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Our Coaches

Karen McCaffrey

We are excited to announce Karen has joined our CB family!  Karen was born and raised in Williamsburg, PA.  She is a graduate of Penn State University.  She has been teaching 6th grade at Penns Valley for almost 30 years and is a mother of five. Karen brings to CB an extensive resume of experience and enthusiasm derived from her love of basketball.  She retired in 2019 as Head Varsity Coach of the Penns Valley girls Program after 27 years amassing an impressive 341-193 career varsity record. Karen has coached at all levels including Jr. High, JV, Varsity and many travel teams.  Some of her accomplishments include winning two District 6 Championships (1st one in school history in 1996/97 season), 7 League Titles and coached seven 1,000 point scorers. Karen’s Coaching Philosophy, which she coins as the secret to her success is, “Mug and Run”, play outstanding defense and fast break. Karen served as our 5th/6th grade Director last season and will be assisting at all levels this Winter with skill sessions, supporting coaches and lending her vast experience and expertise.  We are so excited to have Karen involved with all the Youth and CB Community!

Curtis Ishler

Curtis Ishler is a native of Bellefonte, PA. He played varsity basketball at Bellefonte Area High School, where he was a 2-time Mountain League All-Star. He went on to play DIII basketball at Juniata College. After graduating, he coached AAU for Advanced Hoops out of Harrisburg. He quit coaching when he and his wife started a family, but now that his two daughters are old enough to start playing the sport, he’s joined us at Centred Basketball as the co-Director of the Kindergarten-2nd grade division this Winter and we are thrilled to have him on board!


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.

Patti Longenecker

Originally from Lancaster, PA, Patti was a three sport athlete at J. P. McCaskey High School where she played in four consecutive 4A PA State Basketball Championships winning her Senior year as a starting guard.  This 1982 Team was the only in school history to win a State Championship and was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.  She then went on to earn a full scholarship to play Division 1 College Basketball at Penn State University from 1982-85 and served as Team Captain her senior year.  Patti has been coaching in the local community for over 15 years including AAU and has held Junior High and Varsity Coaching positions at several local schools in the area.  Patti also provides private instruction focused on shooting and guard skills.  You can often see Patti refereeing  and coaching for the past 25 years in local men's and women's basketball leagues.  Coach Patti has an overall love of the game of basketball and will be serving as our 3rd/4th Director again this Winter 2020-21. 


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 served as 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. 

Pete Manion

Pete has always a passion for basketball. He believes that team sports provide a positive outlet and opportunities for life lessons such as hard work and perseverance. Pete helped to launch Centred Basketball to share these beliefs with kids of all ages and skill levels in our area. Pete himself has played or coached organized basketball for over 45 years. As a player, he was a starter for Archbishop Stepinac high school in the New York City area, where he had opportunity to play with and against several future NBA players. From ‘87-‘90 he coached grammar school basketball at St.Joseph’s in Bronxville, NY where the team captured the Westchester Athletic Association championship in ‘89. He also spent two seasons coaching both JV and Varsity Boys grammar school basketball teams in Hackensack, NJ from ‘02-‘03. More recently, while living in NJ, Pete was active
in youth sports (Soccer, Basketball, Baseball). Since moving to State College Pete served six seasons as volunteer coach in the State College YMCA Pioneer league. Pete was coaching certified in NJ is USA Basketball certified. In addition to being the CB Treasurer, Pete is the director for CB’s 7th/8th grade boys winter program.

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 served as our Fall K-4 Co-Director.  Ian is currently our Co-Director of our CBY Winter 2019-20 3rd/4th grade 3v3 League. 

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 served as our 2019 Fall K-4 Co-Director.  Nicole is currently serving as Co-Director of our CBY Winter 2019-20 3rd/4th grade 3v3 League. 


 Bill Zeruth 

Sports and coaches are very important to Bill, as they have served as a vehicle for teaching life lessons and providing a sanctuary for him as boy and a young man. Bill played AAU and high school basketball where he helped lead his team to its first ever state playoff run. He then went on to play college basketball for Penn State Hazleton where he was the captain and the starting shooting guard. During the 2001-2002 season, he briefly held a PSU Hazleton record for 3-pointers made in a game and helped lead the team to the PSUAC Championship. Upon graduating from college, he became an English teacher at the middle and high school levels where he also served as a volunteer high school assistant boys’ coach and a head middle school girls’ coach. For the past 5 years, he has been coaching recreational & competitive youth basketball and has run and worked various camps and clinics including camps with Breakthrough Basketball. This year Bill was hired as the 7th grade boys’ basketball coach at Mount Nittany Middle School. He currently holds certifications as a Ganon Baker Certified Basketball Skills Coach, a Lead Em’ Up Regional Leadership Coach, and a USA Basketball coach. Bill is one of the founders of Centred Basketball.

 















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