Geneseo Department Of Athletics Adds 10 New Staff Members

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics & Recreation added seven coaches and three staff members prior to the 2014-15 season.

Chris Popovici ’06
Popovici joins the department as the head men’s and women’s track & field coach and assistant cross country coach. He spent the last three years at SUNY Oneonta as an assistant coach in both sports and was also a lecturer in the Department of Health and Fitness.

A 2006 Geneseo graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Popovici was a four-year member of the track & field team and the 2004 SUNYAC indoor champion in the 500 meters. He continues to compete with the Syracuse Chargers Track Club.

Popovici is a National Strength and Conditioning Association certified specialist and also holds a USA Track & Field (USATF) Level II certification in the sprints, hurdles and relays. He also recently completed the USATF Level III/International Association of Athletics Federations Level V Endurance Elite Coaching Academy curriculum.

Noah Beck
Beck is the new assistant coach for the Knights’ men’s and women’s swimming & diving program. He will also serve as aquatics manager, overseeing day-to-day operations of Alumni Pool. He comes to Geneseo after a one-year term as assistant swimming coach at SUNY Cortland, and prior to that, was head coach for the Cortland YMCA Stingers swim club.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Connecticut, where he was a member of the swimming and diving team, specializing in butterfly and distance freestyle.

Emily Ondrejka
Ondrejka was moved up to assistant athletic trainer on a full-time basis this season, after serving in the position in a part-time role last year. She earned a master’s degree in athletic training from West Virginia in 2013 and a bachelor’s degree in athletic training in 2011 from Ithaca, where she was a member of the track & field team. Ondrejka previously served as a medical volunteer for athletes participating in the Lake Placid IronMan Triathlon.

Mina Johnson
Johnson joined the athletic communications and media relations staff in the new role of assistant director. The position is funded through a competitive NCAA grant awarded to Geneseo. Johnson will help coordinate publicity for the program’s 20 teams and oversee the expanded social media program. She is a 2014 graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, earning a bachelor’s degree in television, radio and film, with a minor in sport management. While a student, she spent two years working in Syracuse’s Athletic Communications Department, where her responsibilities included game day management.

Brian Bennett
Bennett was added to the athletic communications’ staff from the college’s Division of Advancement, where he had worked since 1985 as the director of design and college publications. He will provide support in graphic design for the website and athletic facilities, game and event photography, and assist in team publicity coverage. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in graphic design from RIT and has been awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and the Art Hatton Award for Excellence in Advancement during his tenure at Geneseo.

Dan Moore ’06
Moore returned to Geneseo as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s track & field and cross country teams. He was previously the associate head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at St. John Fisher. Prior to his stint with the Cardinals, Moore was an assistant coach for Geneseo’s cross country (2011-12) and track & field (2012-13) teams. Prior to his experience at the collegiate level, Moore coached the Wayland-Cohocton High School cross country and track & field programs from 2008-2012.

Moore graduated in 2006 from Geneseo with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and was a member of the cross country and track & field teams. He earned a master’s degree and certificate of advanced studies from Alfred University in 2008. He also holds USATF Level I and Level II in Endurance Training as well as USTFCCCA Level I certification.

Scott Faro
Faro joined the women’s soccer staff as an assistant coach after retiring from Byron-Bergen High School. He coached the boys’ team at Byron-Bergen for 15 seasons and during his tenure, the program amassed over 200 wins, won five Section V titles and reached the New York State title game in 2002.

A 1981 graduate of Roberts Wesleyan, Faro was captain of the 1979 Roberts’ team that captured both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ (NAIA) regional and district championships and competed in the NAIA national championship. Faro has also earned a master’s degree from SUNY Brockport.

Faro holds a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) B license from the Scottish Football Association, an Advanced National Diploma and Director of Coaching Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches of America, as well as diplomas from the Brazilian Futebol Academy and the Dutch Football Association.

Jeff Perlis
Perlis has been working this fall with the men’s and women’s cross country teams as a volunteer assistant. A 2010 graduate of Williams with a double major in mathematics and computer science, he was a member of the Eph’s cross country team that finished third in 2008 and second in 2009 at the NCAA Division III Championships, landing All-America honors with a 26th-place finish in 2008. He was also a member of the track & field team, and was captain in his senior year.

After graduating, Perlis coached cross country and track & field for Kingswood Oxford School in Connecticut. He is currently finishing his United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches (USTFCCCA) Level I certification.

Melissa Plain
Plain is assisting the women’s soccer team after four years of competition at the collegiate level. She played two seasons at Monroe Community College, and in her second year earned first team regional all-star honors while helping the team to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.  She finished her playing career at Roberts Wesleyan College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Ashok Sekar
Sekar is a volunteer assistant with the field hockey team. He is currently a graduate researcher at the Golisano Institute of Sustainability at RIT, working on his doctorate. A native of India, whose national team has captured eight Olympic Gold medals in men’s field hockey, Sekar has a bachelor’s degree from Kongu Engineering College in India, where he competed in field hockey. He has also earned a Master’s degree in sustainable engineering from Arizona State University and was a member of the college’s field hockey club team.