Kanaskie promoted to Associate Head Coach at UNCW

UNCW men’s basketball head coach Takayo Siddle has announced the promotion of Kurt Kanaskie to associate head coach for the 2022 College Basketball Invitational champions.

Kanaskie has served as assistant coach for the last two seasons and played a key role in one of the biggest turnarounds in the NCAA Division I ranks in 2021-22.

“From the day he started, Kurt has been a perfect fit for our program,” said Siddle. “We faced a challenging job in rebuilding a proud program and he’s been right in the middle of the transformation. We’re very pleased to reward him for a job well done.”

Kanaskie, who has more than 40 years of college basketball coaching experience, joined Siddle’s staff in April of 2020. He was the first coaching hire for Siddle and came to the North Carolina coast from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he spent six seasons at Air Force.

He helped the Seahawks orchestrate a major resurgence in men’s hoops last season. The Seahawks finished with a 27-9 record, won a share of the regular season crown in the Colonial Athletic Association and captured the championship of the Roman CBI in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Kanaskie, who has headed up three programs during his extensive career, spent four years as an assistant coach at Air Force before being elevated to associate head coach in 2018-19. He helped the Falcons post three 14-win seasons and three conference tournament victories.

Kanaskie went to the Rocky Mountain State from Virginia Tech, where he was an assistant coach with the Hokies. Prior to his stop in Blacksburg, Kanaskie served as the head coach at Drake for seven seasons (1996-2003) after becoming one of the most successful Division II head coaches in Pennsylvania history.

Following a stellar playing career at La Salle, Kanaskie began his coaching career as an assistant at South Carolina for five seasons.

His first head coaching job came at DII Lock Haven, directing the Bald Eagles for three seasons. He was named Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference (PSAC) Coach of the Year twice after inheriting a program that went 18-84 over the previous four years.

Kanaskie then moved across the state to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). In eight seasons at IUP, Kanaskie was named PSAC Coach of the Year twice and voted Basketball Times National Coach of the Year on two occasions. Kanaskie inherited an IUP program that suffered through four straight losing seasons and piloted the Crimson Hawks to seven straight winning records. In 1993, IUP made the PSAC semifinals for the first time in 16 years.

In 1994-95, IUP collected its first national ranking in school history (No. 5), secured an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time and advanced to the Elite Eight. One year later, IUP climbed to No. 1 in the country and advanced to the national semifinals.

In the fall of 1996, Kanaskie took his first Division I head coaching job at Drake and piloted the Bulldogs for seven seasons. He then left to join the Penn State program, first as an assistant coach under former Nittany Lion skipper Ed DeChellis and later as associate head coach. The Nittany Lions earned three postseason berths and won the 2009 NIT Championship. Kanaskie departed Penn State after the 2010-11 campaign and spent one year as associate head coach at Navy before moving on to Virginia Tech for two seasons.

As a player at La Salle, Kanaskie picked up All-Big Five and All-East Coast Conference honors in Philadelphia, becoming the school’s ninth all-time scorer. He was an Academic All-American and was drafted by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors in 1980.

Kanaskie completed his Bachelor’s Degree from La Salle in 1980 and earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration at South Carolina in 1985.

A native of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Kanaskie and his wife, Tammy, have three children; a daughter, Kristin Kanaskie Grotewold, and sons, Kevin and Kyle.


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