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Kornaker to Step Aside as Head Coach of Men’s Basketball Program

October 4, 2017

Rob Kornaker, who has guided the St. John Fisher College men’s basketball team for nearly two decades, has announced his decision to step down as head coach of the Cardinals following one of the most successful coaching stints in the College’s history.

Rob Kornaker

“Looking back at the last 20 years here at Fisher, I don't think I could have asked for a better experience for me and my family,” said Kornaker.

Kornaker, who took over the team leading into the 2001-02 season, has cemented himself as one of the best coaches in Fisher history, and in all of Division III. Kornaker, who became the program’s all-time leader in coaching victories in 2017, owns a 318-126 record (.716 winning percentage) and led Fisher to seven Empire 8 Conference titles during his time on the sidelines. His winning percentage lands him among elite company as he ranks 14th all-time in Division III with coaches that have at least five years on the bench.

A nine-time Empire 8 Coach of the Year honoree, Kornaker, who was just the third coach in the team’s prolific history, brought the Cardinals to new heights. Under his guidance, Fisher reached the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship eight times and advanced to the second round or better seven times overall. He coached the Cardinals to the Sweet 16 four times during his career and took Fisher all the way to the Elite 8 in 2006 after defeating both Norwich University and Utica College.

“Coach Kornaker has been an outstanding employee of the College for the past two decades,” commented Bob Ward, who has served as the College’s Athletics Director for more than 30 years. “He will be truly missed. He has been an employee of the Athletic Department, but more importantly, a friend. We wish Rob, Leslie, Alexis, and Griffin all the best as the family embarks on the next stage of their lives.”

Last season, the Cardinals posted a 23-6 overall record, which included a 15-1 mark against Empire 8 opponents. Kornaker's squad earned the top overall seed in the Empire 8 Championship and defeated both Utica and Stevens Institute of Technology to earn the Conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship. 

Under Kornaker’s watch, several student-athletes have left their mark on the program including Keegan Ryan who concluded his career in a Fisher uniform ranked fourth all-time in scoring with 1,765 total points and set a new program record with 996 career rebounds.  In all, nine different players have scored at least 1,000 career points since Kornaker took over with three ranking in the program’s top-10 all-time.

Mike Grosodonia, who joined the men’s basketball staff in 2016 as an assistant coach, will serve as the team’s interim head coach. Grosodonia brings a wealth of head coaching experience to Fisher, most recently leading the Aquinas Institute's varsity boy's basketball team for over a decade.

In a short period of time, Grosodonia turned the Aquinas program into a perennial powerhouse. While patrolling the sidelines, Grosodonia won nearly 200 games (194-38) and boasted a career winning percentage of .836. Under his guidance, Aquinas captured the 2016 New York State Public High School Athletic Association State title for the first time in team history. During his tenure, Grosodonia won six Section V titles and made four trips to the State Final Four.  He was named the All-Greater Rochester Coach of the Year twice and would go on to be named the Class AA Coach of the Year as well.

Grosodonia earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from the College at Brockport and obtained a master's degree in special education from Roberts Wesleyan College.

"My family and I are grateful and excited for the opportunity to carry on the tradition and success that Coach Kornaker, Coach Ward and Coach Wanzer all helped to create here at Fisher," Grosodonia said.