The Associated Press

LATROBE, Pa. -- The first and only head coach of the women's basketball team at Saint Vincent College has died.
Officials at the western Pennsylvania school say Kristen Zawacki, 52, died of an apparent heart attack at her home in Greensburg on Saturday.

Zawacki came to Saint Vincent in 1983 to start the women's basketball program. The Lady Bearcats made the playoffs in 22 consecutive years and set the record for consecutive conference championship game appearances at 17.

Zawacki earned her 500th career victory last season. She also was the associate athletic director of the Catholic college in Latrobe.

The school will celebrate a memorial Mass on Thursday.

Saint Vincent College released the following statement:

It is with great sadness that I share with you the tragic news of the death of Kristen Zawacki, associate athletic director and the first and only head coach of the Lady Bearcats. She died of natural causes due to an apparent heart attack in her Greensburg home on Saturday.

Kristen was an extraordinary individual, successful coach and caring administrator who will be missed dearly by all who knew her.

There will be no public visitation. All are invited to attend a Memorial Mass celebrated by Archabbot Douglas at 11 a.m. on Thursday in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica followed by a luncheon in a Saint Vincent dining room. Please join me in praying for and extending our most heartfelt condolences to her family and friends during this difficult time.

-- Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B., President, Saint Vincent College.