KENNESAW, Ga. (March 30, 2016) – Agnus McGlade Berenato, (photo) a 1975 graduate of Gloucester Catholic High School and a former resident of Gloucester City N.J., has been named head Women's Basketball Coach at Kennesaw State Univeristy. Berenato is the winningest coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the second-winningest at Georgia Tech.
Berenato, who played for the late Bert Nolan, played alongside her sisters in the 1970's. During her time at Gloucester Catholic Berenato was part of two state championship teams in 1973, and 1974.
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The announcement was made Wednesday by Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams. A press conference to introduce Berenato is set for Thursday, April 14 with more details to come.
"This is a tremendous day for the Kennesaw State family and our women's basketball program," said Williams. "Agnus Berenato is coming home to Atlanta where she spent nearly two decades leading Georgia Tech to national prominence. I am honored and excited that she accepted our offer and can't wait for her to get started. Her track record speaks for itself. We could not ask for a better role model, mentor, and leader of our women's basketball team. She wins, builds programs and does it the right way. I welcome Agnus, her husband Jack, and their children to the Owl Family."
The charismatic Berenato has a proven reputation of building programs. Within three years of assuming head-coaching duties at Georgia Tech, she led the Yellow Jackets to the 1992 WNIT championship. The next year, Tech made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Two years after taking the helm at Pitt, the Panthers rattled off five consecutive postseason berths, including back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16's in 2008 and 2009.
"It is an honor to be selected as the Kennesaw State University women's basketball head coach. To work with, and for, Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams at this thriving university is an exciting opportunity," said Berenato. "I am fired up to get back on the court, meet the team and represent Kennesaw State and our KSU community. Together we will enjoy the journey, grow our student-athletes and experience the thrill of victory. I would like to thank President Dr. Daniel Papp, a man of great integrity and vision;Vaughn Williams and the search committee for their commitment to women's basketball, the commitment to building a formidable Division-I athletic program and their confidence in me to lead this program."
Berenato has won 444 games in her 29-year head coaching career that spans four years at Rider University, 15 at Georgia Tech and 10 at Pitt. Her teams have competed in the postseason on 11 different occasions.
On the court, Berenato has mentored five players to All-America recognition -- from Georgia Tech: Joyce Pierce, Kisha Ford and Sonja Mallory and from Pittsburgh: Shavonte Zellous and Marcedes Walker. Her players achieved 21 all-conference honors at Pitt, and 16 more at Georgia Tech.
Zellous was a three-time first-team All-Big East selection and went on to become the Panthers' first-ever WNBA draft pick when the Detroit Shock selected her in the first round in 2009. Zellous is currently a guard for the New York Liberty. Walker was a four-time All-Big East pick and was Pitt's first All-America honoree in 16 years. Ford and Mallory were each drafted by the New York Liberty out of Georgia Tech –- Mallory in the second round in 2003 and Ford in the fourth round in 1997.
Berenato emphasizes the development of the total person, and her student-athletes have complimented athletic success with academic achievement. She proudly boasts a 100% graduation rate of every student-athlete who completed their eligibility.
She is recognized as an inspirational leader and motivator and a dynamic public speaker. In her three years since leaving Pitt, Berenato has been an analyst for the American Sports Network, has continued to remain active in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), spoken to Fortune 500 companies and University commencements and presented at the Final Four.
In the community and abroad, her extensive list of volunteer work includes a medical mission with Surgicorps to Vietnam in 2015, a 2009 college basketball tour in the Middle East and a mission trip to Jamaica in 2003. She has been a spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Opera while offering her time with the Girl Scouts of America, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Pittsburgh Food Bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Girls on the Run, among many others.
Berenato actively serves as a mentor to several former student-athletes and assistant coaches, who continue to impact the game of women's basketball. The list includes Danielle Donehew, a former Georgia Tech player, who is now the Executive Director of the WBCA, along with seven current Division-I head coaches:
- Pat Coyle, a former Pitt assistant, now head coach at Saint Peter's
- MaChelle Joseph, former Georgia Tech assistant, who succeeded Berenato as Tech's head coach
- Caroline McCombs, a former Pitt assistant, now head coach at Stony Brook
- Yolett McPhee-McCuin, a former Pitt assistant, now head coach at Jacksonville
- Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, a former Tech assistant, now head coach at UNC Asheville
- Lisa Stockton, a former Tech assistant, now head coach at Tulane
- Jeff Williams, a former Pitt assistant, now head coach at La Salle
A 1980 graduate of Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md., Berenato earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and was a three-year starter on the basketball team. Playing for former NBA star Fred Carter, she was a two-time captain for the Mountaineers. Following eight years of service on the college's Board of Trustees, she is now a Trustee Emeritus.
Named an ACC Women's Basketball Legend in 2014, Berenato was recognized on two occasions as a Division I Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. She has been inducted into the South Jersey Hall of Fame, the Rider College Hall of Fame and the Mount St. Mary's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Berenato is a member of the WBCA, the Women's Law Project, and the Girl Scouts Alumnae Association. In the past, she has been a member of the Kodak All-America Selection Committee, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame committee, the Atlanta Women's Network, Inc., the Georgia Women's Intersport Network, Atlanta Women in Sports, and on the board of the McGee Women's Hospital.
She received the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Volunteer Award for exemplary volunteerism from the Jesse Draper Boys' and Girls' Club of Atlanta while at Georgia Tech. Additionally, she was selected by the Institute of International Sports as one of its Sports Ethics Fellows in 1996.
