Our Coaches

Chris DiCintio,
President & Founder

Chris DiCintio is the founder and President of The East Coast Panthers. DiCintio has been involved with high school basketball for over twenty years. Currently, he is the Varsity Boy’s Coach at Somers High School in Somers, New York. In 2015, he has taken Somers, an afterthought in Section 1 basketball, to a Final Four at the Westchester County Center for the first time in over two decades. With double digit winning season in the last four out of five years, DiCintio has clearly established Somers as an annual contender in Section 1 – Class A, one of the most competitive sections in NY State. Previously, DiCintio spent 11 years as the Head Coach at Rye High School in Rye, New York where he won close to 150 games while guiding his teams to several league championships and two Final Four appearances in 2006 and 2009. In 2005, Coach DiCintio was voted Conference Coach of the Year in one of the strongest conferences in the State of New York that year. DiCintio was also the Associate Head Coach of the Empire State Hudson Valley men’s basketball team from 2004-2008 during which time his teams won two silver medals and captured gold in 2006. Coach DiCintio has helped develop several players that are currently playing collegiate and professional basketball. Some of his former players include Michael D’Antoni, son of Houston Rockets head coach, Mike D’Antoni and Max Twyman, grandson of NBA hall of famer, Jack Twyman. DiCintio is a New York State certified administrator and coach with degrees in finance, education, and administration.

Darryl Atkinson,
Vice President

Darryl Atkinson has been involved in high school and college basketball for twenty years and has worked, coached, and help develop players who are or have played professionally and at the highest levels of NCAA basketball. As the Associate Head Coach at Somers High School, he has helped take the Somers program to new heights. With a Final Four appearance and three trips to the Quarterfinals in the past five years, Atkinson has helped establish Somers as an annual contender in Section 1 – Class A. Previously, he was the Head Coach of the Open Men’s team for the Empire States Games where he guided the Hudson Valley men’s team to a silver medal in the 2010, the last Empire State Games competition to be held. Prior to that, he was the Associate Head Coach for the Hudson Valley boy’s Scholastic team. It is here that he had the opportunity to work with some of the best players and coaches in Section 1. Working as Coach Bill Thom’s Associate Head Coach the Hudson Valley boy’s teams garnered 3 medals in 4 years at the Empire State Games. In between, Atkinson served as the varsity head coach at John Jay (Cross River). Before joining John Jay, Atkinson was the top Asst. Coach at SUNY Purchase where he planned practices, recruited, and established significant professional relationships with numerous college coaches. Atkinson started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Annapolis Senior High and in 6 years moved to the top assistant’s position. In his 6 years at Annapolis his teams went a combined 127—27. Included in this run were 3 regional championships and 2 state final four appearances. He was mentored by John Brady, the state of Maryland’s all-time winningest public school coach (with over 700 wins and counting). Darryl Atkinson is a New York State certified teacher and coach. He is currently a 7th grade Social Studies teacher at Sleepy Hollow Middle School.

Larry Rheingold,
Director of Athletic Events

Larry Rheingold has been coaching for the better part of 25 years. For the past two seasons Rheingold has been the Asst. Men’s Coach at Concordia College. Previously, Rheingold was the asst. Varsity basketball coach at Croton Harmon High School. Additionally, Rheingold has been involved in youth basketball as well. Rheingold started his coaching career working with troubled youths in 7th and 8th grade. He has coached various age groups in AAU for the past 7 years. Of note, Rheingold has been the commissioner for the Tri-County Basketball League for the past three years. Currently, he coaches the East Coast Panthers 16U team which he has guided to numerous tournament titles. A great motivator, Coach Rheingold brings plenty of energy and passion to his teams. Rheingold owns an executive search firm in New York City and has been in the recruiting business for over 30 years. He trains college graduates on a regular basis and owning the business allows him to spend time coaching basketball, his true passion.

Lou DeMello,
Director of Basketball Operations

Lou DeMello is an energetic, motivated and extremely knowledgeable Athletic Director and Basketball Coach/Trainer for nearly 30 years. He is currently the assistant boys’ basketball coach and the director to the program for the junior varsity and modified level at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Coach DeMello comes to the East Coast Panthers as the Head of its Basketball Operations focusing on developing the Panthers throughout Westchester County. Lou brings years of experience at his profession being the former Athletic Director for the Brewster Sports Center in Brewster, NY and the House of Sports in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Coach DeMello was also the founder and director of the previous Westchester Hawks AAU basketball program. Under Lou’s direction, the Hawks grew to an astounding 95 teams with over 1100 members. It became the second largest AAU program in the tri-state area in the early 2000’s. During that time, Lou also founded the Slam Dunk Tournament which is held yearly at the Westchester County Center. The tournament hosts many of the top high school basketball teams in the state of New York. Lou was also the former head boys’ basketball coach at Rice High School in Harlem, NY from 1988 to 1994. He led his team to win the NYS CHSAA Class AA and Federation Championship as his team was ranked #1 in the USA Today National Rankings in 1994. Lou went on to become the NYS coach of the year. His achievements at Rice High School earned him the men’s head coaching position at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY from 1994 – 1997. Coach Demello will use his extensive experience to initiate developmental programs in addition to teaching and developing athletes through personal training while helping athletes to maximize their greatest potential.

Liz Martinez,
Office Manager

Liz Martinez is the office manager for the East Coast Panthers since 2016. She handles communications, billing, planning and registration for the organization. Liz was born and raised in Westchester, NY; Graduating from Maria Regina H.S, in Hartsdale and from SUNY College in Purchase, NY with a Bachelor of Arts. She has worked in retail for a decade which has given her the opportunity to deal in customer service and an appreciation to help people. When she is not working hard the East Coast Panthers, she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.

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