Coaching Staff
2013 - 2014 Season

Image of Matt Alvey
Matt Alvey Ice Hockey (518) 629-7574

Matt Alvey is coming off a 2012-13 season where the Vikings were back in the national tournament. In 11 seasons, Alvey has guided the Vikings to three national tournament appearances. Alvey's overall coaching record stands at 112-118-11, making him the first coach in the programs history to reach 100 wins. He also served as Hudson Valley's lacrosse coach in 2005 and 2006.

Alvey, a native of Troy, was a second round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 1993. He played professional minor league hockey for five seasons before injuries forced him to retire in 2001. His best year as pro came during the 1999-2000 season with the Fresno Falcons of the West Coast Hockey League when he finished with 20 goals and 23 assists.

Alvey played college hockey at Lake Superior State University, where he was a member of the 1994 squad that won the NCAA Division I national title. Alvey scored the game-winning goal for Lake Superior State in its championship game win over Boston University.

Alvey lives in Troy with his wife, Amber, daughter Addison and son Jameson.

Cathie Becker

Cathie Becker Women’s Golf (518) 629-7328

Cathie Becker is Hudson Valley Community College's first women's golf coach. 2010 was her first season as head coach and the first year that the Vikings competed in NJCAA golf.

Becker is an avid golfer and has been a physical education teacher in the East Greenbush Central School District for 29 years. She has spent a lot of time in recent years teaching the game at the Burden Lake Junior Golf Clinic and has also organized the Susan G. Komen Rally Cure Golf tournament. She has vast experience with local youth within the sport. Becker has also coached cross-country and track at Columbia High School for more than 20 years.

Travis Cooke

Travis Cooke Men's Soccer (518) 629-7328

Travis Cooke became just the fifth head coach in Hudson Valley men's soccer history when he took the job in July 2006. In 2008, Cooke guided Hudson Valley to a top five ranking in the nation including a number two ranking for four consecutive weeks. Cooke has seven seasons under his belt with the Vikings and an overall mark of 53-52-7 as head coach.

Cooke was a standout player at Maple Hill High School with two state championships. In his high school years, he was a part of the Youth Olympic Development Program at the National, Regional and State levels. At the club level his team West Babylon Panthers won the u-17 National Club Championship in 2000. Cooke was also a part of the Adidas Elite Soccer program during his junior and senior years of before helping the University of Massachusetts to an Atlantic 10 Conference championship in 2001.

Cooke received his bachelor's degree from the University at Albany and currently lives in Castleton. For coaching certifications he has the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and USSF 'D" license. Cooke also does soccer commentating for Time Warner Cable Sports.

Joey DiPiazza
Joey DiPiazza Men’s Baseball (518) 629-2324

Joey DiPiazza completed his first full season as head baseball coach after serving as interim head coach in 2012. The Vikings finished with a 19-16 record qualifying for post-season play. As a former associate scout for the Atlanta Braves, DiPiazza evaluated players across New York State with major league potential. He was responsible for drafting the second highest pick in the Capital Region and had three consecutive years of drafting players in the top ten rounds.

The owner and director of DiPiazza Baseball, which operates instructional camps and clinics for players and coaches, he also served on the Section II Baseball committee as the Big Ten chairman. DiPiazza was head baseball coach for Albany High School from 2004 to 2009, where he was named Capital Region Coach of the Year by the Times Union, was responsible for the first ever Division I scholarship player, led the team to a Big Ten Championship, and won the school's first ever playoff win.

DiPiazza was a member and captain of the baseball team at SUNY Oneonta where he earned a bachelor's degree in child and family studies. He went on to obtain his master's in special education from The College of Saint Rose. DiPiazza currently works at the City School District of Albany as the transition coordinator for special education students.

Joe Hayes

Joe Hayes Men’s Lacrosse (518) 629-7328

Joe Hayes finished his fourth season as head coach of the Vikings' lacrosse program. Hayes has an overall record of 30-28, leading the Vikings to two conference titles and one regional final four appearance. He's had the team nationally ranked two out of his three years, and is the only coach in the programs history to capture two conference titles.

