EXECUTIVE DECISION: Ben Stentz, center, enjoys the moment with Princeton Recreation Department colleagues Nicole Paulucci, left, and Vikki Caines after Paulucci received an award from the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association. Stentz recently stepped down as the Rec Department executive director after a 10-year tenure guiding the organization. (Photo provided by Ben Stentz)
By Bill Alden
Ben Stentz prides himself on his ability to build a team.
“I always refer back to my old basketball coaching days,” said Stentz, who coached for the Mercer County Community College and Clarion University men’s hoops programs.
“They used to joke that they could send me into a gym in the middle of nowhere and if there were 50 kids in there playing, I could find the one that we really wanted to recruit easily and quickly.”
When Stentz became executive director of the Princeton Recreation Department in 2011 after having worked for the department since 2000, he applied those team-building skills.
“When I got promoted, we were really short-staffed and I had to hire a number of people pretty quickly,” recalled Stentz, a baseball and basketball standout at Princeton High who returned to town after coaching at Clarion and worked at the YMCA before coming to the Rec Department as a program supervisor in 2000.
“I had to find the right people for the right positions at the right moment in time. I am proud of the team that I built and rebuilt a number of times.”
After a 10-year run as the helm, Stentz decided that it was time to leave the team and stepped down effective July 1. more