Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Positively Pittsburgh Live! Pittsburgh Area College Sports 9-24-12

Positively Pittsburgh Live!
Pittsburgh Area College Sports

Coach Derek Schooley, Robert Morris University Ice Hockey Program, RMU Colonials
Bob McComas, Sports Information Director, Slippery Rock University
Mallorie Winn, Assistant Basketball Coach,University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Panther's Women's Basketball


Derek Schooley
The Robert Morris University (RMU) Ice Hockey program is starting its ninth season. Coach Derek Schooley, who holds a Sports Management Degree, has been the coach from the very beginning. He started a division one program from the bottom up.

This season marks the third season in the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Previously the Colonials played in the now-defunct College Hockey America. Coach Schooley discussed the move from the CHA to Atlantic Hockey and how it changed his coaching style.

He relayed that the teams play in an arena that is about a ten minute drive from the campus.

In 2010-2011, the Colonials achieved their first national ranking. Coach Schooley talked about being nationally ranked for the first time during the inaugural season in Atlantic Hockey.

On the schedule this year, there are a lot of home-and-home and single-game series. Coach Schooley talked about the rivalries that have developed within the conference.
 At the conclusion of this season, Robert Morris will be the host institution for the Frozen Four.

Coach Schooley discussed having a big group of freshmen and newcomers to the team this season and he touched upon the level of talent, expectations, growth and the
future of the program.

Bob McComas
Bob McComas, in 2012-13, is in his 13th year as SRU's Sports Information Director and member of the University Public Relations Department staff.

Among his responsibilities at SRU, McComas serves as the primary media relations contact for The Rock football, men's basketball and baseball teams and oversees the efforts to publicize and promote student athletes and teams in SRU's 17-team athletic operation. He also coordinates the athletic social media features, which include video initiatives and YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as the Internet broadcasts of approximately 100 Rock sporting events each year.

McComas also oversees the design and layout of schedule posters, GameDay home-game programs and schedule cards and assists Rita Abent, SRU's Executive Director of University Public Relations, in the overall operation of the PR department.

McComas joined the SRU staff in July 2000 after serving 15 years as a sports writer/assistant sports editor at The Bradenton Herald on Florida's Suncoast.

He has received numerous awards from CoSIDA, the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and American Volleyball Coaches Association organizations during his professional career and is an active member of CoSIDA and national football, basketball and baseball writers organizations. He currently serves on CoSIDA's Postgraduate Scholarship committee after serving two years on the Publications committee.

In recognition of his involvement in NCAA Division II sports information operations, McComas was elected in July 2006 as a D2SIDA regional representative and still serves in that capacity. He is the 2011-13 president of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference SID group after previously serving as vice president and secretary.

He begins his 10th year as the NCAA Division II representative on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) board of directors and coordinator of the NCBWA's regional and national weekly rankings and sixth season as the national coordinator of the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award. He previously served as chair of the Daktronics women's soccer all-region selection project.

In addition to his sport information duties, McComas is serving his third one-year term as president of the Slippery Rock Lions Club. He also serves as the Lions District 14-N Global Membership Team chair and the Region 3-Zone 1 chair, as well as coordinator of the district's SureSight vision screening and public relations efforts.

In November 2011, McComas received a "Certificate of Appreciation" from Lions International President Wing-Kun Tam of China for his dedication and commitment to Lionism as well as awards for sponsoring seven new members during the 2010-11 Lions year. In his role as Slippery Rock's "King Lion," McComas also received a plaque honoring the club as the five-county district's top unit with 25 or less members.

McComas says they are proud to say they have STUDENT-athletes at SRU, not just athletes at SRU. A school-record 206 or 48% of SRU’s student-athlete population earned Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) “Scholar-Athlete” status with a 3.25 GPA or higher during the 2011-12 academic year.

Six Rock student-athletes earned Capital One Academic All-America honors in 2010-11 and 84 student-athletes earned Division II Athletic Directors Association “Academic Achievement Awards.”

Five Rock teams won PSAC Team GPA awards in 2010-11 as the squads with the highest GPA among conference competitors in their given sport. The Rock still had a very competitive athletic year, finishing fourth in the competition to recognize the top all-around program in the PSAC.

SRU was the highest-finishing western PA school in the all-sports competition despite not winning a single conference team championship, which speaks volumes of the competitive depth of the athletic program.

Five of the seven fall sports teams are currently nationally-ranked, again showing the overall excellence of The Rock athletic program.


Mallorie Winn
Mallorie Winn enters her third season as an assistant coach on the Pitt women's basketball staff. The San Diego, California native is familiar with head coach Agnus Berenato after having played at both Georgia Tech and Pitt under Berenato. 

Winn arrived at Pitt from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California where she assisted the women's basketball staff. During the 2009-10 campaign, she scouted high school games and also played a key role in game preparation and breaking down opponents.

Winn also logged time as a coach and individual trainer with the 80/20 Basketball organization, one of the longest running and most successful youth basketball organizations in California. While at 80/20 Basketball, Winn ran weekly practices of 30 or more players and also coached teams in several basketball leagues, offering instruction to boys and girls ages 7-16.

During the 2008-09 season, Winn served as the head coach at The Campus School at Carlow University in Pittsburgh. While there, she developed practice plans and coordinated team travel in addition to her coaching duties.

Winn spent two years at Georgia Tech before transferring to Pitt prior to the 2004-05 season. A standout point guard, Winn led the team in assists in both seasons and eclipsed the 1,000 point mark during her final season at Pitt. She concluded her collegiate career with 1,028 points, 812 of those scored at Pitt, and 252 assists, good for 12th all-time. An integral part of the program's rise, Winn helped spark the Panthers to three consecutive postseason appearances and a string of 20-plus victory seasons.

Winn at Work
During the 2005-06 campaign - the first of four consecutive 20-win seasons for Pitt - Winn tallied a team-high 131 assists, scored 20 or more points in 10 games and boasted a team-high 59 three-pointers en route to earning All-Big East Second Team honors. After helping lead the Panthers to the semifinals of the WNIT, the team captain was selected to the WNIT All-Tournament Team.

Winn was heralded with Preseason First Team All-Big East honors and a Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-America nod prior to the 2006-07 season before a knee injury ended her season. Winn was a key contributor off the bench the following season, helping guide Pitt to the program's first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.

Winn's perseverance was highlighted and commended in 2008 when she earned the David Sandberg Champion Award, presented annually to the Pitt student-athlete who displays dedication to academic and athletic excellence, with an undying spirit and a passionate commitment to the improvement of the University of Pittsburgh and surrounding communities.
Winn was a four-year starter at Bishop's High in La Jolla, Calif., while playing for her father Fentriss Winn. As a senior, she averaged a team-best 16.4 points per game and led the Knights to their sixth-straight CIF-San Diego Section Division VI title and a California Division IV state title in 2001.

Winn has a pair of degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, earning a bachelor's degree in legal studies in 2007 with a minor in political science and a master's degree in human security in 2009.

Pitt welcomes back four starters and eight letter winners from last season’s team. Last year’s squad was the youngest in Division I. In addition, the Panthers welcome a talented freshmen class to its roster. 

Head Coach Agnus Berenato begins her 10th season at Pitt this fall. The Panthers embark on their final year in the Big East Conference; Pitt will enter the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) beginning July 1, 2013 (all-sports). 

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2012 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

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