The University of Toledo and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tod Kowalczyk have reached an agreement that extends his contract through the 2016-17 season.“Tod has done a tremendous job turning around our basketball program in a short time,” UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “His emphasis on academics and making sure our student-athletes graduate has helped our program begin to put our Academic Progress Rate (APR) issues behind us. On the court, he guided us to a 15-win improvement last year that ranks among the best in the country. We’re very happy to make this commitment to Coach Kowalczyk and look forward to many more years ahead with him as our head basketball coach.”
“I’m very honored and appreciative of the confidence and faith President Lloyd Jacobs and Mike O’Brien have displayed in me with this contract extension,” Kowalczyk said. “We look forward to building this program the right way with high-character student-athletes who graduate and compete for championships.”
Kowalczyk, 45, was named head coach in March 2010, assuming the reins of a program that had endured three straight losing seasons and was coming off a 4-28 win-loss mark. Last season, Kowalczyk guided a young Rocket squad to a 19-17 ledger to equal the second-best win improvement (plus 15) in the nation. Toledo also registered the program’s first postseason victory since 2001 with a win over McNeese State in the CollegeInsiders.com Tournament.
Toledo’s roster has been completely transformed by Kowalczyk and his staff during his brief tenure. The Rockets are headed for a bright future and return all of their players from last year’s squad, including second-team All-Mid-American Conference selection Rian Pearson, honorable-mention All-MAC honoree Curtis Dennis and MAC Freshman of the Year Julius Brown.
The Rockets have displayed significant academic improvement under Kowalczyk as well. The team’s APR was 939 in 2010-11 and 962 through the fall 2011 semester following three straight years of posting APR figures below 900. In addition, the Rockets posted a combined 3.011 GPA in the 2012 spring semester.
Prior to becoming UT’s head coach, Kowalczyk posted a 136-112 record in eight years as Wisconsin-Green Bay’s head coach. His Phoenix advanced to post-season play and notched back-to-back 22-win seasons in his last two seasons. In addition, every player who completed his eligibility while Kowalczyk was Green Bay’s head coach received his degree.
Kowalczyk is a native of DePere, Wis. He and his wife, Julie, have two children, Race (5) and Rose (3).