The 2017-18 season will be the fifth for Mark Katarski as the Head Women's Basketball Coach at Seton Hill University.
Last season, the Griffins qualified for their fourth straight PSAC Tournament. Seton Hill finished the regular season with 16 wins and 12 conference wins, good enough for Katarski to earn PSAC West Coach of the Year. Off the court, the Griffins won their fourth straight PSAC Top Team GPA Award for having the highest GPA among all 18 PSAC women's basketball teams and was 6th in the WBCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Academic Honor Roll with a 3.722 GPA.
In 2015-16, the Griffins qualified for their third straight PSAC Tournament under Katarski. The team produced two wins over NCAA Tournament teams during the season and was 8-5 on their home court. Off the court, the Griffins won their third straight PSAC Top Team GPA Award for having the highest team GPA among all 18 PSAC women's basketball teams and was 3rd in the WBCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Academic Honor Roll with a 3.647 team GPA.
Three seasons ago, despite being the only Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) school to return just one starter from the previous season, as well as facing a schedule that included five nationally ranked teams, and eight games against teams that qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament, Katarski oversaw continued growth in the program. Seton Hill once again qualified for the PSAC postseason tournament, as well as improved the team’s divisional standings from the season before. In addition, the Griffins swept the season series from a pair of conference members (Clarion, Mercyhurst) for the first time since joining the PSAC. Off the court, Seton Hill once again led all 18 PSAC women’s basketball teams, and placed #6 in the WBCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Academic Honor Roll with a 3.647 team GPA.
His first season, coincided with the school’s first as a member of the PSAC, and saw his squad qualify for the postseason conference tournament. In addition, he recorded more victories in his first season than any of the three previous head coaches in their inaugural campaign, as well as notching only the program’s second victory against a nationally ranked team in its eight seasons as a member of the NCAA Division II. Academically, the Griffins led all 18 PSAC women’s basketball teams with a 3.482 team GPA.
Katarski came to Seton Hill from Niagara University where he spent two seasons as an assistant for the Division I program. In his first year with Niagara, a campaign that saw the Purple Eagles land the fifth best turnaround in the NCAA, Katarski coached guards Kayla Stroman and Meghan McGuinness to post-season conference honors. Stroman was named to the All-MAAC Second Team and McGuinness made the MAAC All-Rookie Team after she led the MAAC with a 46.1 three-point. His second season saw Niagara win more games in a season since 2004-05, and make back-to-back appearances in the semi-finals of the conference tournament for the first time in school history.
Prior to Niagara, Katarski spent six seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at Division III Chatham University in Pittsburgh. Katarski turned a once dormant program into a contender in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC). The Cougars recorded four consecutive seasons with double-digit victories and reached the conference tournament semifinal twice during his coaching tenure. In 2007 they made it to the conference semifinals for the first time in the program’s history followed by another appearance in 2010, this time as members of the PAC, after winning the school’s first playoff game. Under Katarski they also claimed the program’s first-ever in-season tournament championship in 2009, while a dozen players earned all-conference honors during his tenure.
Off the court, Katarski’s basketball programs are extremely active in community service projects such as the award-winning “Purple Reign” initiative, the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, the Children’s Institute and the Make-a-Wish foundation. In the classroom, Katarski’s teams have also been strong. The 2005-06 team posted an impressive 3.435 GPA, 12th in the WBCA Division III Team Honor Roll and the 2008-09 team led the conference in all-academic honorees.
The Mt Pleasant, PA native arrived at Chatham from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg where he served as the Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach for five seasons from 2000-2005. At Pitt Greensburg, he helped the program to its first conference title in 2003 and earned two berths to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Katarski holds an associate’s of arts degree from Westmoreland County Community College, a bachelor’s of science degree in education from California University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife Hadara, a former cross country and track and field athlete at the University of Colorado, are the parents of a daughter Jaela, born in May 2013, and Mara born in August 2015, and they reside in Hempfield Township.