|John Olenowski Receives Contract Extension|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - After leading the Manhattan College women's basketball team to a school-record 24 victories and the semifinals of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) in 2010-11, Head Coach John Olenowski has been given a contract extension. Olenowski, who has two years remaining on his original deal, received a five-year extension that will keep him on the Lady Jaspers' bench through the 2017-18 season.
"Coach Olenowski has been tremendously successful everywhere, and he has continued that success his first two seasons here," Athletic Director Bob Byrnes said. "John is a great person who coaches basketball first and foremost. He is a gifted teacher/mentor and top recruiter in part because of all his terrific personal attributes. I can say with confidence that Manhattan women's basketball will consistently have an opportunity for postseason play with John at the helm."
Last season, Olenowski led Manhattan to a 24-10 record, shattering the old school-record of 20 wins set in 1986-87 and 2002-03. The Lady Jaspers finished third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) with a 13-5 league mark and advanced to the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament for the first time since 2003. Manhattan then made its first postseason appearance in eight seasons when it was one of 16 teams selected to play in the WBI. The Lady Jaspers beat Sacred Heart and Wright State en route to the semifinals, marking the first time in program history that Manhattan won multiple games in the same postseason tournament. In addition, Manhattan finished the season ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing a mere 50.9 points per game.
Three Lady Jaspers earned all-conference recognition last season, including guard Abby Wentworth (Portland, Maine), who was named First Team All-MAAC and First Team All-Met. Manhattan also had five players selected to the 2010-11 MAAC All-Academic Team. Twelve letterwinners from that squad, including four starters, return in 2011-12. Further bolstering the roster, Olenowski has brought in a three-member recruiting class that ranks among the Top 50 nationally.
In two seasons at Manhattan, Olenowski has compiled an overall mark of 39-25 and a 23-13 record in MAAC games. His .625 winning percentage is the best in program history. Including three seasons at Pace University, Olenowski has a career record of 109-53. He earned his 100th career collegiate coaching victory with a 59-53 triumph at Niagara on Jan. 30.
"I am honored and thrilled to receive this new contract," Olenowski said. "I am truly grateful to Dr. O'Donnell our President, Dr. Satterlee our Vice President for Student Life, and Mr. Byrnes our Athletic Director. I have repeatedly told my family, friends and loyal assistants that Manhattan is a special place with a close-knit family environment. I couldn't be any happier than to continue being the head women's basketball coach at Manhattan College."
Manhattan will open the 2011-12 campaign on Nov. 12 with a matchup against Hartford in the Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). It will be the first Preseason WNIT appearance in program history.