’t be more excited for the future of PSU Abington’s sports programs.
“We’re seeing changes already,” she said. “Each year, we’ve gotten more and more competitive in athletics and now we’re going to be even more competitive in this region with competition.”
P68 AELnJWRn fiUVW DSSOLHG IRU WKH VWDWuV fiYH yHDUV ago, which was followed by the school being put on exploratory service for one year, followed by three years of provisional status. The school was accelerated one year in the middle of the process, giving PSU Abington the status one year early, as it normally takes four years to achieve active status.
Before the status was approved, PSU Abington wDV nRn-DIfiOLDWHG wLWK WKH NCAA, never being part of a national organization for its athletic programs.
“The NCAA is a recognizable and competitive level, so when high school students are considering colleges, they understand what Division III means, and it helps to level WKH SODyLnJ fiHOG Ln UHFUuLWLnJ against other non-scholarship institutions,” Weaver said.
Since PSU Abington does not offer scholarships, Castellanos believes that this should help the institution and athletic programs greatly to bring in some of the better talent in the area.
“I think it gives us credibility,” he said. “In regards to athletics, we now have a great name and the ability to compete with other Division III schools and gives us a one-up on other private institutions. We already have a great name in regards to education, so this just helps tremendously.”
The process to achieve Division III status was handled by Weaver, with all of the coaches helping out in one way or another. Weaver made sure that all of the rosters were fiOOHG DnG FRPSOHWHG DnG IROlowed all NCAA rules.
In 2008, PSU Abington was one of only three colleges in the nation to be invited to be- gin the provisional process. And now, with the status approved, the school’s mission statement explains what Weaver and the entire institution was striving for since the process started back in 2006. The mission statement reads: “Penn State Abington prepares student athletes to engage with the campus’ academic and social environment though developing lifelong skills in leadership, sportsmanlike conduct and athletic excellence. Our program’s focus is on the development of the whole person, and we place student athlete welfare as our highest priority. We promote and reinforce traditional values of honesty, integrity, commitment and hard work as the foundation of our athletics program. We take great pride in hiring coaches who are WHDFKHUV fiUVW DnG HPEUDFH these values.”
Penn State’s tradition is a long and storied one, but now, the Abington campus can begin its own tradition in just a few weeks.