Tony Grenek hired as Point Park University women's basketball head coach
May 5, 2011
Tony Grenek (left) in the Seton Hill huddle as head coach Ferne Labati looks on. Photos courtesy SHU athletics.
PITTSBURGH – Tony Grenek, who spent the last five years as the top assistant at NCAA Division II Seton Hill University, has been named the head women’s basketball coach at Point Park University, announced Pioneers’ Director of Athletics Dan Swalga on Thursday (May 5, 2011).
Grenek has 10 years of coaching experience on the college level – five as a head coach – and was Seton Hill’s associate head coach the last two years. At Seton Hill, he was instrumental in the Griffins reaching the NCAA Division II national tournament in 2009-10, just their second season eligible for that event.
Grenek replaces Sam Kosanovich, who led Point Park to its most consistent success in decades the last five years. The Pioneers are coming off consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 25 years, but Kosanovich stepped down at the end of the 2010-11 season to become Point Park’s Student Center Director full-time. He had been serving the role of women’s basketball coach and Recreation Center Director for four years before taking over at the Student Center in his fifth season.
“Coach Grenek will be a great addition to our staff,” said Swalga. “He has head-coaching experience as well as coaching at the Division II level with success everywhere he has been. We have a good thing going with our program, and I expect Tony will continue the growth and success of our recent past. We’re poised for great success in women’s basketball.”
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the Point Park University family,” said Grenek. “It’s a great situation here with a great campus in a beautiful part of downtown Pittsburgh. I was eager to become a head coach once again, and I’m going to work as hard as I can for Point Park University.
“I want Point Park to be known as one of the premier women’s basketball schools in the Pittsburgh area,” said Grenek. “With the plans for the new on-campus arena and all the great things happening here, that can only enhance our recruiting. And as we start to build a winner, we can establish a tradition of getting talented student-athletes who are students first, athletes second and also wonderful people in the classroom and the community.”
At Seton Hill, Grenek worked under well-known head coach Ferne Labati, who has had Grenek as her top assistant for all five years she’s been at the school in Greensburg, Pa. Before coming to Seton Hill, Labati was the head coach for 17 years at NCAA Division I Miami (Fla.), and she has more than 500 career victories.
Grenek’s responsibilities for the Griffins included running a defense that ranked first in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in opponent’s points per game (60.0) last year. He made all the defensive calls for the Griffins and was responsible for much of the on-floor coaching. His duties included running practices, creating scouting reports and recruiting.
Grenek helped the Griffins to consecutive 20-win seasons the last two years. A break-through year was the 2009-10 season when Seton Hill went 23-8, reached the WVIAC tournament championship game, and qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament. The Griffins, in just their second year eligible for the tourney after entering the Division II ranks, won their first national tournament game over Fayetteville State before losing to No.1 ranked and eventual Final Four team Gannon in the second round.
Seton Hill was 22-7 last year and played in the semifinals of the WVIAC tournament but did not receive an at-large bid to the national tourney like the year before.
Also strong performers in the classroom, Seton Hill ranked in the top 15 in NCAA Division II in team GPA the last three years. The Griffins were as high as third in the nation in 2008.
Before going to Seton Hill, Grenek spent five years as the head men’s basketball coach at Butler County Community College. He took over a program that had little interest and was 5-25 the year before his arrival. Grenek quickly turned things around there with an NJCAA Region 20 championship in his first season of 2001-02. The Pioneers made the Region 20 playoffs all five of his years, and the non-scholarship program was 35-19 the last two years under Grenek.
Highlights of Grenek’s time at Butler County CC include being named the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year in 2004-05 and also coaching two junior college All-Americans.
Grenek earned a bachelor’s degree in General Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Slippery Rock University in 1998.
Point Park University women’s basketball was 14-13 overall in each of the last two seasons. The Pioneers were a few games shy of making the American Mideast Conference postseason tournament both of those years.
Point Park welcomes back four starters next year including All-AMC second team guard April Austin, a junior from Penn Hills, Pa., and All-AMC Honorable Mention pick Joncelyn Peterkin, a senior center from West Mifflin, Pa.