OFFICIAL: Van Zelst named Head Basketball Coach at D3 Penn State Abington

Following-up on something that I first mentioned back on June 16th (D3 DIRT). Ryan Van Zelst has officially been named as the head coach at Penn State Abington. Here’s the release:

Penn State Abington Director of Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation Erin Foley has announced that Ryan Van Zelst will become the new head men’s basketball coach at Abington. Van Zelst comes to Abington after serving on the University of Scranton coaching staff for the past seven seasons. 
“We are thrilled to welcome Ryan to Penn State Abington as our next head coach of our men’s basketball program,” said Foley.  “Ryan is someone who is hard-working, passionate and dedicated to building a championship program as well as the growth of our student-athletes not only on the court but also in the classroom and in the community.”
Van Zelst joined the Scranton coaching staff prior to the start of the 2015-16 season and was later elevated to Associate Head Coach for the program in August of 2021. 
“First, I would like to thank the Director of Athletics, Erin Foley, Assistant Athletic Director, Matt Levy, and the rest of the search committee for this great opportunity to lead the Penn State Abington Men’s Basketball Program,” said Van Zelst. “Also, I would like to thank Coach Carl Danzig, Coach Rick Ferry, and Coach Matt Hunter for their guidance and mentorship during my time as an Assistant Coach. I am extremely excited to develop relationships with our student athletes and support them throughout their college experience. I cannot wait to get started and am very grateful to join the Penn State Abington community!”
While at Scranton, Van Zelst was responsible for recruiting, scouting opponents, film study and editing, preparing practice plans and coordinating travel plans. His diligent work both on and off the court has helped Scranton go 113-55 (.672) during his seven seasons on their coaching staff including an impressive 64-32 (.667) mark against Landmark Conference opponents.
In April 2017, Van Zelst was named to the 2016-17 Under Armour 30-Under-30 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The 30-Under-30 recognizes a group of up-and-coming young coaches in men’s college basketball.
In addition to his coaching duties at Scranton, Van Zelst oversaw Scranton’s team academics – where the Royals have posted a 3.1 GPA during his tenure – and team managers. He was a Student Leadership Coach for Scranton’s Leadership Capstone Program, served as the director of the University of Scranton Elite Camp (2016-2019) and as the assistant director of the Carl Danzig Boys Basketball Camp (2016-2019).
Prior to coming to Scranton, Van Zelst served as an assistant at his alma mater, Albright College in Reading, Pa., for one season after serving as an assistant coach at York College (Pa.) from June 2012 through August 2014.
In addition, Van Zelst is the co-founder of College Basketball Exposure Camps, which have attracted 100 high school prospects in each session over the last two years. He has also coached at the Hoop Group Elite Basketball Camp (2012-2020), was a staff member of the Hoop Group Bob Hurley Pocono Skills Basketball Camp in 2012 and 2013 and has also worked camps at Berks Catholic High School (2013) and Rider University (2012).
A 2011 graduate of Albright with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a management track, Van Zelst played three seasons on the Lions’ men’s basketball team and was a member of the 2010 team that captured the Commonwealth Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament.  He is also a graduate of Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, where he was a captain of the 2006 boys’ basketball team and three-year starter.

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