Mt. Pleasant native Katarski hired as Seton Hill women's basketball coach
College Football Videos
It's been quite a summer for Mark Katarski.
Six weeks ago he and his wife, the former Hadara Adelson, welcomed their first child, daughter Jaela Hope. His wife is Niagara University's cross country and women's track and field coach.
Now he gets a chance to come home and work at a college near where he grew up.
Monday, the Mt. Pleasant Township native was named Seton Hill's women's basketball coach. He replaces Ferne Labati, who resigned last month.
Katarski, a 1995 Mt. Pleasant graduate, was an assistant women's coach the past two seasons at Niagara. He also was an assistant women's coach at Division III Pitt-Greensburg (2000-2005) and head women's coach at Division III Chatham University (2005-2011).
He compiled a 55-102 record at Chatham, which included the school's first four double-digit winning seasons, and two of his teams were the only squads to reach the conference semifinals in school history.
Prior to Katarski taking the Chatham job, the school won 11 games in 16 seasons.
“I'm very humbled,” Katarski said. “It's a university that has grown so much, so quickly, and an athletic department that has grown so much, so quickly. Beyond the fact that this is home, those are probably the most attractive things.
“To have an opportunity to be associated with a university like that and being in one of the premier NCAA Division II conferences (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) in the country is a humbling experience. To have all that within 10 to 15 minutes to where I grew up, it's an honor and privilege in a lot of ways to be the coach at Seton Hill University and be part of the city of Greensburg and Westmoreland County.”
Katarski, 36, will take over a team that finished 19-13 in 2012-13, reached the finals of the now-defunct West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and lost only one starter.
He said he's excited about the challenge of building on the success Labati had and the new conference, which features powers Gannon, California, Indiana, Slippery Rock and Edinboro. Seton Hill officially became a member of the PSAC on Monday.
“Obviously there is an excitement hidden within it. I'm grateful and thankful of the opportunity that everyone at Seton Hill has afforded me,” Katarski said. “There weren't many jobs that I would have come for, and Seton Hill was one of them.”
Katarski said he learned a lot from the different coaches he was with over the years: Carol Gelet at Pitt-Greensburg, Chuck Smith and Tom Esposito at Derry and Niagara coach Kendra Faustin.
“You learn about managing people and managing programs,” he said. “It was rewarding to see them work. You have to be more than a basketball coach at schools.
“Being with those people also broadened my horizons recruiting wise. Western Pa. has always been A strength of mine. I've been recruiting in Toronto, Cleveland, Maryland and New York.”
Katarski played for former Trinity coach Joe Dunn at Mt. Pleasant. Dunn said he knew early on Katarski would make a good coach.
“We had a special coach and player relationship,” Dunn said. “He was one of those players who knew what the coach wanted.
“I like the move for him. This offers him a measure of stability in college coaching. He's been all three levels, and I believe he'll be very successful.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- District college roundup: Cal (Pa.) advances to NCAA Division II softball national championships
- Mercyhurst advances to first D-II World Series
- College notes: Guy continues to set vault records at Virginia
- Cal (Pa.) blanked in NCAA softball championship opener
- Area college track athletes set for NCAA Div. II, III championships
- Grove City graduate Bray named to PAC 60 list
- Slippery Rock's Taylor gearing up for 3rd trip to track nationals
- Cal (Pa.) resumes quest for 3rd NCAA softball title