Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy - Boalsburg, PA

Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy - Boalsburg, PA

Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy - Boalsburg, PA

SJCA WolfPack

Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy - Boalsburg, PA

Boys Varsity Basketball


Richard Ciambotti.

Head Basketball Coach


Coach Ciambotti enters his 7th varsity season with Saint Joseph’s Boys Basketball and 15th season overall. Previously, Coach Ciambotti was the Head Coach at Our Lady of Victory, Park Forest Middle School and an assistant on the State College Area High School varsity staff.

Since 2012, Coach Ciambotti has called Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy home. In six varsity seasons under Ciambotti the WolfPack have a record of 90-67 including three MAC Conference Championships, six district playoff appearances and two state playoff appearances.

In 2018-19, the WolfPack finished with their best regular season record to date at (18 wins and four losses) and their highest district seeding ever (2nd). Last season, Saint Joseph’s also recorded their first wins against perennial state powers Bishop Carroll and Neumann Regional Academy.

Saint Joseph’s Basketball has 100% graduation and college acceptance rate. Two former SJCA players are currently on college rosters: Stephen Beattie (Penn State) and RJ Marsh (PSU-Behrend). Two former players have eclipsed the 1000- point mark, Beattie (1,008 career points) and Jack Mangene (1,066 career points). Nine former players have achieved All-Conference Honors: Mike Jabco, Garett Bastardi, Stephen Beattie, Mikey Kresovich, Ethan Khoza, Matt Steyers, Zane Thornburg, RJ Marsh and Jack Mangene.

Coach Ciambotti serves as Social Studies Department Chair, Technology Manager and Student Council and Quiz Bowl Advisor at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy. Coach Ciambotti is a 2003 graduate of State College Area High School, a 2007 graduate of Penn State (B.A. History) and a 2012 Graduate of Lock Haven University (B.S. Secondary Education).

Dennis Bender.

Associate Head Coach


Coach Bender grew up in Clearfield, PA. In high school his favored sport was Basketball. He played two years on the varsity squad and during his senior year played every position on the floor, including the post. Also, as a high school athlete on the track team, he was a high jumper, long jumper, and ran the 400. In addition he was a member of the marching band, played the clarinet and saxophone (not at the same time) in the orchestra and sang in the chorus.

A retired graphic designer from Penn State, coach Bender spent the majority of his professional career as the Graphics Supervisor at WPSU-TV. Then for several years he served as the graphics and presentation support person for two university vice presidents. During his career he also did freelance work with an emphasis on developing logos for several companies locally and beyond. Currently he spends time in his workshop producing all sorts of items made of wood, coaches basketball, and takes care of his property near Centre Hall.

Coach Bender’s basketball coaching experience started when he agreed to coach a girls/boys biddy team in Penns Valley, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. He believes, during the eight or so years coaching those youngsters, is when he was able to learn patience with players with varying levels of athletic ability. In 1999 he joined the State College boys program as a volunteer assistant for the Junior Varsity team. The following year he was offered the opportunity to become the JV coach. Coach Bender held that position for thirteen years. The highlight of the experience at State College was being part of the coaching staff during the quad A state championship team of 2002-2003. While coaching at SC coach Bender was fortunate to have an ambitious volunteer assistant named Richard Ciambotti for a few years.

Following his time at SC Coach Bender was asked by the new head coach at Saint Joseph Catholic Academy Coach Ciambotti to reverse their rolls and lend a hand as his assistant at the new school. It has been a great pleasure to help guide the young men to be not only better basketball players but more importantly, help them on a path to be good human beings.

John Straub.

Junior Varsity Head Coach


John graduated from Elk County Christian High School in 1991. While at ECC, John played 4 years of golf, 4 years of basketball, 3 years of tennis, and 1 year of track and field. His notable high school accomplishments were qualifying for the State Golf Tournament during his junior year, and being named to multiple all-star basketball teams in his senior season including the AML all-star team, District 9 league all-star team, Pennsylvania Independent League all-star team and while also being selected for and playing in the inaugural Northwestern PA All-Star game.

John attended college at Saint Vincent College where he earned a Bachelor's degree in 1995 with a double major in Economics and Mathematics. While at Saint Vincent, he was a 4 year letterman in Cross Country. John then earned a Masters degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997.

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, John worked for the Mayor's Office in Pittsburgh, PA under Mayor Tom Murphy. His principal project at the Mayor's Office was assisting with the development, financing, and coordination in the early stages of the building of the sports stadiums of PNC Park, Heinz Field, and the expansion of the Pittsburgh convention center. John then relocated to State College in the Fall of 1998 and has worked for the PFG for the past 20-plus years, serving as an investment professional and portfolio manager.

John has coached several sports in addition to basketball including baseball with State College Little League Baseball and soccer with Centre Soccer Association. He also has served over 14 years on the Our Lady of Victory Catholic School Athletic Council, including 4 years as the chairperson. His basketball coaching experience includes 13 years in the "Hoops at OLV" program, 2 years coaching the Our Lady of Victory Junior High girls team, and will begin his 3rd year as Junior Varsity Head Coach and Varsity Assistant at Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy. John resides in State College and is married to his wife Ruthie and has 3 children- Hannah, Noah, and Maria.

Dominic Aiello.

Assistant Coach


Dom is a 2012 graduate of Ridgway High School where he lettered in basketball and golf. Dom attended Penn State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance.

This will be Dom’s third season with the WolfPack, serving as JV and Varsity Assistant Coach. Dom is an Employee Benefits Advisor at Culbertson Financial Services, here in Boalsburg.