In May of 2009, Berenato was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Seton Hill University and delivered the commencement speech to its spring graduates. She also holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater, Mount St. Mary's.
The product of a basketball family, Berenato's sister is Bernadette McGlade, a former Georgia Tech head coach and now the commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
A native of Gloucester City, N.J., Berenato and her husband Jack have five children: Theresa Marie, Andrew, Joey, Clare, and Christina.
What They're Saying
Geno Auriemma, Head Coach at Connecticut
"Obviously, Agnus has a lot of experience from her years at Georgia Tech and all the success she had there. Then she got Pittsburgh to a Sweet 16, which hadn't happened before and hasn't happened since. I think Kennesaw State made a great choice in hiring someone who knows the area and knows what it takes to build a program."
Tara VanDerveer, Head Coach at Stanford
"I am very excited for Agnus. There's no one more passionate about basketball and no one that's a better teacher -- both on and off the court. I think it's a great opportunity for her and for Kennesaw State. It's wonderful to see her get back to coaching the game she loves."
MaChelle Joseph, Head Coach at Georgia Tech
"Agnus is a brilliant hire for Kennesaw State! She is a great basketball coach, motivator, and mentor! It's great to have Agnus back in Atlanta and back in our business. She will be very successful at KSU."
Bernadette V. McGlade, Commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference
"Agnus is a dynamic coach and leader who has the ability to motivate others to be better. I have no doubt she will enthusiastically use her past experiences to guide the Kennesaw State women's basketball program to new heights. President Daniel Papp and Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams are respected leaders nationally within the NCAA, and I am thrilled Agnus will have the opportunity to work with them and the students at their university."
Bobby Cremins, former Men's Basketball Coach at Georgia Tech
"This is a wonderful hire for Kennesaw State and I couldn't be happier for Agnus. Her assets are her experience, her contacts, and her personality. She will be great at KSU."
Danielle Donehew, Executive Director of the WBCA
"Congratulations to Coach Agnus Berenato and Kennesaw State University. When I was a collegiate student-athlete, Agnus was a central figure in my life. She was my coach, my mentor, and my encourager. She is a gifted teacher who uses the game of basketball to build her student-athletes academically, athletically and as future leaders. She believes in giving back to the community in which she serves. My family and I wish her the best as we are eternally grateful for the impact she has made on my life."
1992 WNIT Champions Georgia Tech
1993 NCAA First Round Georgia Tech
2000 WNIT Third Round Georgia Tech
2001 WNIT First Round Georgia Tech
2002 WNIT First Round Georgia Tech
2003 NCAA First Round Georgia Tech
2006 WNIT Final Four Pittsburgh
2007 NCAA Second Round Pittsburgh
2008 NCAA Sweet 16 Pittsburgh
2009 NCAA Sweet 16 Pittsburgh
2010 WNIT First Round Pittsburgh
1993 Joyce Pierce GT Kodak/WBCA HM All-America
1997 Kisha Ford GT Kodak/WBCA HM All-America
AP HM All-America
2003 Sonja Mallory GT Kodak/WBCA HM All-America
2007 Marcedes Walker Pitt AP HM All-America
2008 Marcedes Walker Pitt WBCA HM All-America
AP HM All-America
2009 Shavonte Zellous Pitt WBCA HM All-America
AP Third Team All-America
- Named an ACC Women's Basketball Legend in 2014
- Led both Georgia Tech and Pitt to the programs' first-ever NCAA Tournament appearances
- Won the WNIT Championship at Georgia Tech in 1992
- Head coach of the WBCA All-Star Team at the 2003 Final Four
- State of Georgia Division I Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-off Club in 1992 and 2003
- Seventh District Order of Eastern Star's Coach of the Year in 2009
- GAHPERD College Coach of the Year in 2000
Halls of Fame
- Rider University, 2002
- Camden County (NJ) Sports Hall of Fame, 2005
- Mount St. Mary's Athletic Hall of Fame, 2015
- Basketball Club of South Jersey Hall of Fame
Honors & Awards
- Susan G. Komen Terri L. Chapman Award, 2012
- Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Seton Hill University
- Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Mount St. Mary's
- "Distinguished Alumni" award from the Mount St. Mary's National Alumni Association
- Named by Pitt Magazine as one of its "12 Phenomenal Women"
- Named to the Board at Magee-Women's Research Institute and Foundation in Pittsburgh
- Bicentennial Medal of Distinction from Mount St. Mary's University
- Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year in 2005 and 2007
- Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction -- Sports and Fitness in 2005
- "Native Son" award recipient, presented by the Philadelphia Sports Writers' Association, in 2004
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee Volunteer Award
Berenato's Coaching Tree
- Pat Coyle, the former Pitt assistant, now head coach at Saint Peter's
- MaChelle Joseph, former Georgia Tech assistant, who succeeded Berenato as Tech's head coach
- Caroline McCombs, the former Pitt assistant, now head coach at Stony Brook
- Yolett McPhee-McCuin, the former Pitt assistant, now head coach at Jacksonville
- Mark Miller, the former Tech assistant, now head coach at Holy Family
- Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, the former Tech assistant, now head coach at UNC Asheville
- Shea Ralph, former Pitt assistant, now assistant at Connecticut
- David Scarborough, former Pitt assistant, now assistant at St. Peter's
- Alex Stewart, former Tech player, now assistant at Georgia Southern
- Lisa Stockton, the former Tech assistant, now head coach at Tulane
- Jeff Williams, the former Pitt assistant, now head coach at La Salle