Penn State Wilkes-Barre Director of Athletics Brian D. Stanchak named James Bell as the Mountain Lions' new Head Soccer Coach. Bell, 25, a former soccer student-athlete at both Penn State Worthington Scranton and Keystone College, brings a wealth of knowledge and playing experience to the Penn State Wilkes-Barre soccer team. Bell served as an Assistant Coach for the University of Scranton men's soccer team last year and has had several years of coaching at both the intramural and club team levels. His club team, Black Thunder, was one of the top club teams participating in numerous indoor and outdoor leagues in the area, along with various state cups and college show case tournaments.
"I am very excited to announce James Bell as our new Head Soccer Coach here at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. James brings a tremendous amount of energy and knowledge to this position, and I am confident that he will lead our soccer program to a high level of success. Having played in the PSUAC, James understands the culture of this conference and can assist our student-athletes in achieving their goals athletically and academically. In addition, James knows Northeastern Pennsylvania, which will help with recruiting this area to keep local talent at home."
Bell had a very extensive playing career, which began at the intramural level and grew all the way up to the professional level. He played for high-level club teams in three different states as a youth development player, working his way up through the ranks. His most recent accomplishment was participating in the National Premier Soccer League as a member of the Pocono Snow Soccer Club team, based out of Stroudsburg, PA, for the last three years. His professional playing experience ranges from participating in the Toronto FC open tryouts, in the MLS, to training with the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL in 2007, and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds also of the USL in 2011.
Graduating from Pittston Area High School, he was a four-year letter winner and was named to the First Team, Second Team, and Honorable Mention lists. James was also a member of the 2006-2008 PSU Worthington Scranton soccer team, as well as the 2009-2011 men's soccer team at Keystone College. At Worthington Scranton, he was the leading scorer his freshman year, with a total of 16 goals on the season, and was the leading point holder during his sophomore year with 13 goals and 15 assists playing the center midfield position. On the field he started every game, played nearly every minute, and helped lead his team to two consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since 2005. He earned a Bachelor's of Science in Sport and Recreation Management focusing on Business and Marketing from Keystone College in 2012.