ST. CLAIRSVILLE Ohio University Eastern has a new women's basketball coach. Adam Perzanowski, an Ohio University alum, who also played four seasons for Coach Donnie Madzia on the men's team during his college days at OUE, has been hired at the St. Clairsville-based school.
Perzanowski knows the expectations will be high as he replaces long-time coach E. J. Schodzinski, who built the Lady Panthers into an Ohio Regional Conference power over the last decade. Schodzinski finished with a career record of 181-55, which included four ORCC regular season crowns since 2008 and two state tournament titles in the last three years.
Perzanowski is also excited for the opportunity.
"I enjoyed every minute of my time as a student-athlete at OUE," said Perzanowski. "To be able to give back to the university as a coach is truly a blessing."
Schodzinski, who will remain as the school's athletic director, is also enthusiastic about the hiring.
"It was very important for me to find a coach who was familiar with our program and overall philosophy," Schodzinski said. "I wanted a coach who would represent the university well by working hard to promote a positive atmosphere with an emphasis on teamwork, sportsmanship, academics and having fun. I firmly believe that Adam fits that bill."
Adam, who has coached AAU for the last five years, feels fortunate that Schodzinski has left the program in great shape.
"I came to practice last Sunday to see how the team looked and came away very impressed," he said. "We have a full roster of former All-OVAC players with experience, size, speed and depth. As a result, I anticipate continuing the OUE tradition of playing up-tempo on offense with a full court pressing defense."
Perzanowski is also thankful for the chance to coach his alma mater.
"I realize how important this program is to our community and am most grateful to Coach Schodzinski for having the confidence to select me and look forward to the challenge," he said. "I know opportunities like this do not come around often and I aim to make the most of it."
Perzanowski, who works full-time at Milleson Insurance Agency in Freeport, also expressed appreciation to his employers, and in particular, Dan Milleson, for allowing him a flexible work schedule necessary to coach at OUE.
"It helped that Dan was a teammate of mine and went to school with me at OUE," Perzanowski said.
"In all seriousness, Dan is a big supporter of Ohio University and especially the Eastern Campus. He told me that he will be at all the games."
Perzanowski, who played high school ball for coach Kim Clifford at St. Clairsville, won't have to wait long to begin his initial season. The Lady Panthers are set to open Saturday at 2 p.m. versus OSU Mansfield in the Health and Physical Education Center.