Gwynedd Mercy Basketball Camp Staff

John Baron, Head Coach/Camp Director

The 2018-2019 season will mark Head Coach John Baron 17th season at the helm of the Gwynedd Mercy Men's Basketball program. Over the last 16 seasons, Baron has developed the Griffins into a perennial contender in the Colonial States Athletic Conference and a force Atlantic region.

Baron has accumulated a 297-143 overall record and he has guided his teams to the conference playoffs in every season along with a 205-73 record in league play. He ranks 32nd nationally of the over 500 Division III head coaches in all-time winning percentage. His 16 seasons include eight 20-win seasons, four conference championships, seven conference championship appearances, five NCAA tournament appearances, three NCAA Tournament wins and numerous regional and national rankings over his time.
 

The 2017-2018 season saw the Griffins notch their third-straight 20-win season. After graduating three starters and losing two all-league players, the team had numerous question marks in various areas.  Evolved came a duo of first team all-CSAC and MVP runner-up Will Davis and second team all-league player Rip Engel. Davis' off season workout program allowed him to excel on and off the court as a player and a leader.  He averaged 18.7 pts a game, 7.1 rebounds and a swift 58% shooting clip.  Rip was dynamic at times throughout the year averaging 13.7 pts and 5.1 assists a game. His 2.4 assist to turnover ratio led this Gwynedd team to be known as a very unselfish one.  This team earned Baron's highest assist to turnover ratio in 510 total assists to just 359 turnovers for the season. This stat coupled with holding teams to just 41% shooting and shooting 50% became the team’s identity. The squad finished fifth regionally in the NCAA Atlantic Region consisting of 49 teams in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

The 2015-2016 squad was a special group as they finished the CSAC regular season with 17-1 mark and continued into the conference tournament as the #1 seed. The Griffins were led by first-team All-CSAC and All-Atlantic Region Selections in Darnell Artis and Julian Hyden. Baron’s team played to a decisive 84-70 CSAC Championship game win and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. With a trip to Marietta, Ohio to play the country’s sixth-ranked team in front of an amazing crowd, Baron’s relentless team was able to pull out an exciting 86-85 victory over the hosts on a last second stop and then score to secure the win!  The success of the team’s 22-7 overall record earned Baron his second CSAC Coach of the Year as well as his first Atlantic Region Coach of the Year by D3hoops.com, NABC Atlantic Coach of Year, ECAC South Coach of the Year, COBL Philadelphia Area Coach of the Year, and was a finalist of the Glenn Robinson/NABC National Coach of the Year.

Baron has also overseen the development of 28 all-conference performers, six all-region selections (Badou Gaye 05’, Chris DelBrocco, 07’, Dave Smith 09’, and Dan DelConte 12’, Darnell Artis 15 and 16’, Julian Hyden 16), one two-time National All-American (Gaye 05’), and 15 NABC Honors Court players which recognizes student-athletes with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. His no-nonsense approach to the game and education-first mindset is right in line with the athletic philosophy at Gwynedd Mercy.

The 2003-04 season started it all as Baron and his team impacted the league and the nation in just his 2nd season while guiding his team to a 26-3 record, winning the then PAC Championship and advancing to its first ever "Sweet 16" appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The team also earned a final ranking of #15 by D3hoops.com. For his efforts, he was named the PAC coach of the year from the league as well as the Philadelphia Small College Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

Coach Baron guided and mentored one of the greatest players in Gwynedd Mercy history, two-time All American and PAC Player of the Year, Badou Gaye. The 6-9 center went on to become the first student-athlete at Gwynedd Mercy to be drafted professionally as the USBL's Westchester Wildfire selected him in the second round of its draft in April 2005. Gaye played professionally in Europe from 2006-2008 and was then drafted in the first round of the National Basketball Association Developmental League (NBDL) in by the Idaho Stampeders, an affiliate of the Utah Jazz. Numerous other former Griffins have had success and opportunities to play professionally abroad.

The Griffins took their first-ever foreign team tour in October 2012, visiting Costa Rica and revisited the country in 2015. The squad played and practiced against Costa Rican Professional teams as a pre-season tune up tour. Baron has taken numerous summer All-Star teams of D2 and D3 players to many countries such as Barbados, Germany, Austria, Italy, Costa Rica and Slovenia over his time. 2017 the Griffins took their third foreign tour as the team played in and around Toronto, Canada in early October.

Off the court, Baron’s Griffin teams have also enjoyed tremendous success by staying highly involved with yearly community service projects and events. The Griffins run two weeks of summer basketball camp servicing over 200 local players from 2nd to 8th grades.

