Dec 27, 2010
Only Women’s Coach In St. Vincent College History Dies At 52

Kristen Zawacki, the founder and longtime coach of the women’s basketball program at St. Vincent College, was found dead Saturday in her Westmoreland County home.

Ms. Zawacki was 52 and had coached the Lady Bearcats for 27 years, hitting a milestone of 500 wins in February.

“She really served as the face for our athletic program here, Brother Norman W. Hipps, the college’s president, said this morning.

Brother Norman said authorities are looking into the possibility that Ms. Zawacki suffered a heart attack. He said she jogged and exercised regularly.

The news stunned the St. Vincent community, which has been on winter break. Women’s basketball players, who are due back in Latrobe Tuesday, were informed by their assistant coach.

Ms. Zawacki’s mother, Bridget Zawacki, 85, said she last spoke with her daughter Friday when she was trying to sort out plans for Christmas. The coach, her mother and the team had just returned Thursday from a tournament in Florida at which the Lady Bearcats had won both games.

Mrs. Zawacki said her daughter’s friends grew concerned Saturday when the coach did not show up for any Christmas festivities. State police were contacted and responded to her house after a friend looked through a window and saw her body on the bedroom floor.

In addition to coaching the Lady Bearcats to a 9-1 record this year, Ms. Zawacki served as an associate athletic director overseeing women’s sports.

She was under a lot of stress. Work. She worried about everybody, her mother said today.

Ms. Zawacki grew up in Mount Pleasant and graduated from Penn State University in 1980. She began coaching at St. Vincent when the Lady Bearcats were formed in the 1983-84 season and has run the team ever since.

The Lady Bearcats qualified for post-season play in 22 consecutive years, according to the college.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10360/1113636-100.stm#ixzz19KW9Pr1N Only Women’s Coach In St. Vincent College History Dies At 52

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Kristen Zawacki, the founder and longtime coach of the women’s basketball program at St. Vincent College, was found dead Saturday in her Westmoreland County home.

Ms. Zawacki was 52 and had coached the Lady Bearcats for 27 years, hitting a milestone of 500 wins in February.

“She really served as the face for our athletic program here, Brother Norman W. Hipps, the college’s president, said this morning.

Brother Norman said authorities are looking into the possibility that Ms. Zawacki suffered a heart attack. He said she jogged and exercised regularly.

The news stunned the St. Vincent community, which has been on winter break. Women’s basketball players, who are due back in Latrobe Tuesday, were informed by their assistant coach.

Ms. Zawacki’s mother, Bridget Zawacki, 85, said she last spoke with her daughter Friday when she was trying to sort out plans for Christmas. The coach, her mother and the team had just returned Thursday from a tournament in Florida at which the Lady Bearcats had won both games.

Mrs. Zawacki said her daughter’s friends grew concerned Saturday when the coach did not show up for any Christmas festivities. State police were contacted and responded to her house after a friend looked through a window and saw her body on the bedroom floor.

In addition to coaching the Lady Bearcats to a 9-1 record this year, Ms. Zawacki served as an associate athletic director overseeing women’s sports.

She was under a lot of stress. Work. She worried about everybody, ” her mother said today.

Ms. Zawacki grew up in Mount Pleasant and graduated from Penn State University in 1980. She began coaching at St. Vincent when the Lady Bearcats were formed in the 1983-84 season and has run the team ever since.

The Lady Bearcats qualified for post-season play in 22 consecutive years, according to the college.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10360/1113636-100.stm#ixzz19KW9Pr1N






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