Clarion University makes number of coaching hires

FOOTBALL

Weible hires Guptel as defensive assistant

CLARION Clarion head football coach Chris Weibel announced the addition of another member to the Golden Eagle coaching staff for 2021, with Austin Guptel coming aboard as a defensive assistant coach. Guptel spent the previous season at Saint Vincent College and has coached across all three NCAA levels over the course of his career. He will work primarily with the Golden Eagles' defensive backs, as well as serve as special teams coordinator.

"I am excited to welcome Austin Guptel as our defensive backs coach," Weibel said. "He is detail-oriented, and his ideas and philosophies fit with what we are trying to build in our program. He will be a great addition to complete my staff. "

Guptel spent the Spring 2021 season as the defensive backs coach for Saint Vincent, where he recruited student-athletes from across Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Arizona and New York. The Bearcats went 2-2 during the limited spring schedule with wins over Bethany and Waynesburg. He made his way to Latrobe after spending 2020 as the defensive quality control / defensive backs coach for Division I FCS Central Connecticut State.

In 2019, Guptel was the cornerbacks coach and video coordinator for Sioux Falls, where he coached a defense that ranked second in NCAA Division II in total defense and eighth in the nation in takeaways. He also led drills for kick and punt returners and prepared film breakdowns of the team's future opponents. Guptel was the defensive quality control / defensive backs coach for UT-Chattanooga in 2018, contributing to a defensive staff that led the Southern Conference (SoCon) in pass defense. He assisted in the development of a pair of First Team All-SoCon players in Kareem Orr and Brandon Dowdell.

Before entering the coaching profession, Guptel spent two years as a statistics analyst for ESPN, working in Bristol, Conn. To analyze statistics to find NextLevel data.

Guptel started his college playing career at Benedictine in Lisle, Ill. where he competed as a defensive back. He went on to finish his Bachelors degree in Economics at Central Connecticut State, graduating in 2016.

Tesch joins Clarion grid staff as offensive assistant

CLARION Head football coach Chris Weibel announced that Mike Tesch will take over as an offensive assistant coach for the Golden Eagle football team in 2021. Tesch brings nearly a decade of coaching experience at the college level, most recently at Division III Illinois College from 2019-20.

"I am excited to bring Mike Tesch to the offensive staff," Weibel said. "He brings a creative offensive mind, and has had experience as an offensive coordinator as well as various offensive positions. He will be an asset to our student-athletes on and off the field."

Coaching the Blueboys in 2019, Tesch helped fuel a turnaround that saw Illinois College improve from 4-6 the previous year to 7-3. There he held the titles of associate head coach and recruiting coordinator as well as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Tesch's offense ranked second in the Midwest Conference with an average of 32.0 points per game, and ranked seventh in the nation in red zone scoring percentage at 90 percent. The Blue Boys saw four offensive players earn all-conference status, including Midwest Conference South Division Newcomer of the Year running back Trevor Smalls. Smalls led the conference with 14 rushing touchdowns. Offensive tackle Zach Heren, tight end Seth Vaughn and quarterback Drew Chance also earned all-conference honors.

Prior to his stint at Illinois College, Tesch served as the offensive coordinator at ASA Brooklyn during the 2018 season. His offense was one of the best in the nation, ranking seventh nationally in scoring at 37.8 points per game and third nationally in yards at 470.8 yards per game. Tesch was the wide receivers coach at Charleston in 2017 as well as the team's academic coordinator. He got his start in college coaching at Hudson Valley Community College, where he was an offensive assistant from 2013-17. He worked as the wide receivers coach from 2013-14 before taking over as the associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2015-16.

Tesch earned his Associates degree in Individual Studies from Hudson Valley Community College in 2011, and earned his Bachelors in Childhood Education with a concentration in Social Studies from the College of St. Rose in 2014. He completed his Masters in Special Education Grades 1-6 at Niagara in 2017.

STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING

Snodgrass hires Welch as Strength and Conditioning coach

CLARION Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Wendy Snodgrass announced that the university has named Jeremiah Welch as the department's full-time strength and conditioning coach. Welch comes to Clarion having spent the last several years working in Division I athletics.