The “Breathing room Foundation” is a special organization close to the Griffin program. Started by former Griffin assistant Coach Bernie Fitzgerald, the team participates in a 5k fundraiser and volunteers time at Thanksgiving and Christmas to deliver dinner and presents to families with a loved one facing cancer. The team’s time provides these families a little “breathing room” as the families face a difficult time. Baron is also involved with the Philadelphia Branch of Coaches v. Cancer raising awareness and support for this cause.

Coach Baron has a consistent emphasis on education and studies. Baron’s teams mean GPA hovers around 3.0 mark each season.  He has graduated 56 student athletes through his 16 year career at the university and extremely proud of his continuous connection to ALL of his alumni and their families!

Baron began his coaching career in 1996 at Owen J. Roberts High School in Pottstown, Pa. In 1999, He entered the college coaching circle and served as an assistant at Ursinus College. The following year in 2000, he was an assistant Gwynedd Mercy before being named the head coach of the Griffins in 2002.

Coach Baron received his BA in Elementary Education from York College in 1995. He earned his master's degree at Penn State University in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction in 2004 and serves at the athletic departments’ Director of Academic Coordination.

Harrison Singer, Associate Head Coach

Harrison Singer completed his first season as the associate head coach at Gwynedd Mercy University. As defending champions in the Colonial States Athletic Conference, Coach Singer helped guide the team to a return appearance in the title game in 2016-17, finishing with a record of 21-7. Throughout the season, he had the opportunity to work with  CSAC First Team selection Cedric Elleby, and all-league players Arron Goodman and Rip Engel. In addition, Coach Singer was an integral part of the skill development and mentorship of the CSAC Rookie Of The Year, Rich Dunham.

Last season, Singer completed his second season as an assistant coach with the Haverford College men’s basketball team. In his time there, he recruited the first Centennial Conference Rookie Of The Year in Haverford College school history, and the strongest and largest recruiting class in 22 years with seven freshman, four of whom started most games during the 2015-2016 season.

Singer worked at Division II Wilmington University for two years prior to coming to Haverford, as the associate head coach & recruiting coordinator for the men’s basketball program. During his time at Wilmington, Singer helped recruit one of the biggest incoming classes in school history and a group that brought the Wildcats to a 2015 CACC Championship game. He was a lead recruiter for the program and also oversaw the academic monitoring program for the men’s basketball team.

Before going to Wilmington, Singer was the head assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Immaculata University beginning in 2008. Immaculata had continuous success in the postseason during his tenure. In 2008, Immaculata won the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Tournament. Singer also helped guide the team to the 2012 Colonial States Athletic Conference semifinals. He headed the recruiting department and organized key fundraising efforts for the program.

Prior to coaching at Immaculata, Singer picked up his first college coaching experience at NCAA Division I Temple University through an internship for the 2006-07 season. The following season, Singer moved on to become the head assistant coach at Harriton High School of Lower Merion in Rosemont, Pa., where he aided in preparation of practice and game plans as well as headed the scouting efforts and player development.

In recent summers, Singer has been involved with the USA Maccabi Junior Basketball Team, which won a Gold Medal in the 2009 Games in Israel. He is also currently the Head Coach for the Philadelphia Maccabi 16U Men’s Basketball Team that won medals in the 2012, 2013, 2014 and a Gold Medal in the 2015 Games in Ft. Lauderdale and 2016 Games in St. Louis this past August. Singer also participated as a player overseas in the European Games, winning a Gold Medal in England and Scotland, as well as winning medals in the games in Detroit (Gold Medal) and the games in Boca Raton (Silver).

Outside of coaching, Singer is the Chairman and Founder of the Annual Get Gutsy 3-on-3 Basketball Fundraiser Tournament, which benefits the GI Department at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Singer is also passionate about his volunteer work as the Co-Founder and Camp Director for the Philadelphia Men’s Basketball League (PMBL) Youth Basketball Camp. The camp caters to underserved youth in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, where he runs a Team Camp and Basketball League for close to 600 local St. Elizabeth Parish grade school kids. In addition, Singer has experience working as an instructor and assistant coach at the Philadelphia 76ers Camp, the University of Pennsylvania summer camps, as well as Hoop Group Elite as an assistant coach and instructor, and coaching in the Sonny Hill College League.

Singer is very familiar with the tri-state area, as well as New York and Florida. He has earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Muhlenberg College in 2006, where he played basketball. Singer graduated from Harriton High School of Lower Merion in the class of 2002, where he was a four-year varsity player and two-year captain.

Singer resides in Philadelphia, Pa., where he also enjoys fishing, biking, summers at the Jersey Shore, and playing basketball in his free time.

