April - This month's recipients received Under Armour gear selected by the CEP staff, and one dozen balls and lacrosse stick courtesy of STX.
Men's Coach: Richard Yelk, Shillington, Pa.
Richard Yelk wears many hats as a lacrosse coach. As the newly appointed head men's lacrosse coach at Penn State Berks, Yelk spent the previous two seasons as the assistant. At the high school level he has been the head coach for the Governor Mifflin HS JV boys' team for the past five years and will return to the Keystone Games this summer to volunteer his time coaching the 7/8 youth Berks County Team for the second consecutive year.
Yelk recently obtained CEP Level 3 certification and believes education is key to positive growth of the sport.
"I personally believe that anyone that coaches should have to attend the US Lacrosse CEP clinics, and become certified; it would help with the safety of the game."
The learning does not stop at the CEP clinics and online courses. Yelk attended the 2014 US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, where he attended as many sessions as he could to further his coaching education.
"I would tell anyone that is serious about coaching lacrosse, whether it be a parent or a college player, experience or no experience playing the sport, that it is a must to attend the convention," Yelk said.
Additionally, he also found that CEP certification helped him communicate to his players in a more positive manner, which has resulted in players truly understanding how dedicated Yelk is to them and the sport.
"If it weren't for them [the players] I wouldn't do what I do. Thank you to Coach Schmidt and Mr. Tulley for the opportunity to coach at Governor Mifflin, and Josh Pokrywa for giving me a position at PSU Berks a few years ago, and most importantly my wife and family for understanding all my time spent coaching."