Penn State Peter and Ann Tombros Endowed Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mike Rhoades announced two additions to his staff Monday in Director of Player Development Clay Conner and Video Coordinator Jake Szczecina. Both Conner and Szczecina served on Rhoades’ staff at VCU.
Clay Conner – Director of Player Development
Conner comes to Happy Valley from VCU where he served as the director of player development during the 2022-23 season following a two-year stint as a graduate assistant with the Rams.
Conner played a vital role in VCU’s 2023 NCAA Tournament appearance and Atlantic 10 regular-season and tournament championships. Conner helped develop three all-conference players including A-10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Adrian “Ace” Baldwin Jr during the 2022-23 season. Conner was also on staff as a graduate assistant at VCU for a pair of postseason appearances in 2021 and 2022, including an NCAA Tournament berth in 2021.
Prior to his time at VCU, Conner was a four-year standout player at Shippensburg. The Mount Airy, Maryland native helped lead Shippensburg to a 2018 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances and the Big Red’s first conference championship in program history in 2017. He graduated as Shippensburg’s career leader in free throw percentage.
Conner earned a master’s degree in sport leadership from VCU in 2022 and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Shippensburg in 2018.
Jake Szczecina – Video Coordinator
Szczecina comes to Penn State from VCU where he served as the video coordinator during the 2022-23 season following a stint as a graduate assistant with the Rams.
Szczecina was responsible for recording and coding practices and games, maintaining the basketball analytics database, developing scouting reports and coordinating the team video playbook during his time at VCU.
Szczecina spent two seasons as an assistant coach at East Stroudsburg from 2019-21 prior to his time at VCU. Szczecina helped guide the Warriors to a 39-17 overall record and 32-12 mark in conference play during his two seasons at East Stroudsburg. Szczecina also owns experience with the NBA statistics production team as well as numerous camps across the country.
Szczecina was a standout student-athlete at Misericordia University, where he was a four-time Scholar-Athlete Award winner and helped lead his team to three MAC Freedom Championships and NCAA Tournament Berths.
A Summit Hill, Pennsylvania native, Szczecina earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and pre-physical therapy from Misericordia in 2018. He earned a master’s degree in exercise science from East Stroudsburg in 2021 and is working towards a master’s degree in sport leadership from VCU.