Cabrini loses legacy

By Matt Campbell Nina Sciemenes
February 3, 2005

Shawn Rice

Cabrini men’s basketball team is struggling to stay focused after recent developments revealed that head coach, John Dzik, would be coaching his final season with the Cavaliers.

Cabrini administration has chosen not to renew Dzik’s contract for reasons left unsaid. “I still don’t know why. I’ve asked on several occasions for an explanation and the answer from the administration was ‘we choose not to renew your contract,'” Dzik said.

The team has dropped four of its last six games. “It certainly has been a real distraction to this season for my coaching staff and for my players,” Dzik said. In his 25 years as head coach, Cabrini has not lost four straight conference games. Senior captain, Messiah Reames said, “We need to stay focused on the season. We set out a goal at the beginning of the season to win a conference championship and we want to finish and complete that goal.”

In his term as head coach, Dzik has influenced the school, the program and his players. “I don’t think what they have done is fair. He built the basketball program from the bottom up,” Reames said.

Dzik has attracted many talented athletes to Cabrini. Sophomore Jim McMahon’s reason for transfering to Cabrini stems from Dzik’s character. “He has a great reputation,” McMahon said.

Dzik also runs clinics for local area kids. He coaches and mentors them in both basketball and life.

Dzik is a father figure to many of his players. Junior Anthony Bennet said, “He has helped me more in life than in basketball. He taught me more on how to be a man than how to succeed as a basketball player, but to become a better basketball player you have to become a man.”

Coach Dzik’s final season will cut him just short of eclipsing the 500-win mark. Dzik currently has 479 wins as a collegiate coach and led the Cavaliers to a .698 winning percentage, the second best in Division III history . “It [500 wins] was certainly a milestone that I was hoping to reach. It was one of the reasons that I’ve kept on going. I don’t think anyone here at this school understands just how hard it is to coach for 32 years at the collegiate level and the toll it takes upon someone,” Dzik said.

The future of Cabrini’s men’s basketball program is still uncertain, as for Dzik and his future, he will finish out the remainder of the season as head coach. Dzik said, “I’d like to remain in coaching. I still think I have a lot left to offer. I have experience. I have maturity. I think that I can help young men become better young men.”

The cloud around Dzik’s non-renewed contract still looms. “I have done nothing wrong. I’m not sure what the school wants from us in terms of what their looking for and what their reason would be to not want to have this head coach and this coaching staff continue to represent Cabrini,” Dzik said.

Posted to the web by Shawn Rice

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Matt Campbell Nina Sciemenes

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