Directors

Jim Bechtel, Tournament Director

Jim Bechtel enters his first season as SUNY Potsdam's head men's basketball coach. He is the 10th head coach in program history. Bechtel comes to SUNY Potsdam after building a strong program at SUNY Canton. He has NCAA Division I, II and III experience.
 
"Jim's proven success and experience as a head coach clearly separated him from an otherwise extremely strong pool of candidates," said Zalacca. "He has demonstrated an ability to establish strong relationships not only with his athletes, both current and former, but also with the campus at large. His knowledge of the game is outstanding. His passion for teaching the game and recruiting high caliber student-athletes is unparalleled and his energy and work ethic are infectious. We're thrilled to have Jim join our team and look forward to him beginning his work with our program. "
 
Bechtel spent the last four seasons coaching the Kangaroos, overseeing the program's transition into the Division III ranks. Canton posted a 54-36 record for a .600 winning percentage under his leadership. Bechtel's Roos broke out this season with a 20-4 mark, the most by a Canton team in 30 years.
 
"I'm very honored and humbled to be chosen as the next head men's basketball coach at SUNY Potsdam," Bechtel said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead such a storied program and compete in the SUNYAC conference.  I look forward to building a program that the Potsdam community is proud of." 
 
Before joining the Kangaroos, Bechtel spent two seasons across town as the assistant coach and strength and conditioning coordinator for St. Lawrence University. With his tutelage, the Saints defense thrived, finishing 2011-12 in the top five for all defensive categories in the Liberty League.
 
Bechtel began his basketball coaching career as the graduate assistant for Division I Coastal Carolina in 2004-05. He spent the next three seasons as an assistant coach and assistant director of summer camps at Susquehanna University. There he helped the Crusaders capture the 2008 Landmark Conference regular season championship. His last stop before the North Country was a two-year stint as the assistant coach for Division II Shepherd University from 2008-10. Bechtel also served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach and an academic counselor at his alma mater Penn State from 2000-2002. With the Nittany Lions he was responsible for monitoring the academic progress of the football and men's basketball teams throughout the year.  
 
During his 16-year collegiate coaching career, Bechtel has recruited and coached nine All-Americans, multiple all-conference selections as well as a conference player of the year and rookie of the year.
 
Bechtel earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Penn State in 2000 and a master's in advanced level coaching from Springfield College in 2006. 

Brittany Cohen, Tournament Director

Brittany Cohen enters her first season as SUNY Potsdam head women's basketball coach.
 
"Her success as a player within the SUNYAC combined with her overall knowledge of our conference and ability to establish positive relationships quickly moved her to the top of an extremely talented applicant pool", said Zalacca. "Her youthful exuberance and work ethic honed during her experience in both the college and professional game should lend itself well to reestablishing our basketball program. The Cohen legacy has always commanded respect and admiration within our area and state. Grandpa Stan is sure to be smiling proudly. We're thrilled to have Brittany joining our staff and can't wait for her arrival on campus and beginning work with our program."
 
Cohen, a Fayetteville native, was a two-time SUNYAC Player of the Year and a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American with the Red Dragons. She averaged over 15 points-per-game and nearly six assists-per-game.
 
After graduating from Cortland in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, Cohen turned her attention to coaching, where she has experience at nearly all levels of basketball. She spent the 2012-13 season as a graduate assistant for Division II Le Moyne College. The following season Cohen helped guide her alma mater Jamesville-DeWitt High School to the New York State Finals. She served as the top assistant for the Nazareth College women's basketball team during the 2014-15 campaign, helping the Golden Flyers reach the Empire 8 Playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons.
 
Cohen spent this season in Texas working as the player development intern for Lisbon native Rick Carlisle's Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. With the Mavs, Cohen assisted the coaching staff with practices and workouts and gathered advanced statistics for the team's player development database.
 
"I am honored and humbled to be named the head women's basketball coach at SUNY Potsdam," Cohen said. "I would like to thank Athletic Director Jim Zalacca, as well as the entire search committee, for giving me this incredible opportunity. This school is a very special place for my family and me. My grandfather coached here and I have been around the community all my life. I am very excited to be coaching in the same league in which I played and most importantly, I am looking forward to working with our student-athletes."
 
Cohen is nearing the completion of her master's in sport management with a specialization in intercollegiate athletic administration from California University of Pennsylvania.