Athletic Department Announces Additions to Staff

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The Susquehanna athletic department will welcome five new interns to its staff for the 2011-12 season. Four of those interns will fill coaching vacancies while one will serve as the Assistant Director of Athletic Communications. There also remains one coaching intern position yet to be filled.

Ericka Thomas will serve as an assistant women’s soccer coach this fall. Thomas was a three-year member of the University of Pittsburgh intercollegiate women’s soccer team. From August to October of 2010, she served as the director of women’s soccer operations at Syracuse University. She graduated from Pittsburgh with a degree in communications and a minor in athletic coaching.

Eric Walker joins the SU football staff to coach the defensive line. Walker is a 2010 graduate of Trine University where he was a four-year letterwinner on the football squad and served as co-captain of his 2008 and 2009 conference championship teams. He was also the first Trine University player to participate in the All-American Bowl.

Mike Weick is also joining the football program as an assistant coach. Weick comes to Susquehanna following a one-year stint as a defensive coach at King’s College, where he worked primarily with the inside linebackers. He was a four-year starter and 2009 captain at McDaniel College where over his 33-game career he became the program’s fourth all-time leader in solo tackles and is currently fifth all-time in career tackles. Weick was a two-time All-Centennial Conference linebacker.

Kathleen Zichelli joins head women’s lacrosse coach Laura Moan for the 2011-12 season. Zichelli was a four-year member of the Lock Haven women’s lacrosse team (2008-2011) where she enjoyed a prolific career. Several of her accomplishments include being a three-time First-Team All-America player, earning All-America Second-Team honors as a rookie, being named Division II Defender of the Year honors (2010, 2011) and receiving the 2009 Division II Defender of the Year honors. Lock Haven was a national finalist in 2009 and 2010 and was PSAC champion from 2009-2011. Zichelli graduated in May with a degree in management and marketing.

Ryan Novitsky is the only non-coaching intern joining the athletic department this year. Novitsky will take over as the Assistant Sports Information Director after graduating from East Stroudsburg University in May with a degree in sport management and a minor in communications. He has previously spent time working in the sports information offices at both East Stroudsburg and Wilkes University.

Head softball coach Kathy Kroupa is expected to fill her intern position in the coming weeks.

The interns are a part of an internship program founded by John R. Strangfeld ’75 and his wife, Mary Kay. At the start of the 2006-07 year, Strangfeld and his wife invested half a million dollars into an internship program that funded seven positions (six assistant coaches and one sports information position). The program has since expanded to include 12 interns (11 coaches and sports information).