By Justin Rimpi
Fairleigh Dickinson University and Director of Athletics Brad Hurlbut announced that Angelika Szumilo will be the seventh head women’s basketball coach at the Metropolitan Campus and will begin her new role April 26, 2019.
The Knights plan to introduce Szumilo to FDU in a press conference on Monday, April 29, at 1 p.m., inside the Stratis Lounge in the Rothman Center.
The previous head coach Pete Cinella did not have his contract renewed following the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season.
This is the first hiring in the tenure of Hurlbut, who took over as Director of Athletics on Feb. 18, 2019.
Szumilo will be joined by two assistant coaches from last year’s staff Rich Biddulph and Rayven Johnson.
“We are thrilled to welcome Angelika to the Fairleigh Dickinson University family as our women’s basketball head coach,” said Hurlbut. “She has been a proven winner at every step of her career, both as a student-athlete and a coach. Her love and dedication to the game and her student-athletes was clearly evident to the search committee. Equally compelling was Angelika’s ability and intimate knowledge of how to build and sustain winning programs, both on and off the court. We are truly excited for what the future holds for the Knights with Angelika leading the program.”
Szumilo arrives at Fairleigh Dickinson after coaching for the past eight seasons at Fordham University as the associate head coach. In her tenure at Fordham, her teams won two Atlantic 10 Championships and also finished six seasons with 20-plus wins, including this past year when the Rams finished 25-9 and won the A10 Tournament title. She has also served as an assistant coach at Monmouth University and at LIU Brooklyn, where she was a two-sport athlete and helped the Blackbirds win the NEC championship as a player in 2001.
Szumilo served as the recruiting coordinator as part of her role with the Rams, helping recruit and coach four first team All-A10 players, four second team and third team All-A10 players, three A10 All-Rookie players and one A10 Defensive Player of the Year.
Szumilo is a native of Poland, and this should serve the Knights well as the hiring could buoy the Knights’ chances of getting top-flight international players at a university that prides itself on being: “The Leader in Global Education.”
On the roster of returning Knights players, only one is from outside the country. The team currently has a lack of international depth that Szumilo should look to change as she takes control of the program.
Szumilo has a wealth of experience that has prepared her for the biggest job in her coaching career-to-date. Having great success at all of her previous coaching stops makes her the right coach to take the Knights over the top, and bring the program to new heights.
The Northeast Conference has been a common thread throughout the playing and coaching career of Szumilo. This means that Szumilo knows what it takes to win in the conference, and should be able to apply her wealth of knowledge from being around the conference for almost two decades, to usher in a new era of Knights basketball.
According to the New York Times, the average women’s head basketball coach makes $171,000 a year.
On the FDU campus, the average salary for a woman’s head coach is $44,000. This is according to the 2017 FDU Equity in Disclosure Act Survey.
Information for this article was obtained from an April 26, 2019 press release by FDU Athletics