Kosanovich to step down as Point Park coach at the end of the season
Fifth-year coach to take on role as Student Center Director full time.
Feb. 4, 2011
Sam Kosanovich pictured during a game in 2007-08. File photo by Point Park athletics.
PITTSBURGH – Point Park University women’s basketball head coach Sam Kosanovich will step down as head coach of the Pioneers at the end of the current, 2010-11 season, the athletic department announced today. Kosanovich, who has taken the Pioneers to their most consistent success as the head coach the last five seasons, will take on his role as Student Center Director full time.
For the last five years, Kosanovich has served a dual-role at the University. In addition to serving as the women’s basketball head coach, he was also the Recreation Center Director up until this past fall when he became the Student Center Director. The Student Center opened in the fall 2010 in the building that was formerly the Downtown YMCA. Kosanovich had been the Recreation Center Director from 1998 to the fall of 2010.
Kosanovich will finish out the remainder of the 2010-11 season as head coach of the Pioneers, who are 11-11 overall and 3-8 in the American Mideast Conference. Point Park has five games remaining, beginning with Saturday’s AMC road game at Ursuline (2 p.m.). The Pioneers are currently 3.5 games out of the conference playoff race.
Kosanovich’s time at Point Park includes 50 victories in his five seasons at the helm. He inherited a struggling program in the spring of 2006 that had won a combined 52 games the previous 10 years. The turnaround of the program under Kosanovich’s tenure includes a winning record last season – the first for the program in 16 years -- and double-digit victories in four of the five seasons.
“I am very glad to have had the opportunity to be the women’s basketball head coach at Point Park University,” said Kosanovich. “It will be sad to transition out of that role and leave a team that I have been so closely related to for five years. But at the same time, I am excited to take on the job of Student Center Director full time. When I look back on my time as head coach, I will be very happy with what we have accomplished in rebuilding the program.
“The University is in the midst of tremendous growth, and the Student Center is a big part of that,” added Kosanovich. “It is the hub of student activity, and by dedicating my efforts to this building full-time, it will greatly benefit the University.
“This is by no means signaling a surrender flag for the rest of the season,” said Kosanovich. “We are not eliminated from the playoffs, and we intend to finish strong. We felt that this was the best time to make this announcement so that we may have a chance to retain some recruits that have been contacted.”
“The growth of Point Park and the opening of our Student Center have created the need to split the duties that have been performed by Sam Kosanovich the last five years,” said Point Park Director of Athletics Dan Swalga. “His transition into Student Center Director full-time is no reflection on the performance of the team under his coaching. We have high expectations and believe that Sam will be able to offer our students a full complement of recreational activities and programs in his new role. Sam remaining part of our staff as we move forward is a “win” for Point Park University.
“During Sam’s time as the women’s basketball head coach, the team improved steadily into a high-level, collegiate program. Sam inherited a program in 2006 that had very little structure, organization or direction, and he turned things around. It is because of his hard work and dedication that the program is a source of pride at the school today. Sam’s dedication to the University, work ethic and expertise are all things that cause me to be excited about his new assignment as the full-time Student Center Director.”
The search for a new, full-time women’s basketball head coach will begin at the end of the season, Swalga said.
“I very much enjoyed my time as head coach,” added Kosanovich. “And I would like to thank the University's administration for giving me the opportunity the last five years. As coaches and players, we put forth hard work to make Point Park women’s basketball a competitive, collegiate program. I can’t thank the players enough for their dedication. We’ve had a wonderful group of young ladies who have achieved highly in academics, on the court and in the community. I will miss coaching them very much.”
Kosanovich is 50-79 in his five years at Point Park, although a 2-25 record in his second season keeps him from being right around .500. After a respectable, 12-16 record in his first year of 2006-07, the Pioneers won just two of 27 games in an injury-riddled, rebuilding year of 2007-08.
Point Park was 11-14 in 2008-09, although the Pioneers had a chance to turn in their first winning season in a great while as late as the final weekend of the season. Point Park was 14-13 in 2009-10 to establish the program’s first winning record since 1993-94.
Point Park started this year with a 10-4 record but has fallen to 11-11 overall after facing the toughest stretch of its schedule. Kosanovich is 25-24 since the start of last year. Prior to his arrival, the program had gone nine straight years without achieving more than eight wins in a season.
Kosanovich spent 13 seasons as a men’s basketball assistant coach at Point Park under head coach Bob Rager. Kosanovich was a Pioneers assistant from 1990-94 and 1997-06. In between, he was the head boys’ basketball coach at South Park High School.
Kosanovich brings over three decades of recreation experience to his new post as full-time Student Center Director. He was employed by the Allegheny County Parks Department from 1974-96, a tenure that culminated with his time as Superintendent of Parks & Recreation from 1994-96. A native of Munhall, Kosanovich graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in 1974.