The University of Toledo introduced Tod Kowalczyk as its 18th men’s basketball coach Tuesday afternoon.
Kowalczyk, 43, leaves the same post at Wisconsin-Green Bay (Horizon League) where he put together a 136-112 record in eight seasons at the helm of the Phoenix.
“Tod is the perfect coach to lead this team and I couldn’t be more excited about what he’s going to bring to the table for the University of Toledo,” said Rockets athletic director Mike O’ Brien. “He’s here to build the program, which includes things off the court, making sure our student-athletes graduate and make good social decisions.”
The university offered the position to Kowalczyk just under three weeks after former coach Gene Cross announced his resignation March 11 following a 4-28 season that included a 1-15 mark in the Mid-American Conference, both program worsts.
UT inked Kowalczyk to a five-year contract that will pay him $280,000 per.
The Phoenix finished among the top four in the Horizon League for seven straight seasons under Kowalczyk. They went 22-13 in 2009-10 and registered back-to-back 20-win campaigns in Kowalczyk’s final two years, including second and third place conference finishes and a pair of appearances in the College Basketball Invitational tournament.
A native and longtime resident of the Green Bay area, Kowalczyk said he and his family are excited to make the move to Toledo.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to coach at the University of Toledo and become a part of the greater Toledo community,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of building a championship-caliber program and making Rocket fans proud of our team. We will do it with hard work and integrity. Our student-athletes will represent our institution in a first-class and positive manner.”
Exceptional academic performances by Kowalczyk’s teams at UWGB weighed heavily into UT’s decision to offer him the job.
“Among the many positives about Tod, he graduates his players,” O’Brien said. “He has a 100-percent graduation rate for his players in his eight years [at UWGB]. It was a good field of candidates, but he just clearly rose to the top.”