Sept. 12, 2011
INDIANA, Pa. -- Navy men's basketball associate head coach Kurt Kanaskie was inducted into the IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) Athletics Hall of Fame over the weekend after a remarkable stint as the program's head coach in the mid-1990s.
An All-Big Five basketball player at LaSalle, Kanaskie was one the most successful head coaches in IUP history. Over the span of eight seasons, Kanaskie was a two-time PSAC Coach of the Year and the Basketball Times National Coach of the Year two years in a row.
Kanaskie came to Navy after eight years at Penn State, all under Navy head coach Ed DeChellis, with the last two serving as an associate head coach. Prior to his time at Penn State, Kanaskie served as the head coach at Drake for seven seasons (1997-03) and was one of the most successful Division II head coaches in Pennsylvania history.
IUP went to the NCAA tournament three times in Kanaskie's career, including a trip to the Division II Final Four in 1995. The Crimson Hawks were nationally ranked for the first time in school history in 1994-95, and they carried the No. 1 ranking in the nation for the entire 1995-96 season. Kanaskie inherited an IUP program that had posted four straight losing seasons and, after a first year of building a solid foundation, posted seven straight winning records.
After IUP, Kanaskie was the head coach at Drake University until 2003, when he accepted the associate head coaching job at Penn State. In 2010, he was inducted into the West Shore Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Prior to his tenure at IUP, Kanaskie served as the head coach at nearby Lock Haven University for three years (1986-88). He inherited a Bald Eagle program that was 18-84 over the previous four seasons and in his first year set a school record for wins with 15. His LHU team reached the NCAA Tournament a year later and earned the school's first-ever national ranking. He was named PSAC Coach of the Year twice at LHU, giving him a total of four PSAC coaching awards.
The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina and served on the Gamecock staff for five seasons. Kanaskie was an All-State basketball player at Cumberland Valley High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from La Salle University in 1980 and a Master of Business Administration from South Carolina in 1985. While at La Salle, he earned All-Big Five and All-East Coast Conference honors, was an academic All-American, and left as the school's ninth all-time leading scorer. He was drafted by the NBA's Golden State Warriors.
Kurt is the father of Kristin, Kevin and Kyle Kanaskie.
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