Former Coach of the Year Chris Christiansen Continues as Head Coach Emeritus
The Berkeley College Department of Athletics has announced that Jonathan Pena, Associate Head Coach of the Berkeley College Men’s Basketball team and a former student-athlete, will be promoted to the position of Head Coach for the 2017-2018 season.
Coach Pena played with the Berkeley Knights from 2006 through 2009, during which time the team won three Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) titles. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament during his senior season of 2008-2009. Mr. Pena graduated from Berkeley College in 2009 with a BBA in General Business. He transitioned to serve as an Assistant Coach for Head Coach Chris Christiansen shortly after his playing career, before he was promoted to Associate Head Coach after the 2015-2016 season. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Mr. Pena is employed as a CRM Manager at The Weather Company, an IBM Business.
“I would like to thank the Berkeley College Department of Athletics for this opportunity,” Coach Pena said. “As a former student-athlete and member of the coaching staff, we put our program in the best position to be successful. As Head Coach, I look to carry on the winning tradition established by Chris Christiansen, who has taught me so much over the past 10 years as a coach, mentor, and friend.”
Named the 2016-2017 United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division II Coach of the Year, Coach Christiansen and the Berkeley Knights capped their final season together with 53 straight victories, with the team finishing the 2016-2017 season 29-0. He steps away from his role as Head Coach with a final record of 203-74 (.732), a span that featured nine HVIAC championships and three consecutive USCAA Division II National Championship titles.
After 22 years as Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball team, Chris Christiansen will stay involved with Berkeley College men’s basketball student-athletes, both academically and athletically, as Head Coach Emeritus. He will continue to help the team during their practices and travels, and assist Head Coach Pena with the team’s efforts to move toward a higher plateau in the USCAA.
Chris Christiansen is the Assistant Chair, Management, Larry L. Luing School of Business®, Berkeley College, where he has taught business courses for more than 20 years. Prior to his appointment to the faculty at Berkeley College, Mr. Christiansen worked as a manager and analyst for Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Group Health Incorporated (GHI). He is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and the American Society for Training and Development.
“This program has enjoyed success on the court during my tenure as the Head Coach, but more than anything, I have taken great pride in helping so many student-athletes become successful individuals off the court,” Mr. Christiansen said. “Success is not just about your own achievements, but how you empower and inspire others to achieve their greatness.”
The Berkeley College Men’s Basketball team will play its first game of the 2017-2018 season on November 3rd against Stratford University. You can see the entire schedule here. To read more about the team in a story published in The New York Times, click here.
A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 8,000 students – including more than 550 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.
Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are five campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For four consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.
Photo Caption: Jonathan Pena of Bellerose Manor, NY (center, standing, wearing tie), has been named Head Coach of the Berkeley College Men’s Basketball team. Mr. Pena served as Associate Head Coach under Head Coach Chris Christiansen (center, crouching) since 2010, including during the winning 2015-2016 season. He also is a former Berkeley College student-athlete and alumnus. Mr. Christiansen will serve as Head Coach Emeritus. Photo Credit: Benjamin Norman of The New York Times.