BUFFALO, NY – Villa Maria College Athletic Director Don Silveri, announced on Friday, the addition of four new coaches to the college’s athletic program. Coaches for men’s golf, women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s swimming have been hired with each team beginning competition in the 2016-17 academic year.
“In order to grow our athletic department the way we hope to, we need to have great leadership and that starts with our staff,” Silveri said. “Today we achieved our goal of putting the right people in charge to lead our student athletes in their respective sports and in the classroom. I couldn’t be more pleased with the hirings and the direction of our department.”
Leading the women’s bowling team will be former Professional Bowlers Association competitor, Jack Jurek. Jurek is a two-time winner on the PBA Tour and since turning 50, has also won twice on the PBA 50 Tour. He won for the first time in Windsor Locks, Connecticut in 1995 at the PBA Turns Classic, and most recently during the 2009-10 season at the Shark Championship in Allen Park, Michigan.
A resident of Lackawanna, NY, Jurek attended Lackawanna High School before excelling at West Texas State University – now known as West Texas A&M – becoming a two-time All-American. On the PBA, Jurek made 11 television appearances. He finished second in the United States Bowling Congress Masters in 2010-11. To go with his two victories, Jurek has finished second twice, third once, fourth three times, and fifth twice. He also has 13 PBA Regional Tour victories to go along with three PBA50 titles.
In 1984, during his amateur career, Jurek was named the Bowlers Journal Amateur of the Year. He participated in the 1985 FIQ American Zone Championships in Bogota, Colombia, winning team gold, trios silver, and doubles bronze medals as a part of Team USA.
Jurek has 17 career 300 games while on the PBA Tour and was awarded the Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award on two separate occasions. (2005-06, 2010-11). He is a USBC Silver Certified Coach and currently operates his bowling pro shop, “Bowler’s Choice,” at Transit Lanes, where he also teaches.
Heading the men’s and women’s cross-country programs is Kim Vona of Angola, NY. After attending high school at Angola High School, Vona went on to become a standout runner at Niagara University. She holds the 6k record at Niagara, meddled in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on two separate occasions, and was named MAAC runner of the week three times. She also won three times individually during her four years, winning the Little 3 Championship twice, and the Yellow Jacket Invitational.
On top of her running achievements, Vona was a standout in the classroom, earning the distinction of class Valedictorian of her undergraduate class. She holds an MBA in marketing from Niagara.
In high school, Vona ran both indoor and outdoor track. She qualified for the state championship twice and did so for the 3000 meter run. Vona has been running competitively for over 10 years and since, has added more skills onto her belt. She is a certified spinning instructor and teaches out of LA Fitness. She also has her personal training license and has her USA Track and Field Level 1 certification.
Johnathan Snyder of Hamburg, NY has been chosen to lead the men’s golf team while also serving as the school’s Sports Information Director. Since 2008, he serves as the top Assistant Golf Professional at Wanakah Country Club in Hamburg.
While playing at Saint Francis High School, Snyder qualified for the Catholic State Championship twice, finishing tied for eighth place in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association All Catholic Championship as a junior, before winning the title as a senior, shooting an even-par 72 at Harvest Hill Golf Course. His high school match play record was 30-2. Snyder won over 15 times as a junior and made five consecutive appearances in the Buffalo District Junior Interclub Championship, earning medalist honors the final time, shooting another even-par round of 72 at Crag Burn Golf Club.
Snyder is a three-time Junior Club Champion and three-time Men’s Club Champion at Hamburg Golf Course along with a former Junior Club Champion at Brierwood Country Club. He has three top-5 finishes in the Erie County Amateur Championship, highlighted by a T2 finish in in 2013 with a two-round total of 142 at Elma Meadows Golf Club. In 2014, he followed his T2 finish with a T3 finish, shooting a day-two low of 67 to finish with a two-day total of 139. Snyder has also qualified for the New York State Amateur Championship, the Buffalo District Men’s Championship, and the Buffalo District Match Play Championship. He also finished runner-up in the 2014 Ahern Cup at Wanakah Country Club and captured the Western New York Pub Links title in 2013.
A three-year member of the Daemen College men’s golf team, Snyder capped off his career at the American Mideast Conference Championship in 2012 with a T7 finish. He posted numerous top-10 finishes including a T2 finish at the 2010 Pitt-Bradford Invitational at Pine Acres Country Club.
A graduate from Buffalo State College, Snyder was named Outstanding Student in Communication as a senior and earned his degree in Communication Studies. In 2013, Snyder served as Assistant Coach at Hilbert College under Andy Dvornski and in 2014, he served as an Assistant under Matt Pokigo at Daemen.
Taking charge of the swimming programs at Villa will be John Beck of Hamburg, NY. Beck has nearly 40 years of experience in the sport of swimming and recently returned to Buffalo from the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago. There, Beck taught swimmers ranging from beginners, all the way to Olympic hopefuls, while also coaching one of the national age group teams.
Before his stint in the Caribbean, Beck was the Assistant Coach of the Swordfish in Sedona, Arizona. He was in charge of the Sedona Swimming Academy and Masters Swimming. He also coached the Swordfish’s 13 and under division while also competing himself as a USMS and USA registered competitor.
In his younger years, Beck swam for the Lake Shore Swim Club before beginning his collegiate career at Notre Dame. He then swam at Clarion University. Beck was a five-time USMS All-American. He set many records that still hold up today all over the country. He is currently an Assistant Coach at Nickel City Race Club.
Beck earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Clarion in History/English and received his Masters in History from the University of Wyoming.