The Presidents’ Athletic Conference will honor the memory of late Saint Vincent College women’s basketball coach and Association Athletics Director Kristen Zawacki by having all 10 PAC women’s basketball teams wear memorial patches on their uniforms for the remainder of the 2010-11 season.
Zawacki was found dead in her home on Dec. 25 at the age of 52. She was the only head coach in the 28-year history of the Lady Bearcat basketball program. She amassed a 512-276 career record and was one of just 13 coaches in the nation to enter the 2010-11 season with at least 500 career wins.
In addition to her achievements on the basketball sidelines, she was also integral in establishing the school’s softball team in 1985, while she successfully guided the school’s athletic department during her tenure as associate AD.
The patches, which were first worn by the Lady Bearcats last Thursday against Geneva, employ the letters “KZ.” The Saint Vincent patches are in black and white, while the rest of the conference will wear patches in the Saint Vincent school colors of green and gold. Other PAC schools are Bethany (West Virginia), Chatham, Geneva, Gove City, Thiel, Thomas More, Washington and Jefferson, Waynesburg and Westminster (Pennsylvania).
“This has been an extremely difficult time for everyone at Saint Vincent, so our athletics directors and women’s basketball coaches felt this would be an appropriate way to honor Kristen’s memory while also supporting our conference partner,” said PAC Executive Director Joe Onderko. “We hope having all 10 PAC teams wear these patches for the remainder of the season will be a reminder for everyone to continue to keep the Zawacki family, the Lady Bearcat program and the entire Saint Vincent community in their thoughts and prayers.”
Zawacki’s achievements included being selected to the Saint Vincent College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. As associate AD, she oversaw day-to-day operations of 17 of the school’s varsity sports. Ten new varsity sports were added to the campus under her watch.
Along with Athletics Director Myron Kirsch and Assistant AD Sue Hozak, Zawacki also played a large role in helping the school successfully complete the transition from the NAIA to the NCAA Division III level, as Saint Vincent was granted full NCAA membership in 2010.