Agnus Berenato named women’s basketball head coach
Veteran coach brings 29 years of coaching experience to the Owls KENNESAW, Ga. (March 30, 2016)…
Georgia (Mar 30, 2016) — Veteran coach brings 29 years of coaching experience to the Owls
KENNESAW, Ga. (March 30, 2016) — Agnus Berenato, the winningest coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the second-winningest at Georgia Tech, has been named the new head women’s basketball coach at Kennesaw State University.
“This is a tremendous day for the Kennesaw State family and our women’s basketball program,” Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams said. “Agnus Berenato is coming home to Atlanta where she spent nearly two decades leading Georgia Tech to national prominence. I am honored and excited that she accepted our offer and can’t wait for her to get started. Her track record speaks for itself. We could not ask for a better role model, mentor and leader of our women’s basketball team. She wins, builds programs and does it the right way. I welcome Agnus, her husband Jack, and their children to the Owl Family.”
The charismatic Berenato has a proven reputation of building programs. Within three years of assuming head-coaching duties at Georgia Tech, she led the Yellow Jackets to the 1992 WNIT championship. The next year, Tech made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Two years after taking the helm at Pitt, the Panthers rattled off five consecutive postseason berths, including back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in 2008 and 2009.
“It is an honor to be selected as the Kennesaw State University women's basketball head coach. To work with, and for, Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams at this thriving university is an exciting opportunity,” said Berenato. “I am fired up to get back on the court, meet the team and represent Kennesaw State and our KSU community. Together we will enjoy the journey, grow our student-athletes and experience the thrill of victory. I would like to thank President Dr. Daniel Papp, a man of great integrity and vision; Vaughn Williams; and the search committee for their commitment to women's basketball, the commitment to building a formidable Division I athletic program and their confidence in me to lead this program.”
Berenato has won 444 games in her 29-year head coaching career that spans four years at Rider University, 15 at Georgia Tech and 10 at Pitt. Her teams have competed in the postseason on 11 different occasions.
On the court, Berenato has mentored five players to All-America recognition: Joyce Pierce, Kisha Ford and Sonja Mallory at Georgia Tech, and Shavonte Zellous and Marcedes Walker at Pittsburgh. Her players achieved 21 all-conference honors at Pitt, and 16 more at Georgia Tech.
Berenato emphasizes the development of the total person, and her student-athletes have complemented athletic success with academic achievement. She proudly boasts a 100 percent graduation rate of every student-athlete who completed their eligibility.
She is recognized as an inspirational leader and motivator and a dynamic public speaker. In her three years since leaving Pitt, Berenato has been an analyst for the American Sports Network, has continued to remain active in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), spoken to Fortune 500 companies and University commencements and presented at the Final Four.
In the community and abroad, her extensive list of volunteer work includes a medical mission with Surgicorps to Vietnam in 2015, a 2009 college basketball tour in the Middle East and a mission trip to Jamaica in 2003. She has been a spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Opera, while offering her time with the Girl Scouts of America, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Pittsburgh Food Bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Girls on the Run, among many others.
A 1980 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., Berenato earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and was a three-year starter on the basketball team. Playing for former NBA star Fred Carter, she was a two-time captain for the Mountaineers. Following eight years of service on the college’s Board of Trustees, she is now a Trustee Emeritus.
Named an ACC Women’s Basketball Legend in 2014, Berenato was recognized on two occasions as a Division I Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. She has been inducted into the South Jersey Hall of Fame, the Rider College Hall of Fame and the Mount St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
In May of 2009, Berenato was awarded with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Seton Hill University and delivered the commencement speech to its spring graduates. She also holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s.
A native of Gloucester City, N.J., Berenato and her husband Jack have five children: Theresa Marie, Andrew, Joey, Clare and Christina.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.