We’re only a handful of days into summer and there have already been a number of girls basketball coaching departures in the Lower Hudson Valley. Some you may know about, some you may have heard rumors about, and some you may be reading about for the first time. Here are the coaches who are on the move:
Kristi Dini, Somers
Easily the most shocking news of the offseason, Dini was let go by Somers despite leading the Tuskers to their best season in program history (19-3) and winning her second league coach of the year honor in three years. Several sources, including local coaches, have told me that Dini was offered the Peekskill girls basketball gig and was being groomed to become the Lady Red Devils’ next coach, but Peekskill superintendent Dr. David Fine said nothing had been determined.
MSG Varsity’s Jordan Griffith also reported two weeks ago that Peekskill has offered Dini and that a hire was imminent, but reported later in the day that the district was going in a different direction and would not be hiring Dini. Nothing has been confirmed as of Tuesday.
Kimberly Saxton, Peekskill
Peekskill’s revolving door of head coaches took another turn in mid-May after the school confirmed to The Journal News/lohud that Kimberly Saxton would not return in 2016-17 after one season with the Lady Red Devils.
Saxton led Peekskill to a 16-6 overall record and appearance in the Section 1 Class A girls basketball tournament. Peekskill also won the prestigious Slam Dunk Tournament in December under Saxton, who cited the time commitment as her reason not to return.
Saxton, who was also a varsity official this past season, will continue to teach physical education at Peekskill, she told The Peekskill Post. When Peekskill hires its new coach, it will be the program’s fourth in four seasons.
Nick Lenhard, Putnam Valley
After leading Putnam Valley to the County Center in the Section 1 Class B tournament, Nick Lenhard resigned from his head coaching post. Ray Gallagher of the Examiner first reported “buzz” that Lenhard would be resigning at Putnam Valley before The Journal News/lohud confirmed the news hours later.
The Tigers have a loaded core of talented young players that should see the program become a regular contender over the next couple of years. Gallagher noted that Dini, a Putnam Valley alumna, could be a perfect fit for the Tigers. Several Putnam Valley players play AAU for Dini, making it an even more natural fit if the homecoming were to happen.
A source with knowledge of the situation said Dini knew about Lenhard’s decision to resign before news broke. Tigers assistant coach Rena Finsmith did not apply for the head coaching job. The deadline for applicants is Wednesday.
Mike Ramponi, Nyack
A multi-sport varsity coach (football and girls basketball) with the Indians, Mike Ramponi left Nyack to take the athletic director position at Ardsley for longtime Panthers AD Hank Roth. Ramponi was approved by Ardsley’s Board of Education in early May, leaving Nyack on good terms.
@NyackHSAthletic it has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Nyack community for the last 14 years.— Michael Ramponi (@mikeramponi) May 4, 2016
@NyackHSAthletic Nyack will always hold a special place in my heart. There are many people who have helped guide me along the way.— Michael Ramponi (@mikeramponi) May 4, 2016
@NyackHSAthletic Joe Sigillo has been such an inspiration for me and a great mentor. I look forward to our future as colleagues— Michael Ramponi (@mikeramponi) May 4, 2016
@NyackHSAthletic Most importantly I will miss the kids of the Nyack community, and especially valley cottage elementary.— Michael Ramponi (@mikeramponi) May 4, 2016
Nyack had nothing but praise for Ramponi.
Congratulations to @mikeramponi who will be appointed Athletic Director at Ardsley at BOE Mtg tonight.Thanks for all you have done for Nyack— NyackHSAthletics (@NyackHSAthletic) May 3, 2016
@mikeramponi great elementary PE teacher and coach of multiple sports. Did anything 4 our athletic dpt & kids. Never afraid of challenges— NyackHSAthletics (@NyackHSAthletic) May 3, 2016
Peter Bradley, Nyack
Bradley was approved by the Nyack Public Schools Board of Education on June 7 to be Ramponi’s replacement next season after working as the Indians’ varsity assistant coach the past two seasons. Bradley got a little bit of head coaching experience on Dec. 3, 2014 when he filled in for Ramponi, who served a one-game suspension after being ejected from a football game.
Steven Loscher, Keio
It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for Loscher, who will be on to his third varsity coaching gig in as many seasons next year. Loscher led Keio to the Section 1 Class C final and its best season in program history in his only year with the Unicorns, which came after a one-year stint at Peekskill. Loscher led the Lady Red Devils to the Class A final in his only year at Peekskill in 2015 before citing health reasons for his departure in the offseason.
Loscher will take over as the East Ramapo varsity boys basketball head coach. Loscher, a Rockland County resident, has ties to the Ramapo area, coaching boys and girls programs in the district before eventually taking over the girls’ varsity program for two seasons. Loscher replaces former varsity girls basketball head coach Austin Goldberg, who was appointed the new athletic director at Tuckahoe.
Matt Greenbaum, East Ramapo
Speaking of East Ramapo, the Titans’ varsity girls basketball team will also have a new head coach next year, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Greenbaum, a former assistant coach under Goldberg, took over head coaching duties in 2014.
Nick Volchok, Masters
A relatively new face on the Section 1 scene, Volchok will be the incoming varsity girls basketball head coach next season, he tweeted two weeks ago. Volchok, a Gorton alum and former overseas professional, won a national AAU title in 2013 with House of Sports in Ardsley. Volchok has coached some of Section 1’s top young talent, including, but not limited to, Harrison sophomore Avery LaBarbera, Fox Lane sophomore Maria Violante, and Valhalla eighth-grader Shelby Sekinski.