RAY SWANSON | Keystoner Nocera named Titans' baseball coach
Dr. Carmen Nocera, a name very familiar in Lawrence County educational circles as well as on area baseball diamonds, has been named baseball coach at Westminster College.
Nocera is not a newcomer to Titan baseball, as he has been a member of the staff for the past six years.
The New Castle native began as an assistant coach before serving as co-head coach with Sean Kelly in 2000. He then served as associate head coach of the program from 2001-03. Throughout his tenure, Nocera has served as a third base coach for the Titans and has been responsible for the team's fall training and conditioning program.
Nocera has been instrumental in leading the Titans through one of the most successful stretches in the history of the program. Westminster earned a berth in the PCAC Division II playoffs in 2001 and 2002, and last year's team finished with a 25-11 record, the second highest single-season win total in school history.
Nocera is an accomplished player, earning MSBL Eastern United States MVP honors in 1998 and Midwest Regional MVP laurels in 1996. He was also baseball coach at New Castle High (1991-93) and was a major league scout for the Kansas City Royals (1989-91) and the Florida Marlins (1991-99).
New Castle principal
Nocera is dean of students and assistant principal at New Castle High. He and his wife, Lisa, reside in New Castle with their son, C.J. and daughter, Brielle.
Westminster athletic director, Jim Dafler, said, "Carmen has played a prominent role in the success of our baseball program in recent years."
Nocera is a graduate of Geneva College and earned his M. Ed from Kensington (Calif.) University and his Ph. D from La Salle University. He also earned principal and superintendent certifications from Westminster and special education certification from Slippery Rock.
Look out, Tiger
The Westminster College athletic department staged the Towering Titan Buzz Ridl Golf Classic earlier this month at New Castle Country Club.
The winning team had a Mercer County flair. The victorious team, shooting a 12-under-par 60, was comprised of Ben Brenner, Bill McConnell, Jack Bestwick and Bob Augustine. They won by four strokes.
The runner-up team was led by area auto dealer Bob Preston, and featured Hall of Fame member and former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back, Mel Blount.
Nearly 100 individuals participated in the 26th event.
As if Joe Paterno didn't already have enough talented players under his wing, Tyrell Sales, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound linebacker from Butler High, made a verbal commitment to Penn State recently. He had more than 30 scholarship offers. Last season he led the Golden Tornado's defense with over 100 tackles, seven sacks and one interception.
Paterno has received verbal commitments from two other linebackers, McKeesport's Dontey Brown and Strath Haven's Don Conner.