Kennesaw State women's basketball: Agnus Berenato named head coach
KENNESAW, Ga. -- The winningest coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the second-winningest at Georgia Tech, Agnus Berenato has been named the new head women’s basketball coach at Kennesaw State University.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams. A press conference to introduce Berenato is set for Thursday, April 14 with more details to come.
“This is a tremendous day for the Kennesaw State family and our women’s basketball program,” said Williams. “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’s 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.
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.
Berenato is a member of the WBCA, the Women’s Law Project and the Girl Scouts Alumnae Association. In the past, she has been a member of the Kodak All-America Selection Committee, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame committee, the Atlanta Women’s Network, Inc., the Georgia Women’s Intersport Network, Atlanta Women in Sports, and on the board of the McGee Women’s Hospital.
She received the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Volunteer Award for exemplary volunteerism from the Jesse Draper Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Atlanta while at Georgia Tech. Additionally, she was selected by the Institute of International Sports as one of its Sports Ethics Fellows in 1996.
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.
The product of a basketball family, Berenato’s sister is Bernadette McGlade, a former Georgia Tech head coach and now the commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
A native of Gloucester City, N.J., Berenato and her husband Jack have five children: Theresa Marie, Andrew, Joey, Clare and Christina.