Hayes brings a wealth of college and international coaching experience to the position, including recent service as the Vikings' assistant coach. Prior to his successful tenure as an assistant at Hudson Valley, Hayes was an assistant at other local institutions, including Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute and a five-year stint at Siena College. Hayes also spent a season in Australia teaching and coaching the game to high school-aged players.

Hayes, who resides in Saratoga Springs, has dual associate degrees from Hudson Valley in criminal justice and physical education.

A former Viking, he played two seasons at Hudson Valley after having a successful high school career at Shenendehowa High School. Upon graduation, he accepted an athletic scholarship to NCAA Division II Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina. Hayes currently lives in Saratoga Springs with his wife, Kelly and their four children.

Mike Long

Mike Long Men's Basketball (518) 629-7328

Mike Long enters his first season as head basketball coach after serving seven seasons as an assistant at the College of Saint Rose.

Long brings to Hudson Valley more than 40 years of coaching experience, starting with his head coaching career at Saint Rose from 1973-86, where he compiled a 164-156 record. Prior to this first head coaching appointment, Long was an assistant coach for the Ft. Sheridan Post Team and then later became the JV coach at his alma mater, Siena College, for a season.

After his tenure at Saint Rose, Long became the head coach at Sage College of Albany from 1990 to 2003. He boasted an impressive 220-143 record in his 13 years, and was named Region III, Division II Coach of the Year by the National Junior College Athletic Association following the 2001-02 season when Sage finished 27-4. Long also spent time as an assistant coach at the Junior College of Albany from 1986 to 1990 and as the assistant varsity boys basketball coach at Christian Brothers Academy, prior to his return to Saint Rose in 2006.

Long is a member of three different halls of fame, Saint Rose Hall of Fame (1992), Bishop Maginn Hall of Fame (2006) and the New York State Capital District Hall of Fame (2010). The Saint Rose basketball court is named "Mike Long Court," as he is considered "the father of Saint Rose basketball" after developing a program there that dominated the Northeastern Athletic Conference (NAC) from 1977-84, winning five NAC titles, and posting two consecutive undefeated seasons (1978-80) in conference play.

Most recently, Long was the 2013 recipient of the Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame Sam Perkins Sportsmanship award.

Chris Mazzeo

Chris Mazzeo Softball (518) 629-7329

Chris Mazzeo completed his first season as Interim Head Softball Coach in the spring of 2013. The owner of The Athletic Training Institute, which provides lessons and clinics for players and coaches of all ages, he is a board member and coach at Twin Town Little League and Twin Town Warriors Travel Program.

Mazzeo has six years coaching experience with Classie Lassies youth softball league, and was head softball coach for Averill Park High from 2009-2010, where he guided the team to six wins in the Suburban Council (five more than previous years combined) and a semi-final run in Sectionals. He coached at Heatly High from 2001-2008, making several appearances deep in sectional play.

The hitting coach at Southern Vermont College in 1997, Mazzeo was a member and captain of Southern Vermont's baseball team while earning his bachelor's degree in social work. He currently works at Awards by Walsh Creative Marketing in Cohoes, and resides in Averill Park with his wife, Jodi, and their three children, Hannah, Ty and Brady.

Michael Muehling

Michael Muehling Football (518) 629-7196

Michael Muehling enters his third season as the Hudson Valley Community College head football coach in the fall of 2013. He served as defensive quality control for two seasons as a member of Head Coach Doug Marrone's staff at Syracuse University before coming to the Vikings in 2011.

Prior to his time at Syracuse, Muehling spent four seasons at Indiana University where he served as offensive quality Control, graduate assistant to the defensive line coach and assistant for strength and conditioning. He also spent one season in the AF2 (Arena Football) at the professional level as an assistant coach and coordinator. More than six years of experience working with student-athletes at the intercollegiate level has fully prepared him with the skill set necessary to be a successful athletic academic coordinator while simultaneously providing oversight and leadership to the football program. Muehling was part of the two coaching staffs that contributed to the revitalization of both Indiana University's and Syracuse University's football programs.

He played intercollegiate football on an academic scholarship at Lindenwood University where he was an Academic All-American and received a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology/Athletic Training. He earned a master's degree in Kinesiology from Indiana University.

