Tradition Doesn't Graduate

Coaching Staff

   Rich Williams 
Varsity Head Coach (2nd year) | 16th year overall with the Panthers

   A graduate of Pocono Mountain High School where he was a three-year varsity letter winner and two-year captain under Coach Brad Pensyl. 
   He helped lead the 1994-95 team to the District XI title game and the PIAA state playoffs for the first time in school history. He still holds PMHS 
   records for career assists (303), assists in a season (148), and assists in a game (12).

  Coach Williams played one year at Wilkes University where he was a member of the 1995-96 team that won the MAC Championship 
  and reached the "Elite Eight" of the Division III NCAA Tournament. He went on to finish his studies at Penn State University where he earned his     journalism degree and later attended East Stroudsburg University to attain his teaching degree.

  Coach Williams' wife is Mindy Williams (Math teacher at WJHS) and he has three sons Brody (7), Braylon (5) & Bryce (3).

Ken Piontkowski

A graduate of Nanticoke Area High School where he led his team to the 1985 'AA' State Championship Game and was a two-time MVP of the Wyoming Valley Conference. Coach Piontkowski netted over 1,300 points and pulled down over 900 rebounds for the Trojans during his career. His leadership skills and gaudy numbers earned him recognition as a member of  Nanticoke Area's "Wall of Fame." During that time he also played for one of the top AAU programs in the state - the Pace Setters - based out of the Wyoming Valley Area. 

A mix of his skills on the hardwood and academic excellence was his ticket to college when as a senior he was awarded a Presidential Scholarship (given to the most academically distinguished seniors in the country) to Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He went on to play for the Monarchs for the next 4 years while earning his teaching degree in secondary education math.

Coach P served as the head varsity boys basketball coach at Pleasant Valley High School from 1995-2014. In just his third year, he took home the 1998 District XI 'AAAA' gold and was named Morning Call, Pocono Record, and Times-News Coach of the Year. In 2003, he won Mountain Valley Conference gold when his team beat East Stroudsburg South in the first season of the revamped conference. Always regarded as one of the most respected and knowledgeable coaches in the area, he routinely took undermanned teams to six different appearances in Mountain Valley Conference championship games and qualified for the District XI playoffs 12 different times. After 19 years he holds a career record of 225-223.

He teaches math at Pleasant Valley High School and resides in Kunkletown, Pa with his wife, Michelle.


  Jerusalem Strickland 

A 2006 graduate of Pocono Mountain East High School where he was one of only two players in school history to be a four-year varsity starter. The long and super athletic small forward led his team to MVC titles and district runner-up spots in both 2004 and 2006. During his high school career Coach Strickland was well known for his lock-down defense, slashing ability, and highlight reel dunks. He finished his senior year with 988 points and wound up as the school's all-time steals leader - cementing his legacy as the best defender in East's history.

After high school Coach Strickland continued his academic and playing career collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford where he received his bachelor of arts degrees in 2010 in kinesiology and sports management.

After graduation he moved on to play professionally for the ABA franchise Jersey Express.

He currently works as a paraprofessional at Pocono Mountain East High School and resides in Mt.Pocono, Pa.


TJ Murphy

A 1995 graduate of Pleasant Valley High School where he was a 2-year varsity letter winner in baseball. The second baseman helped take home the Centennial League Championship in 1994 and was voted a first-team All-Mountain Valley Conference second baseman in 1995. After high school he continued his career on the diamond with Birches Legion and won the 1996 Northampton County Legion baseball MVP.

 Coach Murphy went on to play both baseball and basketball for Penn State - Hazleton. As a junior he transferred to the Main Campus where he was part of a scout team of former satellite campus basketball players that helped former women's head coach Rene Portland prepare her Penn State team for Big Ten play.

In 2000 he graduated with a Broadcast Journalism degree and used it to secure a job working behind the scenes for ESPN. He then went back to school at East Stroudsburg University and earned his teaching degree in English. He later completed his masters at Wilkes University.

As a coach, he was the baseball varsity assistant at Pleasant Valley from 2003-2008. During that time the Bears won three MVC titles ('03, '04, '06), were District XI runners-up ('03), and produced 2 players drafted by Major League Baseball. He also served as coach of Birches Legion baseball team from 2002-05 where he led them to two Northampton County League Championships ('04 & '05), a regional runner-up ('04), and a state third-place finish ('04).

He teaches English at Pleasant Valley High School and resides in Saylorsburg with his wife Mary and three children Aubrie, Tommy, and Parker.


Tyrel Dixon

A three-year varsity letter winner and two-year captain under Coach Pensyl, Tyrel Dixon '12 has returned home to help the program as a volunteer for the 2016-17 season and is now the freshman head coach for the 2018-19 season. Dixon's legacy will forever be cemented in West history for leading his 2012 squad to District XI 'AAAA' gold against Parkland High School. That team  finished 22-5, went undefeated at home, and was the first and only in the long history of Pocono Mountain School District to win the coveted district title. On top of the district gold, Dixon's teams won back-to-back Mountain Valley Championships in 2011 and 2012 and the tenacious rebounder also was named first-team all-MVC his senior season and second-team during his junior year. The stat stuffer's name is scattered throughout our record books as he compiled 625 points, 555 rebounds (ranked 2nd all-time), 133 steals, and 132 assists during his three years in a West uniform. Although this numbers were impressive, anyone who watched him play in high school would agree that his heart, IQ, grit, and maximum effort were his most impressive attributes as a player. 