Nick Burke, Assistant Coach

Coming off three straight 20 win seasons, Nick Burke begins his seventh season as an assistant coach at Gwynedd Mercy in 2018. Over the course of his time at Gwynedd, Coach Burke has been an integral part of the recruiting. He has worked tirelessly to scout, evaluate, and talk to as many coaches as possible to target possible recruits for future seasons. In addition to recruiting responsibilities, Coach Burke is responsible for game tape exchange, film breakdown, and practice implementation. He plays a large role in writing scouting reports and game preparation for Griffin opponents. He also has responsibility in developing defensive game plans and determining defensive matchups both in game preparation, and in-game situations. Since Burke has been aboard, the Griffins have never finished lower than third in the CSAC in defensive FG%, and have led the league in that category in three seasons over his time.  
 
Coach Burke’s prior coaching experience includes working as an assistant at his alma mater, Christopher Dock High School during the 2011-2012 basketball season. His responsibilities included in-game adjustments at both the Varsity and JV levels and player development at practice, particularly for underclassmen.
 
Nick worked as a head coach with Perkasie Knights AAU organization for three seasons, most recently as the head coach of the Knights U-18 team, as well as working the Gwynedd Mercy Basketball Camp and various other basketball camps over the last six years.

Burke currently works as a Mathematics Teacher at Community Academy of Philadelphia High School. He graduated Cum Laude with a Health and Physical Education (K-12) degree from Messiah College. Nick resides with his wife Katie, and daughter Juliana, in Telford, Pa.

Kevin White, Assistant Coach

Coming off a 2015-16 championship year, Kevin White begins his second year on the Griffin Coaching Staff. Originally from Gary, Indiana, Kevin brings a wealth of basketball experience as a player, coach, and skill development specialist. He was a guard at Division I Jackson State University from 2006-2008, winning the Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship and making an NCAA appearance in his freshman year. Kevin graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing degree from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX

Post graduation, White played professionally in the IBL and PBL before heading to play in Brazil in 2014 in the Paulista League, where he led the league in scoring.

As a coach and player developer, Kevin’s Pennsylvania roots tie him to current Souderton High School Athletic Director and former Ursinus Standout and European professional Dennis Stanton. Kevin coached in Dennis Stanton’s youth camps in the summers while in college. In recent years, Kevin lived in Dallas, TX as a player development specialist for Bridge Basketball Academy helping develop some of the best young high school talent in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Kevin has developed a reputation as a skill development specialist, most recently for the Circle of Men Athletics, helping run combines in his hometown Gary, Indiana which focuses on helping eligible high school grads and college transfers receive basketball scholarships to various colleges and universities. This past summer, the combine saw over 30 athletes of a total 55 receive full scholarship offers for the 2015-16 basketball season.

Kevin is single and resides in North Wales, Pa.

Sean McGinn, Assistant Coach

Sean McGinn is entering his first season as an assistant with the Gwynedd Mercy University Men's Basketball Team in 2017-18. Prior to Gwynedd Mercy, Coach McGinn most recently worked at Division II Wilmington University and Division III Haverford College alongside coach Harrison Singer as an assistant for the men’s teams at both schools. His primary responsibilities in both programs included film breakdown, preparation of scouting reports, recruiting, practice planning, and player development with his expertise focusing primarily with the forwards and centers.

At Wilmington and Haverford, McGinn helped recruit strong recruiting classes as well as Haverford's first Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year during the 2015-2016 season.

A 2014 graduate of Immaculata University, McGinn earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration. He played for the Mighty Macs men's basketball team for two seasons, leading them to an appearance in the Colonial States Athletic Conference semifinals in 2012. McGinn graduated from Archbishop Wood High School in 2010, where he was a member of the basketball team for all four years.

Outside of basketball, Coach McGinn was an assistant for the Philadelphia Maccabi 16U men’s team that won a silver medal in the 2014 Maccabi Games in Detroit, Michigan and a gold medal in the 2015 Maccabi Games in Ft.Lauderdale, Florida. In recent summers, McGinn has been involved with the legendary Sonny Hill College League in Philadelphia. He also served as an instructor for The Hoop Group Elite Basketball Camps, Brown University Elite Basketball Camp, Yale University Elite Basketball Camp, Penn University Elite Basketball Camp and Columbia University Elite Basketball Camp along with other Academic Elite Summer Camps during the summer months. During the summer of 2014, McGinn also served as a camp coach counselor with the PMBL (Philadelphia Men's Basketball League) for their third annual Treasure Beach Basketball Camp that they hold every year in Treasure Beach, Jamaica that helps bring and teach the game of basketball to hundreds of underprivileged kids.

McGinn resides in Hatboro, Pa., and currently works as a Rehab Office Coordinator for Genesis Rehab Services in Ambler and Warrington, Pa.