Spotlight on Coach Ryan Kadlubowski

Coach Kadlubowski and the Knights playing against Farmingdale. (Photo by Lee Ferris, Mount Saint Mary College)

by Daniel Witke

 

Entering his sixth year as the head basketball coach for Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC), Ryan Kadlubowski has built up the program every season.

Kadlubowski, known as Coach “Kad” by his players, came to MSMC in 2009. In his first season as head coach, the team went 10-15, and in following season 19-9, tying a program record for wins in a season.

“2010 was my first recruiting class that included eight incoming freshman,” said Kadlubowski. “I had a vision that I wanted to create.”

Kadlubowski was a starter for the basketball team at the University of Rochester. He played under Coach Mike Neer who was the head coach at Rochester for 34 seasons.

Neer’s influence helped Kadlubowski gain coaching experience, aiding in making the transition from player to assistant coach, then to head coach.

“My senior year of college, Neer was looking to me as an assistant to help the younger guys improve,” said Kadlubowski. “It was that year I decided I wanted to follow is his footsteps.”

The summer after college, Coach Kad received a job as the assistant coach for Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Three years later, he returned to Rochester where he would become the assistant for Neer. After spending another three years gaining coaching experience, he began applying for head coaching positions.

When MSMC hired him he was excited to have the opportunity.

“I wanted to be at a place that respected my values but at the same time took pride in athletics and academics,” said Kadlubowski.

Even after all of the personal titles and team records, Coach Kad’s favorite part about coaching is hearing about his players doing well academically, rather than succeeding on the basketball court.

“It is more exciting for one of my players to come up to me and tell me they got accepted into medical school than any win can provide,” said Kadlubowski.

In his five years so far, the team has made the playoffs four times, clinching the second seed twice.

“I didn’t think we would get good that fast,” said Kadlubowski.

In the 2010-11 season, Kadlubowski led his team to the Skyline finals for the first time since 2004. As a result, he was voted second Skyline coach of the year for the second time.

“When we won the ECAC [Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference] playoff tournament in 2011, I was really proud of my players,” said Kadlubowski. “I can be the best coach in the world but it’s the players that won the tournament, not me.”

Kadlubowski’s main goal is to win a Skyline Conference Championship, but understands that he has a long road ahead of him.

“Every year is different, involved with injuries and match ups, all we can do is keep moving forward,” said Kadlubowski. “It’s a long season but I’m confident we can continue to make the playoffs every year.”