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Kathy Fedorjaka became the longest-tenured head coach in the 38-year history of the Bucknell women's basketball program with the start of the 2004-05 season. Now in her 15th season at the helm of the Bison, Fedorjaka has amassed 207 wins and just 196 losses during her tenure in Lewisburg.
With a 73-72 overtime victory against Lehigh on Feb. 24, 2002, Fedorjaka picked up her 78th victory as head coach of the Bison, eclipsing Lori Howard's total of 77 that she won from 1984-91, to become the all-time winningest coach in Bucknell history.
Howard, who spent seven years as the mentor of the Bison women's basketball team, gave Fedorjaka her first collegiate coaching experience during the 1990-91 campaign when Fedorjaka served as a graduate assistant for the first of her three seasons on the sidelines as an assistant coach. After earning a master's degree in education from Bucknell in 1992, the Groton, Conn., native remained as a full-time assistant before leaving to accept her first full-time head coaching position at Connecticut College in 1993. In her three years as an assistant at Bucknell, Fedorjaka helped the Bison improve from a 2-24 season in her first year (1990-91), to an 11-17 season in 1992-93 to begin one of the most successful periods in the history of the program. For her contributions to Bucknell, Fedorjaka was awarded the ECAC Certificate of Merit.
Prior to her initial arrival in Lewisburg, Fedorjaka graduated from Fairfield University in 1990. While there, she was a four-year member of the basketball team and served as co-captain during her senior season when she averaged 12.7 points per game. As a sophomore in 1987-88, Fedorjaka helped lead the Stags to the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. The squad also won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) title that year. During her career, Fairfield posted a sparkling 69-45 record. Fedorjaka also garnered a number of individual honors during her playing days, including being named to the MAAC All-Academic Team and receiving the Fairfield Scholar Athlete of the Year Award. She was also presented the ECAC Medal of Merit Award.
After her three-year stint at Bucknell, Fedorjaka returned to Connecticut for one successful season as the head coach at Connecticut College in New London, Conn. The Camels posted a 16-8 mark that year, a win total they have not reached in the 16 years since.
Fedorjaka returned to the Susquehanna Valley after her one-year hiatus to coach the Bloomsburg women's basketball team in 1994-95. She stayed at the helm of the Huskies for three years and amassed a 51-30 (.630) record and directed her 1996-97 team to the school's first Division II NCAA Tournament appearance in five years. Fedorjaka stands fifth in all-time victories at Bloomsburg, while her .630 winning percentage is fourth on the Huskies' career list.
Following a 1996-97 campaign when Bloomsburg posted a 20-8 record, Fedorjaka returned to Bucknell, taking over the program in August of 1997 from Juliene Simpson, who had led the Bison to a 12-14 record in 1996-97. Fedorjaka matched that mark in her first season, but each of her next four years the Bison increased their victory total, leading to a 21-10 record in 2001-02. That same season Bucknell advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The 21 victories in 2001-02 marked the second consecutive 20-win campaign for the program. The unforgettable squad that was led by four of the top 11 scorers in school history also posted an 11-3 mark in Patriot League play, the second-best in the program's 17 seasons in the conference.
Before the magical NCAA Tournament run in 2002, Fedorjaka guided the 2000-01 squad to a 20-8 mark. She also helped the 1999-2000 team become the first squad in Bucknell history to advance to the championship game of the Patriot League Tournament. In her first year at the helm of the Bison Fedorjaka was rewarded for her success as the 1997-98 Patriot League Coach of the Year. She became just the second league coach to earn the honor in her first year in the league.
Since taking over the Bison, Fedorjaka has climbed the charts and is now among the veterans of the Patriot League coaching ranks. She ranks fifth among conference coaches in career wins with 274, while her 108 league victories ranks third. A member of the Patriot League coaching ranks for 14 seasons, Fedorjaka is third in longevity behind only Holy Cross' Bill Gibbons (21 years) and Lehigh's Sue Troyan (16 years).
Despite winning the Patriot League Tournament just twice since taking over the program, Fedorjaka, who likes her teams to play an up-tempo style, has led the Bison to unprecedented success in the postseason. Since experiencing losses in each of her first two tournament contests, Fedorjaka has posted a 12-10 mark in the conference tournament, including three finals appearances and trips to the semifinals seven of the last 12 years.
Fedorjaka guided the 2005-06 Bison to yet another Patriot League Tournament semifinals appearance. Under her tutelage, the squad posted the largest win improvement in program history, going 18-11 overall and 10-4 in Patriot League play, after totaling just 10 wins the previous year. The Bison also shattered the program record with seven consecutive road victories midseason. The previous standard was four. Additionally, Bucknell ranked in the top 50 nationally in a number of defensive categories, including field goal percentage defense (7th, 35.2%), scoring defense (33rd, 57.7 ppg), blocked shots (50th, 4.3 bpg) and personal fouls per game (50th, 15.6).
That success continued in 2006-07 when the Bison posted the third 20-win season in program history, all coming under Fedorjaka's watch, and won the Patriot League regular-season title with a program-record 12-2 mark. The squad, led by Patriot League Player of the Year Hope Foster and the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Kesha Champion, broke the school record by limiting opponents to just 56.1 points per game, a figure that ranked 20th nationally. The Bison won their league contests by nearly 14 points per game and Fedorjaka earned her second Patriot League Coach of the Year citation.
Fedorjaka followed that performance by leading the 2007-08 team to Bucknell's second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Picked to finish first in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, the team ultimately entered the league tournament seeded fifth. Led by all-tournament team members Amanda Brown and Lauren Schober and the tournament MVP Champion, the Bison advanced in the postseason after earning the second league tournament title in school history.
In addition to her outstanding teams, Fedorjaka has recruited and tutored many outstanding individuals. Among the most prominent have been Molly Creamer and Desire Almind. Creamer, who was the first player in school or league history to get drafted into the WNBA when she was a first-round pick of the New York Liberty with the 10th overall selection in the 2003 draft, finished her career in 2003 with 22 school records and 13 Patriot League standards to her name. The only three-time Patriot League Player of the Year, Creamer scored 2,462 points in her career and, in addition to playing with the Liberty, played professionally in Israel and in the National Women's Basketball League (NWBL) with the Lubbock Hawks. Almind completed her four-year career in 2004 as the school's third-leading scorer and rebounder. She has played professionally in France and with the Birmingham Power of the NWBL. Led by that duo, which garnered seven all-league selections, Fedorjaka has seen her players show up on the first, second or rookie all-league teams 36 times. Fedorjaka has also tutored four rookies of the year, including the most recent selection in Trisha Krewson who won the award in 2008-09.
Fedorjaka's husband, Frank, is in his seventh year as the head men's lacrosse coach at Bucknell after seven seasons as an assistant. The couple resides in Winfield, Pa., with their son Matt (14), and daughter, Jamie (9).