We always enjoy the news of a MAAC connection moving onward and upward, even if this particular one did escape our notice for a couple of months.
A good friend, Mark Katarski, was named the head coach at Seton Hill University, a Division II program that is entering its first season in the tough Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Katarski had been an assistant at Niagara for the past two seasons, working for head coach Kendra Faustin. During his time Niagara underwent a revitalization, including a 13-19 record in the 2011-12 season, the victory total the fifth-best improvement nationally over the previous year (1-29) on the Division I level.
We got to know Katarski fairly well over that time. He was always accessible before and after games, and made it a point to stop by to chat with your correspondent. He had become a great source for happenings around the league.
Katarski takes over the Seton Hill program after the retirement of previous coach Ferne Labati, who had been there for seven seasons (and, had been head coach at the University of Miami for many years prior to that).
The Seton Hill program is in good shape, finishing with a 19-13 record this past season and lost just one player from that team to graduation.
"I am humbled and honored to be a part of Seton Hill University and lead its women's basketball program," said Katarski, in a release issued by the school. "Our hope will be to maintain the success that coach Labati and the players had as we enter the PSAC."
Prior to Niagara, Katarski spent six seasons as the head women's coach at Division III Chatham University in Pittsburgh. Under him that program claimed its first in-season tournament championship.
Before that Katarski was an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, a D-III program.