Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565
Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax: (239) 590-1066
Smesko Top Pick in Bid for FGCU Women's Basketball Coach
FORT MYERS, FL - There were high fives all around this afternoon when
Florida Gulf Coast University announced Karl Smesko will make history as its
first ever Women's Basketball Coach on June 1. Smesko comes to Southwest
Florida after successfully heading the women's basketball program at
Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) for two years.
"We are extremely excited about attracting such a quality a coach as
Karl Smesko," FGCU Director of Athletics Carl McAloose said. "Karl has an
outstanding track record of recruiting and graduating quality
student-athletes and competing athletically at a national level. We were
looking for someone who will build a program that will meet the mission of
FGCU. Karl will do so."
Smesko inherited a program at IPFW that was 2-24 the previous season
and 8-44 over the two years before his arrival. After his first year, the
team posted 11 more wins than the previous season with a 13-14 record. This
season, his team finished with a 19-8 record.
Before coaching at IPFW, Smesko served for one season as an
assistant coach at the University of Maryland. During 1997-98, Smesko was
the Head Coach at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio. His team at Walsh was
predicted to finish sixth out of nine teams in its conference. Smesko and
his team ended the season as NAIA National Champions, while posting a 29-5
record (a 12-win improvement from the previous year). He was NAIA National
Coach of the Year.
"I am excited about working with the people I met at Florida Gulf
Coast University," Smesko said. "Everyone that I met shares a great vision
for FGCU. There is also a positive feeling about the sense of community
pride athletics brings to FGCU. FGCU is loaded with potential. If the
community supports the university, and I believe it will, this will be a
special place to be. I may be speaking too soon, but I expect to be
competitive in our first season. My job is to put a team on the floor in
which both FGCU and the community will be proud to support. I am confident
that we will do that."
As an accredited comprehensive public university, FGCU addresses the
higher educational needs of Southwest Florida and provides a
learning-centered environment that offers high quality educational
opportunities for the public. Only four years old, FGCU opened its doors to
students for the first time in 1997.
Currently, the University is seeking NCAA Division II membership.
Beginning fall 2002, FGCU will offer men and women's basketball with the
completion of a modern 85,000 square-feet gymnasium that will seat just
under 5,000 people. FGCU is presently interviewing applicants for its men's
basketball coaching position. The University already offers men and women's
golf, and men and women's tennis.
Smesko is a graduate of the school of broadcast news journalism from
Kent State University, where he was Summa Cum Laude with a 3.92 GPA. He
earned a master's degree in education from Walsh University in 1998.
For more information, contact McAloose at (941) 590-7007 or
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