PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men's Basketball, Jerome Allen, has announced the hiring of Scott Pera as an assistant coach. Pera replaces Dan Leibovitz, who left recently to take a job with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. Pera joins Ira Bowman and Jason Polykoff as assistant coaches on an all-new staff under Coach Allen for the 2012-13 season.
"Scott will be a tremendous asset, not just to our program but I think to the University as a whole," said Allen. "He has had great success wherever he's coached, whether it was high school or college, and his experience makes him a great fit for this position on our staff. I am excited to lead Scott, Ira and Jason this year as we work together with our young men to keep the Penn program at a championship level."
"I am very excited to return home after a tremendous learning experience at Arizona State under Coach Sendek, as his 20 years of being a head coach as well as a great father are well-documented," said Pera. "I am forever grateful to Arizona State and have great maroon and gold memories. I am very excited to work for a Penn legend in Coach Allen and such a talented group of assistants. The Philadelphia area offers a great basketball tradition. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, this is a wonderful opportunity for my family and me to return to a place I hold close to my heart. I look forward to being a part of Big 5 and Ivy League basketball, and trying to add to Penn's 25 Ivy titles."
Pera comes to Penn from Arizona State University out of the Pac-12 Conference, where he has worked under Head Coach Herb Sendek since before the 2006-07 season. In the summer of 2008, he was promoted to recruiting coordinator for the Sun Devils.
Pera joined Sendek's staff after a successful career coaching at the high school level in California and Pennsylvania. At Artesia High School in Lakewood, Calif. (and later at ASU), he mentored current Oklahoma Thunder standout and recent U.S. Olympian James Harden as well as Arizona State's all-time assist leader, Derek Glasser.
Pera posted a 258-65 record in 11 years as a head coach at Artesia and Annville Cleona (Pa.) high schools, and led Artesia to the state title in 2005-06 with a 33-1 record. That Artesia squad was ranked second in the nation by Sports Illustrated, sixth by USA Today, and earned the top ranking from MaxPreps.com. He also has extensive administrative experience as both an athletic director and tournament director.
Pera was the Los Angeles Times and Long Beach Press Telegram Southern California Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2006, and the CIF Division III AA and SCIBCA Division III AA Coach of the Year those same seasons. He led his prep teams to seven league championships, two CIF Southern Section Division III championships, three 30-win seasons, a 102-9 record in home games and a 38-12 mark in the playoffs. While at Artesia, Pera also taught history (2000-02) and physical education (2005-06) in addition to serving as the athletic director from 2002-05.
Prior to his arrival at Artesia, Pera coached Annville-Cleona High School to the Pennsylvania state title with a 30-3 mark. He was the Lancaster/Lebanon League "PA Coach of the Year" in 1999 and won the same honor from the Lebanon Daily News. He taught sixth grade in Palmyra from 1993-95 and in Annville from 1995-2000. He also served as an assistant coach at Elizabethtown College from 1992-93.
Pera's additional experience includes serving as the director of the Reebok Summer Classic West in Los Angeles (2005), working with the ABCD Camp in Teaneck (N.J.) in 2005, serving as an assistant coach with the Roundball Classic West squad in Chicago (2005 and 2006), directing the Double Pump Day Camps at Cal State Northridge (2002 and 2003), working as a co-director of the Pennsylvania/Maryland Shootout (1997-2000), coaching at the Adidas Superstar Camp in Atlanta (2004) and serving as a Gym Coordinator at the Double Pump Easter Tournament in Las Vegas (2003 and 2004) and the Best of Summer Tournament in Los Angeles (2003 and 2004).
Pera graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Penn State in 1989. His wife, Alyssa, is a University of Pennsylvania graduate, earning her degree from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1998. They have two daughters, Sydney and Brynn.