The St. John Fisher College Athletics Department has announced that Mike Grosodonia II has been named the head coach of the men’s basketball program following the announcement that Rob Kornaker will step down after nearly two decades at the helm.
“I would like to start by saying congratulations to Rob Kornaker on an unbelievable career,” stated Grosodonia, who will become just the fourth head coach in the program’s storied history that began in 1963 under Hall-of-Famer Bobby Wanzer. “Rob ran a first-class program and I was fortunate that he thought enough of me to bring me in to be a part of it. I would also like to thank Athletics Director Bob Ward for entrusting to me this incredibly exciting opportunity. I believe in this team and its potential. I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Grosodonia, who spent the 2016-17 season as the Cardinals’ first assistant coach, brings a wealth of head coaching experience to Fisher after most recently leading the Aquinas Institute’s varsity boy’s basketball team for over a decade.
Grosodonia transformed what had traditionally been a good program at Aquinas into a perennial powerhouse in a short period of time. While patrolling the sidelines, Grosodonia won nearly 200 games (194-38) and boasted a career winning percentage of .836. Under his guidance, Aquinas captured the 2016 New York State Public High School Athletic Association State title for the first time in team history.
During his tenure, Grosodonia won six Section V titles and made four trips to the State Final Four. He was named the All-Greater Rochester Coach of the Year twice and would go on to be named the Class AA Coach of the Year as well.
“Coach Grosodonia was an excellent addition to our coaching staff last year as a full-time assistant coach,” commented Ward, who has served as the Athletics Director for over 30 years and won over 200 games as a head coach. “During Mike’s head coaching career at Aquinas Institute and as an assistant last year at St. John Fisher College he has exhibited all the qualities we would look for in a head coach. Mike is extremely hard working, knowledgeable, is an excellent recruiter, has the loyalty of his players and is well-balanced in his professional and family life. He has an important role in the Athletic Department and we expect him to carry on the great tradition of Fisher basketball that Coach Kornaker helped to build.”
Last season, Grosodonia helped lead the Cardinals to one of their best seasons in recent memory as the team went 23-6 and 15-1 in Empire 8 Conference play. With Grosodonia on the bench, Fisher won its seventh Empire 8 title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship after ousting St. Lawrence in the opening round of play.
Grosodonia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from the College at Brockport and would go to obtain a Master’s degree in Special Education from Roberts Wesleyan College.
“My family and I are grateful and excited for the opportunity to carry on the tradition and success that Coach Kornaker, Coach Ward and Coach Wanzer all helped to create here at Fisher,” added Grosodonia.
Men’s basketball tips off its season on November 15th when it travels to Geneva to battle the Hobart College Statesmen in a non-conference bout.