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Our Coaches

Joe Walker
The former head varsity boys' coach at State High, Joe led the Little Lions to three straight district titles, as well as Mid Penn Regular Season and Playoff Championships.  Coach Walker attended Lock Haven University where he received 2nd-Team PSAC West accolades in his junior and senior seasons, and spent summers working and sharing his love for basketball with players of all ages at basketball camps. Joe currently teaches 7th grade Science at Mt. Nittany Middle School and has filled several roles with CB, serving as Youth Skills Director and leading our player talent evaluations. He sees basketball as an extension of the classroom and attributes valuable life lessons and opportunities to the sport and looks forward to fostering the development of younger players in the community by emphasizing the importance of discipline, fundamentals, and teamwork.

Bethany Irwin
In her 23 years with the State College Girls Varsity Program, Coach Bethany compiled a 399-187 record, racking up eight District 6 titles, five league crowns, two appearances in the PIAA semifinals and sending more than 30 players to college programs. In her youth, Bethany won two State Titles at Branford High School in Connecticut. Her team was 71-4 during her high school career, and she was the first female player to score 1,000 points in school history. She went on to play Division I Women’s Basketball at Penn State University under Head Coach Rene Portland from 1985-1989, where she still ranks among the Lady Lions top 20 in points, rebounds and blocked shots. Bethany was recently inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Bethany spends a lot of her time traveling to UCONN to see her daughter, Kyla, play for the Lady Huskies and Coach Geno Auriemma. We are thrilled to have Bethany’s experience, passion, and love for basketball at CB!

Allen McGriff
A New York City native, Coach Allen moved to State College in 2007. He began coaching in 2013 for the YMCA and worked his way up to becoming the head coach for the Park Forest 7th grade boys' basketball team in 2018. Over the years, he has coached both boys and girls from Kindergarten to middle school level. Allen believes that basketball doesn't just teach competition and hone talent, but also develops numerous life skills such as commitment, understanding, and focus. Allen joined CB in the spring of 2019, when he took reins of our 7th/8th grade boys' spring travel team and is currently the Director of our Fall 5th/6th grade 3v3 Program. 

Tina Powers

Coach Tina considers basketball one of her life long passions, as she has been playing, coaching, and studying the game for over 30 years. She coached for several years in the Bellefonte Area School District, at both the junior high and JV/Varsity levels, becoming the head varsity coach in 2005. At the high school level, her team racked up the most wins in a season and the school's first District VI title.  She coached the 2nd and 3rd players in school history to reach the 1,000 scoring mark. Since 2011, Coach Tina has coached elementary and middle school boys' teams in various leagues and tournaments, and founded the SCASD Elementary (3rd-6th grade) Holiday Basketball and Winter Tournaments. She views basketball as a tool to teach teamwork and good sportsmanship as well as life skills like discipline, hard work, and having fun. She has served as Director of Coaching and currently is Vice President of the CB Board. 

Rodney Thompson
Coach Thompson is currently the head coach of the Mt. Nittany Middle School varsity boys' basketball team and also teaches accounting and finance at State High. Prior to his tenure with SCASD, he started a youth basketball program in DuBois, where he also coached the 7th grade boys' basketball team. His top priority is to build character in his players and to cultivate a passion for the game. Coach Thompson has coached our Spring boys 7th/8th travel team and is the Director of our 7th/8th grade 3v3 Fall Program for the past two years. 

Ian May
Ian's love for basketball came from the driveway hoop and the hours spent outside shooting and playing pickup games with friends and family. He played 7 seasons of AAU basketball, was named varsity captain his senior year of high school, and received the Most Dedicated Player award. Coach Ian grew up a huge Michigan State basketball fan, which led him to attending MSU and working for legendary coach Tom Izzo and his staff as team manager from 2013-2018. During that time, Ian worked with seven NBA Draft picks, attended over 600 practices, and founded and worked as co-director of Manager Games, an organized league of underground basketball games played by men’s basketball student managers, staffs, and the occasional “ringer” at colleges and universities across the country. Since joining CB in early 2019, Ian has helped with our 5th/6th grade boys' spring travel team, coached a team in this summer's Growing the Game and is currently serving as our Fall K-4 Co-Director. 

Nicole Niemiec
Nicole has played basketball her whole life, with time spent playing each position. In high school, she was moved to the varsity squad as a sophomore and was named a captain and a starter in her junior and senior years. At Michigan State University, she served as Sparty the mascot, and was the second and longest-serving female in the school's history to hold that position. Since joining CB this spring, Coach Nicole helped with our 5th/6th grade boys' spring travel team, coached a team in this summer's Growing the Game and is currently serving as our Fall K-4 Co-Director. 


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State College, Pennsylvania 16801

Phone: 814-424-4978
Email: [email protected]
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