Coaches' Corner - Fall 2010 Ivy Leaf Magazine

Ivy Leaf - Fall 2010

Coaches' Corner


Men's Basketball

Prior to the start of the 2010-11 season, the Penn State Altoona men's basketball team announced the addition of Chad Carlson and Glenn Sekunda to its coaching staff. Carlson and Sekunda join the team as assistant coaches to Head Coach Billy Clapper.

Carlson, also an assistant professor of kinesiology at Penn State Altoona, graduated from Hope College in 2003, where he was a four-year standout in basketball, earning all-conference honors and leading his team to a pair of NCAA Division III tournaments.

Carlson spent the next three seasons as a member of Hope's coaching staff, serving as the head junior varsity coach and as the varsity assistant. During his tenure, Hope won two conference championships and reached the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen in 2006.

Carlson spent time during 2005 and 2006 playing in the International Basketball League with the Grand Rapids Flight and the Holland Blast.

Sekunda attended Syracuse University and played basketball under Coach Jim Boeheim for two seasons. After his sophomore year, he transferred to Penn State, where he completed his collegiate career in 1996. During his senior season, Sekunda led the Nittany Lions to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991.

Upon graduating from Penn State, Sekunda began an eleven-year professional career in Italy with Benetton Treviso, helping the team win the Italian Championship; he also was selected to the Italian All-Star game. Over the next decade, Sekunda played for the Roosters of Varese, Pepsi Rimini, Girona, and Seville of the Spanish ACB League and Udine, before finishing his career with Thessaloniki Greece.

Since retiring from professional play, Sekunda has been a coach and the director of the PA Slam, a boys AAU basketball program located in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. This past July, Sekunda coached with the New York Knicks in the NBA Summer League held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team, comprised of draft picks, rookies, and free agents, finished with an overall record of 3-2.

Men's Soccer

Prior to the beginning of the 2010 season, Penn State Altoona named Patrick Maurice Taylor the Lions' head men's soccer coach. Assistant coach since 2002 before taking the helm this year, "Moe" has been involved in coaching the youth of the area since 1995.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Taylor was never far from a soccer field, beginning in grade school and spanning all the way to Division I play on the island of Bermuda. He holds a "C" license from the United States Soccer Federation, and he was the director of coaching for the Altoona Area Youth Soccer Club for many years.

Taylor's coaching experience is extensive, including an undefeated U-14 Altoona Youth Club team in 1995. His tenure as coach with the club included scores of tournament wins and two PA West Cup second place finishes and one third place result. His two cup finalist teams were designated as Premier teams, a distinction given to only four club teams in western Pennsylvania. His teams have often described Taylor as a "player's coach:" someone who completely devotes himself to the game and his players as both a leader and a mentor.

In 2000 and 2001, Taylor organized and ran his own youth soccer camp, "Taylor Made Soccer," for the central Pennsylvania soccer community. Both camps were very successful, as hundreds of younger players had a week of fun and a chance to experience Taylor's unique approach to training. Taylor also has conducted pre-season training for the Hollidaysburg Area High School girls' program for the last six years.

Women's Soccer

Although Pam Snyder is in her first season as the head coach of the Penn State Altoona women's soccer team, she is no stranger to the Lady Lions soccer program. Snyder was an assistant coach for the team from 2005-09, helping the team to its first-ever undefeated season and an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship in 2008. When Head Coach Tim Wassell, who helped guide the squad to a 48-11-5 overall record during his three years at the helm, departed to become the goalkeeping coach for the women's soccer team at University Park, Snyder was elevated to the head coaching job. Now that Snyder is leading the program, she is grateful for being able to grow as a coach under Wassell.

"Tim was a great coach who lifted the program to new heights during his three years behind the wheel, and coaching with him proved to be a valuable learning experience for me," Snyder explains. "He allowed me to hone my skills as a coach, and now I feel comfortable taking over the team management in 2010."

Snyder, a native of Altoona, was a talented high school soccer player at Altoona Area High School, named team MVP during her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. She went on to play one season at Penn State, helping her teammates claim the Big Ten Championship and achieve a national ranking as high as fourth. Snyder also represented the United States in the Belgium Cup, scoring six goals and adding ten assists in the tournament to claim the Golden Boot Award and MVP honors.

X-Country

Penn State Altoona welcomes back Heidi and Matt Manfred to its men's and women's cross country coaching staff. Together, the Manfreds were assistant coaches for Penn State Altoona's cross country teams from 2004-06, before taking over as head coaches of the program during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. After a year away from the Lions' cross country program, the Manfreds are excited to return.

Heidi Manfred graduated from Altoona Area High School in 1999 before attending Geneva College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in health and human services and graduated as valedictorian. In 2005, she obtained a master's degree in health and human services administration from Mount Aloysius College.

During her time at Geneva, Heidi was named an NCCAA All-American in cross country. She competed in the NCCAA and NAIA championship in the 10,000m, and graduated from Geneva holding the school record in outdoor 10,000m.

Matt Manfred is a 1999 graduate of Hampton High School, and earned his bachelor's degree in history education from Geneva College in 2003. He graduated from Geneva with the school records in indoor 5,000m, outdoor 10,000m, half marathon, and marathon.

Matt was the head cross country and head track coach at Blackhawk High School during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. In 2010, he became an assistant coach of boys distance for the State College High School track team. He also works as a distance learning instructor for the Tuscarora Immediate Unit.

The Manfreds also were head coaches of track and field at Bishop Guilfoyle High School from 2007-09. Heidi and Matt held the first Penn State Altoona track and field and cross country summer camp in 2008.