Beaver Falls, PA – It was not exactly two for the price of one, but Geneva’s men’s and women’s basketball programs each added top assistants to their coaching staffs this week. With both top assistants leaving Geneva this summer, the Golden Tornadoes needed to find replacements for both programs.
Jeff Santarsiero, Geneva’s men’s head coach, dipped into his bag of tricks and pulled out one of the school’s all-time greats on the court to fill the void on his bench. 2006 Geneva graduate Nate Conley was added to the men’s basketball staff after what proved to be one of the most productive careers in school history. On the women’s side, Ron Galbreath went back to his Westminster roots and plucked Michelle Ripper-Daniels for his bench this year after she graduated from his former alma mater just last year.
Conley was a four-year starter at Geneva and amassed some of the most impressive statistics in the school’s history. He finished his career with 1,166 points (22nd overall) and 652 assists (4th overall). Conley played from 2002-06 and led his Golden Tornadoes to four consecutive post-season appearances.
After graduation, Conley began his coaching career last season as a graduate assistant at Seton Hill University. “We are so fortunate to have someone like Nate to step in so quickly,” said Santarsiero. “He certainly knows our system and was such a big part of our program for so long that it makes perfect sense for us to bring him back. Having that one year of coaching experience under a guy like Tony Morocco at Seton Hill will prove to be invaluable. We are very excited to have him back on College Hill.”
As for Ripper-Daniels, she is two years removed from her college graduation at Westminster. She received her degree in Elementary Education in 2005 and certainly comes from a tremendous coaching background. The daughter of Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame member Carol Ripper, Michelle will hope to follow in her mom’s footsteps. Carol was the long-time women’s volleyball and basketball coach at New Brighton High School.
Ripper-Daniels was a member of the Westminster basketball program from 2001-04 before graduating in 2005. Most recently, she has been working at the middle school and junior varsity coaching levels within the New Brighton School District, while also working as a substitute teacher. “Michelle will be a great addition to our program,” said Galbreath. “She has a great willingness to learn and a true love for the game of basketball. I am looking forward to having her grow with our program.”