Fedorjaka resignation sparks controversy

By Chris McCree

Sports Editor

In a sudden and surprising turn of events, Kathy Fedorjaka officially announced her resignation as head coach of the women’s basketball team late on Jan. 13, sparking a flurry of speculations surrounding the move.

“Her resignation came as a big surprise,” starting guard Christina Chukwuedo ’12 said. “It was very unexpected, but we are coping as best we can by being positive and trusting in our coaching staff.”

Two weeks since the announcement, specific details concerning the motives behind the change still remain uncertain. Amid the swirl of rumors, all parties involved have been hesitant to comment.

“Because this is a personnel matter, the University is unable legally or ethically to comment about this announcement,” said Athletic Director John Hardt. “What I am able to share is that the coach resigned, as indicated in our announcement that day.”

Coach Fedorjaka could not be reached for comment.

Although Fedorjaka did issue a formal letter of resignation, speculation exists that she may have been pressured into the move. During the 14 full seasons with Fedorjaka in charge, the women’s basketball staff cycled through 25 different assistant coaches, with 12 of those coaches deciding to leave after one season with the Bison. On top of this, the program has seen numerous recruited players transfer to other schools over the past couple years, including one former Patriot League Rookie of the Year.

No formal remarks have been released to confirm these rumors, but the abruptness of the move has created some confusion, even among the players.

“Honestly, there’s not much any of us know at this point,” said a player who chose to remain anonymous. “We did not hear anything about it until that same night that the press release was sent out to the media.”

Leaving in the middle of her 15th season with the Bison, Fedorjaka was the longest tenured coach in program history and is credited with 209 career wins, as well as leading the Orange and Blue to their first NCAA tournament appearance ever back in 2002.

“I am very thankful to Kathy Fedorjaka for her 18 years of loyal service to Bison Athletics,” Hardt said in the press release issued on the night of Fedorjaka’s resignation. “Kathy was extremely passionate about coaching, and she was able to elevate the program to competitive heights never before seen in the Bison women’s basketball program.”

Despite the many accolades to her name, Fedorjaka was not able to achieve the same level of success in recent years as she had earlier in her career and her departure came amid a 2-15 start to this season.

Stepping in as the interim head coach is second-year assistant Bill Broderick who has 13 years of collegiate coaching experience to date.

“Coach B has a very different coaching style,” Chukwuedo said. “He allows us players to operate more of the ball and we all like it and trust it. ”

The future of Bison women’s basketball remains unclear for the time being, and it is unlikely that any major decisions will be made before the offseason.

“We will start a national search at the end of the season,” Hardt said. “Meanwhile, we are doing everything we can as an athletics department to support the interim coach and the team as they complete this season.”

The Orange and Blue have eight games remaining in the season, all against Patriot League opponents. Although winless, the team is by no means out of title contention and Broderick will be faced with the challenge to make the struggling team a contender once again.

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