SAN ANTONIO — UTSA Athletics Director Lynn Hickey announced Wednesday that Lubomyr Lichonczak has been hired as head women’s basketball coach. Lichonczak, who becomes the eighth head coach in the program’s history, was named interim head coach on Aug. 8.
"I'm excited to have someone with the wealth of coaching experience and knowledge of our program that Luby possesses,” Hickey said. “He has coached at significant programs around the country along with some outstanding service in the professional ranks. As a member of my coaching staff for several years at Texas A&M, I have first-hand knowledge of his values, his desire to help our students grow and become successful on and off the court as well as his passion for the sport."
"First, I would like to thank my family, who has continuously supported me throughout my career, and all of the numerous players, coaches and administrators that have helped me along the way,” Lichonczak said. “I also would like to thank President Dr. Ricardo Romo, Athletics Director Lynn Hickey and Associate Athletics Director Tamica Smith-Jones for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
“I believe that our university athletic environment can be a classroom for life in educating the whole person, mind, body, heart and spirit. Working with young people in an educational and competitive environment is an important undertaking and a challenge and I look forward to facing this challenge with hard work, intensity, caring and enthusiasm.”
Lichonczak has spent 11 years on the Roadrunners’ coaching staff, including the last nine as the associate head coach. He was hired at UTSA prior to the 2002-03 season and spent two campaigns as an assistant before being promoted to associate head coach. Lichonczak primarily worked with the post players and served as the program’s scouting coordinator and team academic liaison and assisted with scheduling and recruiting.
During his time on the UTSA bench he helped mentor 23 all-conference selections – including seven first-team All-Southland Conference picks – one Southland Player and Defensive Player of the Year (Monica Gibbs/2009), three Southland Newcomers of the Year (Dwella Holliday, 2003/Vivian Ewalefo, 2006/Onika Anderson, 2008) and a pair of Southland Freshmen of the Year (Richelle Parks, 2005/Monica Gibbs, 2006).
He was instrumental in helping UTSA win back-to-back Southland Tournament Championships to earn the program’s only NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and ’09. The 2008-09 squad posted a school-record 24 wins and became the first No. 15-seed in the history of the NCAA Division I Championship to take a No. 2-seed to overtime.
In addition to the squad’s accomplishments on the court, Lichonczak aided several student-athletes in the classroom. Ryba Pawlaczyk earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District IV, Southland Student-Athlete of the Year and first-team Southland All-Academic in 2009, while Nicole Dunson took home the league’s Student-Athlete of the Year and first-team all-academic honors in 2005.
Lichonczak came to the Alamo City after spending the 2001-02 campaign as the associate head coach at Colorado State where he helped the Rams to a 24-7 mark, including a 12-2 league record en route to the Mountain West Regular Season Championship and an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.
His stint in Fort Collins came after an 11-year run as the head coach at Radford (1990-2001). Lichonczak coached the Highlanders to a 151-151 (.500) overall record and 99-53 (.651) mark in Big South Conference games. His 151 wins rank second in program annals.
Under his guidance, Radford claimed six consecutive Big South Tournament titles (1991-96) and made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1994-96). Lichonczak earned Big South Coach of the Year honors in 1992 after the squad posted a 20-9 record and 11-1 league ledger en route to a conference regular-season title.
Lichonczak was an assistant under Hickey at Texas A&M from 1987-90 after a pair of seasons (1985-87) at Old Dominion, where he helped the Monarchs to the 1987 Sun Belt Conference Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. Prior to his time in Norfolk, Va., Lichonczak was an assistant at Ohio State from 1980-85 and aided the Buckeyes to four consecutive Big Ten titles (1982-85) and NCAA Tournament appearances in 1982, ’84 and ‘85. The 1985 squad finished the season with a 26-2 record, 18-0 Big Ten mark and advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to Old Dominion, the eventual national champion.
His coaching career began at his alma mater, Idaho, in 1978. In his final campaign with the Vandals, the squad went 25-6 and claimed the Region IX Championship to advance to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division II National Tournament.
Along with his collegiate experience, Lichonczak served in the WNBA as an advance scout for the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2010 and was a first assistant and offensive coordinator for the Washington Mystics in 2009. In addition, he was an assistant coach for the Nigerian Women’s National Team in 2007.
Lichonczak, who earned a bachelor of science degree in social studies and education from Idaho in 1978 and a master of arts degree in athletic administration from Ohio State in 1985, and his wife, Maryann, have a son, Yov, and a daughter, Nika.