New women's basketball coach named

Paul Appel has been hired as head coach of the women's basketball program at Penn State Hazleton.

Appel brings a wealth of experience from coaching at the high school level. From 2001 to 2006, he guided the women's varsity squad at Bishop O'Reilly High School to prominence, earning three PIAA District 2 Class "A" championships from 2004 to 2006. He went on to coach the Wyoming Valley West women's team in 2012, leading his players to runner-up finishes during District 2 "AAAA" playoff appearances in 2013 and 2014. In 10, years of coaching at the high school level, Appel accumulated 148 wins and a career winning percentage of .701.

Appel assumes the helm of a successful program at Penn State Hazleton from head coach Cy Fulton, who retired in April. The Lady Lions have reached the postseason in three consecutive seasons, including a runner-up finish in the Penn State University Athletic Conference and a bid to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Tournament in 2015.

"We are thrilled to add Paul to the athletics staff here at the campus," said Ryan Ehrie, director of athletics. "We expect Paul to have great success with the team. His focus on fundamental basketball, track record of winning and vision for the program bodes well for the future of Lady Lions basketball at Hazleton."

Appel said, "I'm very excited for the opportunity to be a part of Lady Lions basketball. I look forward to the challenge of coaching at the collegiate level and can't wait to begin working with the athletes. With hard work and dedication, we can build on the current success of the program and take the next step toward earning a championship."

The Lady Lions return five players from their 2014-15 squad, including starting guard Stephanie Guevara (North Brunswick, N.J.) and three-time USCAA All-American and 2015 PSUAC Player of the Year Alexis Daly (Wyomissing). The 2015-16 season tips off on Nov. 5, when the Lady Lions travel to Luzerne County Community College for a non-conference matchup.