"We are excited to welcome Jeremiah as the newest member of our athletic department and Golden Eagle family," Snodgrass said. "The addition of a full-time strength & conditioning coach helps our student-athletes maximize their potential athletically, and creates an environment where they were will be able to safely and effectively push themselves to new levels of performance. Throughout the search process, we were immediately impressed with Jeremiah's knowledge and enthusiasm, and I am confident that he will quickly make an impact on our programs."

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the athletic department at Clarion," Welch said. "I am humbled by the opportunity to be selected to lead the strength and conditioning program and to help develop our student-athletes."

Welch has a CSCS certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, is a USA Weightlifting Level 1 coach, and holds CPT and EP-C certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine. Earlier in 2021 he worked as a strength & conditioning intern with Notre Dame's football program, and before that spent a year as the director of men's basketball strength & conditioning for Tennessee-Martin. He oversaw all aspects of the men's basketball team's strength & conditioning program, including performance, recovery, nutrition and corrective exercises. He also worked as a strength & conditioning intern at Clemson in 2020.

Before going to Clemson, Welch was the head strength & conditioning coach and men's basketball assistant coach at University of Valley Forge from 2019-20. He directed performance for eight sports there while also helping the men's basketball team to an 11-win improvement from the previous season. From 2017-19, Welch was the strength & conditioning coach for Clarke University's women's volleyball team, helping them to a 52-18 record, and prior to that was a sports performance coach at Pure Athletics in Folsom, Calif.

Welch was a two-sport athlete at University of Providence, where he competed in both men's basketball and men's track & field. He was named Most Outstanding Student in 2017. In 2020 Welch was named an NCAA Emerging Leader. He graduated from University of Providence in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Human Health and Performance. In 2021 he completed his Masters of Science in Exercise Science/Sports Performance from Concordia.

WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING

Golden Eagles earn national academic award

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of American (CSCAA) announced its list of Scholar All-America teams for the Spring 2021 semester, with the Clarion women's swimming & diving team earning a spot among the Division II teams.

The CSCAA is honoring 721 programs from 421 institutions, representing 17,892 student-athletes nationwide, for the Spring semester. To earn a spot on the list, teams were required to post a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the Spring semester with a roster of 12 or more student-athletes.

The Golden Eagle women recorded a 3.60 cumulative GPA during the spring 2021 semester. Five student-athletes finished their spring semester with a 4.0 GPA, and 17 of the team's 23 participants recorded a GPA of 3.5 or better in the spring.

Members of the team included, Ava Arnold, Kassie Bennett, Elizabeth Brand, Jocelyn Buchheit, Candice Chalus, Sydney Davidson, Amanda Dial, Hailey Fry, Isabella Gorrell, Kaitlynn Henninge, Michaela Hinkson, Meghan Keppler, Courtney Kosanovic, Morgan Lukaesko, Maddy Murphy, Sarah Murray, Corina Paszek, Addie Restelli, Ava Rosely, Stephanie Setar, Mary Clare Smith, Anna Vogt, Gabi Wayne.

VOLLEYBALL

Clarion earns USMC/AVCA academic award

LEXINGTON, Ky. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today that 1,275 collegiate and high school teams have earned the USMC/AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2020-21 season. The Golden Eagle volleyball team is among those teams honored for their success in the classroom over the past year.

The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors volleyball teams that maintain a year-long grade-point average of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale or 4.10 on a 5.0 scale. Clarion finished with a 3.71 team GPA during the Fall 2020 semester and a 3.69 team GPA in Spring 2021, giving them an average GPA of 3.70 for the year.

Members of the team included, Kathryn Ledford, Abigail Selfridge, Sadie Leisinger, Gillian Romanchok, Brooke Williams, Julia Piccolino, Rachel Apshago, Cambron Hampton, Alyson Peters, Lindsey Mausser, Aubrey Wrona, Amy Regrut, Abigail Yeager, London Fuller, Annie Koester, Aleah Karam, Courtney Krall, Lauren Aichinger, Alexa Cundy.