My career with The First Tee started in 2012 as a result of a premature retirement from the practice of dentistry. A graduate of Temple Dental School and the U of Notre Dame, my career in private practice took place in West Chester from 1980-2011.
I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2005 which damaged my eyesight, causing difficulty with depth perception. After a two-year rehabilitation, I attempted to return to practice but encountered visual impairment and focused my attention on youth development. Having coached baseball from 1994- 2010 and with golf experience from 1964, I turned to The First Tee.
Our Chapter approved an Affiliate Program in Berks County at the former Woodbridge Golf Club and Sittler Golf Center in 2012. The Berks Program has since grown into a solid fixture at Manor Golf Club in Sinking Springs, a few miles south of Reading. My career with The First Tee includes four Coach Trainings from Level I through Level III to The First Tee Coach, along with education as a Program Director. In 2014, our Chapter asked me to perform both Coach and Program Director duties.
In addition to golf, I enjoy gardening, cooking and fitness. I live in West Chester with my wife Heather and our rescue dog Roxie. My two sons live in the San Diego area and both are involved with medical sales.
I am entering my second year as the head golf coach for the First Tee at both Willowbrook Golf Club and Bethlehem Municipal.
Graduated from Hazleton Area High School in 1998. Lettered in both golf and basketball. I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Health and Human development from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004.
I have also coached collegiate baseball for 10+ years and coached high school basketball. I am also pursuing certification to become a master level coach at the First Tee and earning my PGA teaching certificate.
I work as a teacher in an Autistic Support classroom as my full time employment.
My wife Trisha and I live in Alpha, New Jersey. I am a Special Education / Environmental Science teacher in the Allentown School District, and the golf coach at Louis E. Dieruff High School. Through my participation in The First Tee Program, my goals are to build a feeder program for golf in middle and high schools, cultivate the talents of future as well as current Dieruff Golf Team members, and revitalize interest in the game of golf in the Lehigh Valley.
I attended William Allen High School in Allentown, PA where I played varsity baseball, and earned an athletic scholarship to attend Charleston Southern University in Charleston, South Carolina. I play golf recreationally, playing weekly at Whitetail Golf Course in Bath, PA as a member of the CGA, Christian Golf Association.
Rick is the Head Professional and Owner of Sittler Golf Center for the past 24 years. He is a firm believer in community involvement and introducing young golfers to the Game of a Lifetime. Rick is a level 1 Coach with the First Tee as well as the President of the Lehigh Valley serving Berks Chapter of the First Tee. The former Head Golf Coach of Kutztown High School Golf Team and developer of the local intra-mural programs, He is committed to the growth of Junior Golf in our community.
Rick has worked with thousands of golf students helping them improve their golf game and overall golf experience. His solid teaching skills are focused on improving the student’s playing ability, and love for the game. He works with his students in establishing goals and objectives by which improved performance is measured.
Our chapter is one of many in The First Tee network. The First Tee is reaching young people in all 50 states and select international locations on golf courses, in elementary schools and through other youth-serving organizations.