His work on the court and in the classroom at West earned Coach Dixon a scholarship to play for Division II Roberts Wesleyan College of the East Coast Conference where he was a four-year starter, three-year captain, was voted on to the all-ECC freshman team and was an all-ECC pick his senior season. His numbers were undeniable as he literally did it all for Roberts throughout his career. Dixon recorded a triple-double, had career highs of 33 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists (0 turnovers in that game) and his career totals include 1,435 points (10th all-time in school history and first all-time in the school's DII era), 783 rebounds, 295 assists, and 175 steals in four years. As a senior Coach Dixon led his team in every major statistical category including drawn charges.

Some of his other college accolades include two-time Wendy's College Classic MVP, Wendy's College Classic Hall of Fame Inductee, National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) All-American honorable mention, NCCAA first-team all-tournament team, two-time recipient of the Uncle Buck Award for outstanding Christian character and leadership, was voted two-time team MVP, and was a recipient of the RWC coaches award.

He currently works for Monroe County Probation.  

Coach Dixon, his wife Andrea, and their daughter Kamryn reside in Tobyhanna.


Antre Cole  

Two year varsity letter winner and senior year captain, Antre Cole returned back to Pocono Mountain West as the 7/8th grade coach to help get the younger guys ready for the next level. Cole is no stranger to the accolades with West as he was apart of the Mountain Valley Conference championship team, a District XI runner up, and the school’s first playoff win in 08 where the team finished 23-5. Cole is currently 6th in steals in PMW history, but that’t not all he is in the record book for his career as a top 20 rebounder, number of steals, points, drawn charges, and of course free throws and three point percentage. As a second team all conference player, Cole is the perfect mentor for the young men that will be working their way up through the program. 

Cole furthered his education at the colligate level playing at both Marywood University and Moravian College. 

He currently resides in Mt. Pocono with his family and has three children Elijah, Amya, and Braylen


Mark Brown 

A Stroudsburg Area High School graduate, Mark Brown has quite the resume. He attended East Stroudsburg State College and obtained a BS in Health Sciences and Physical Education. Shortly after he got his certification in Cooperative Vocational Education from Lehigh University. He did graduate work at Temple University for Sports Administration. Lastly, in 2002 he earned a Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) designation with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

Brown taught for 22 years at East Stroudsburg Area High School. 13 of those years were as a health and physical education teacher, while the other 9 were in cooperative vocational education. During this time he became the chairman of East Stroudsburg Area School District Secondary Health/Physical Education Department.

After teaching, Brown took his turn in administration for 14 years as the Director of Athletics and Activities within the East Stroudsburg Area School District. During this time he was awarded the Robert W. Stimmel Mountain Valley Conference Athletic Director of the Year Award (2003 and 2011). He was also elected to serve on the Pennsylvania State Athletics Directors Association (PSADA) Delegate Assembly from 2001-2012.

For 7 years, Brown was the girls head coach at East Stroudsburg Area High School. He logged 117 wins and 60 losses, two Centennial League Championships, six playoff appearances, and was a PIAA State Playoff Qualifier in 1982.

Brown then took his talents to coaching boys basketball where he coached for Panther Valley High School for 3 years. He logged 50 wins and 33 losses, three playoff appearances, and was a 1984 PIAA State Quarterfinals Qualifier.

East Stroudsburg Area High School boys basketball team was lucky enough to play under Coach Brown for 8 years. With 123 wins and 76 losses, Brown’s teams also had 6 playoff appearances, 2 Centennial League Championships, a 1994 District XI AAAA Championship, and 1994 PIAA State Quarterfinals Qualifier. Brown was named the Allentown Morning Call Coach of The Year in 1994.

For 21 years, Brown volunteered as a coach in the Stroudsburg 5th and 6th grade basketball program. He lead his teams to 9 Greater Pocono Basketball Tournament Championships. 

As if his coaching career wasn’t impressive enough, Brown has been a PIAA Baseball official for 46 years. He has officiated collegiate baseball championships and multiple high school conference championship games. He was honored as a recipient of the Eugene Hartzell Memorial Award, as the baseball umpire of the year in the Northampton County (NORCO) American Legion baseball league in 2014.

In 2013, Brown was inducted into the East Stroudsburg Area School District Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was inducted into the Lehigh Valley Sports Hall of Fame.

Mark Brown is currently coaching the 7/8 grades boys basketball team. His wife of 37 years Debbie is very supportive of him on this new endeavor. Together they have two children William (29) and Cynthia (25) along with two granddaughters Rylie (4 1/2) and Addison (2)


Quindell Brice 

2012 graduate Quindell “Q” Brice was no stranger to accolades during his high school basketball career. Q was apart of history when the Boys basketball team won the first District Championship in West history. He helped his team win two MVC Championships. Although a team player, Brice was named Channel 13 Player Of The Year, 3rd team All State, and MVC’s Most Valuable Player.

Q attended Harcum Junior College, one of the top Division 1 Junior Colleges in the nation on a full scholarship for two years. As a freshman, he averaged 13 points per game and 10 points as a sophomore. His sophomore year his team made it to the Final Four. Not long after, Q would finish his college career at East Stroudsburg University. His senior year he was team captain where he helped his team make it to the quarterfinals for the second time in a row. Quindell graduated with a degree in Sports Management.

Pocono Mountain West Basketball opened many doors for Q, he decided he wanted to give back to his community by joining the staff as the 7/8 grade coach along side of Mark Brown. As his first year coaching, Q understands this is an important role in the future of the West Basketball program and is excited to teach his team the game while developing them into young men.

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