Jay Pokines

Jay Pokines Women's Soccer (518) 629-7328

Jay Pokines has served as head coach of the women's soccer team at Hudson Valley Community College since 2005. He has guided the Vikings to several successful seasons over the years, and continues to build the program.

Coach Pokines was voted by his peers as co-coach of the year for the Mountain Valley Conference in 2007 when his team went 11-6-1 and reached the Region III Semi-Final.

Pokines received his bachelor's degree from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse and currently works full time as a senior landscape architect for the State of New York State, Office of General Services Design and Construction.

He lives in Scotia with his wife, Andrea and their three children.

Joe Prest
Joe Prest Men’s and Women’s Bowling (518) 629-7328

One of the premier bowling personalities in the Capital Region, Joe Prest has coached the Hudson Valley men's bowling team since 1987 and the women's bowling team since1988.

Prest's men's and women's bowling teams became the first in the region's history to sweep the team titles along with the singles and doubles events at the 2006 Region III Championships. They repeated the feat in 2008.

In 2010, the men's team completed a perfect 30-0 season to go undefeated in the conference. The men also finished second in both the NJCAA championships and Region III Tournament, as well as finishing eighth in the Intercollegiate Sectionals.

Prest led the Hudson Valley women's teams to a 1995 and 2010 NJCAA National Championship and consistently has both teams in the national rankings. He was voted the NJCAA women's bowling coach of the year following the 1995 season and the 2010 season.

Prest was inducted into the NJCAA Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001 and into the Troy Bowling Association's Hall of Fame in 2002.

He has served as a coach and director of the Hilltop Bowl Junior League program for the past 32 years.

Denise Potenza
Denise Potenza Tennis (518) 629-7328

Denise Potenza joined the Hudson Valley Community College coaching staff as the head Women's Tennis coach in 2011. In just her second season, Potenza led the Vikings to a perfect 7-0 regular season record and Mountain Valley Conference Championship. The team finished second at Regionals, which included three singles Region III Championships, and had a strong showing at Nationals in Flushing, NY.

Potenza was the number one and number two singles and doubles player at Marist College and SUNY Cortland. She has been a United States Tennis Association (USTA) player for more than twenty years, having played on the USTA women's and mixed doubles teams. In the Fall of 2012, Potenza was inducted in the Watervliet Hall of Fame for her contributions as a tennis standout.

Potenza graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from SUNY Cortland and a master's degree in school counseling from the College of Saint Rose. She currently serves as a family worker/counselor for Oak Hill School in Scotia.

Kathleen Smith

Kathleen Russell Women's Basketball (518) 629-7366

Kathleen Russell finished her second season as the head women's basketball coach at Hudson Valley Community College.

Russell comes from Columbia High School where she was the women's varsity head basketball coach since 2007. Prior to that, she served as an assistant coach for five years at Columbia High.

Russell graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a bachelor's in exercise science, after receiving a scholarship to play basketball for four years. She captained her team in her junior and senior seasons, leading the Owls to the NE-10 playoffs and ECAC championships. Joining the 1,000 point club while at Southern, she also led her team in minutes played, steals, assists, scoring, and three-point field goals. Russell was named NE-10 player of the week and ECAC player of the week during her senior year, and earned the NE-10 Scholar Athlete Award during her junior and senior years.

Russell earned a master's in education with a specialization in curriculum, instruction and assessment from Walden University, and this past August finished her second master's in educational leadership and administration from the College of St. Rose. She currently teaches physical education at the middle school level in East Greenbush.

Bryan Van Vliet

Bryan Van Vliet Women's Volleyball (518) 629-7328

Bryan Van Vliet enters his first season as the volleyball head coach for Hudson Valley Community College. Van Vliet was most recently the varsity volleyball head coach at Albany Academy for girls and the varsity track and field head coach at Rensselaer-Doane Stuart.

From 2004-2008, Van Vliet was the Game Day Operations Assistant for the University at Buffalo's women's volleyball team. During his time at the University at Buffalo he also served as the sport club coordinator, assistant sport club director, assistant coach for the men's and women's club volleyball teams, and as a head official for intramural volleyball.

Van Vliet received his bachelor's degree from the University at Buffalo and master's at Canisius College. He resides in Castleton with his wife, Chelsea, and two sons.