Sitting in a small office behind the bleachers in the Dixon Center, Cabrini’s new women’s basketball coach anticipates the upcoming season. Bernadette Laukaitis will step on the court and finally feel what the title of head coach will really be like.
“It’s fun and exciting to know I’m coming into a program that has won,” Laukaitis said.
Laukaitis followed in her older sister’s foot steps and started playing basketball at the age of five. She played for St. Huberts High School in her hometown of Northeast Philadelphia. After high school, she played for Holy Family University where she studied elementary education. She was the team’s point guard and was given the nickname of “floor general.”
Laukaitis was an elementary education teacher for five years at Wilson Middle School in Philadelphia and also, did some work in the real estate field, knowing all along that basketball was her true love.
“Basketball has been in my blood since I was little,” Laukaitis said.
She coached at Holy Family for eight years after graduating in 2000. Laukaitis helped lead Holy Family to five conference titles and eight national post season tournaments in eight seasons as assistant coach.
Holy Family became the first program in the Central Athletic Collegiate Conference history to accomplish three undefeated seasons in a row from 2005 to 2008.
“I have a very fun style of play and I think the girls do too,” Laukaitis said.
Getting back to the NCAA tournament is a top priority for Laukaitis and she is happy with the come back of all the girls.
“I want to get a solid victory out there and really get a chemistry built,” Laukaitis said.
Laukaitis will inherit a Cavalier’s team that stole the title of the 2008 Colonial States Athletic Conference, which was formerly known as the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference last year and returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999.
“This is my dream job and I could not imagine being anywhere else right now,” Laukaitis said.