FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 8, 2005
Contact: KeepJohnDzik.com Press Contact
Radnor, Pa. — Over 500 former Cabrini College alumni,
family and friends returned to the Radnor campus on February 5, 2005
for the men’s basketball program’s annual alumni game. Fifty of
those alumni were former Cavaliers players, marking the highest
turnout the game has seen in its history.
After the contest, an alumni event sponsored by
www.keepjohndzik.com saw almost the 100 people gather at JD
McGillicuddy’s in Ardmore, Pa. One member of the College’s Alumni
Board said the postgame event was also “one of the highest alumni
attended events that they had ever seen.”
All of these former Cabrini students and athletes
returned to the campus for one single reason – John Dzik. Dzik has
been the head men’s basketball coach for the Cavaliers program since
1980. He has won 480 career games at the Division III institution
and has led the program to seven NCAA Tournament appearances,
including a Sweet Sixteen run several years ago.
Unfortunately all that is to end on March 18, 2005, as
the Vice President of Student Development Dr. Christine Lysionek has
announced that Dzik’s contract would not be renewed at the
conclusion of the 2004-2005 season.
In an e-mail statement that College President
Antoinette Iadarola sent to “select” alumni, she indicated the
reason Dzik’s contract was not being renewed was that “college
officials determined that new leadership would align the men’s
basketball program more closely with the athletic department’s
strategic agenda for the future.”
Word has it that the President actually paid a
consultant to write the statement, which could explain why Iadarola
referred to Dzik’s “numerous state titles” in the letter. Cabrini
College competes at the NCAA Division III level in the Pennsylvania
Athletic Conference and has at no time played for a state title
during Dzik’s tenure. In fact, no collegiate athletic program
competes for a state title.
Prior to this season, Dzik also wore a dual hat as
Cabrini College’s Director of Athletics, a post he had held since
1980. Last year, Iadarola approached Dzik regarding stepping down to
allow Dzik’s Associate Athletic Director Leslie Danehy to advance to
the athletic director’s seat. Dzik agreed because it would help the
College. He accepted a newly created position of Special Assistant
to the President for Athletic Advancement.
Last summer Dzik and his wife Susan were honored by
the College community as honorary alumnus. At the event, Iadarola
stated how the College was proud of Dzik’s accomplishments and was
looking forward to him reaching the 500-win plateau. In addition,
the President discussed Dzik’s new role in the Institutional
Advancement office at Cabrini, a role that he would “split 50-50”
with his coaching duties.
Several weeks ago, Dzik was informed from his
supervisor in Institutional Advancement, Robin Moll (vice president
of institutional advancement) that he would be required to take
personal or vacation time whenever his coaching duties would take
him out of the Institutional Advancement office. Dzik decided to
resign his position as Special Assistant with the understanding that
he wanted to remain as head men’s basketball coach. Soon after his
resignation from the Institutional Advancement office Dzik was
notified his contract would not be renewed.
As word leaked of the decision, no official statement
came from the College until it was reported by the local media,
College alumni began to voice their outrage regarding the decision
and treatment of Dzik. The website www.keepjohndzik.com has received
91 letters to date that have been sent to the College in support of
Dzik. Four of the 14-member Alumni Board have resigned their
positions over the decision, with more expected.
In a time when collegiate athletics has come under the
gun and all anyone ever hears about is the poor decisions of
athletes and the attempted cover up by coaches and school officials,
John Dzik has been a refreshing breath of air. His impact to the
Cabrini community goes further than basketball and athletics. He has
served as advisor for the College’s Student Government Association.
Along with a current professor and member Dzik – Page 3 of the
Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Dzik helped create Cabrini
Spirit Day, a day in which the College community gathers to
celebrate the memory of its founder Mother Ursala and Mother
While the alumni gathered on Saturday to celebrate the
man that is John Dzik, Iadarola and her administration met on campus
at undisclosed location for a “Staff Development Day.” No one from
the College administration was present for the men’s and women’s
basketball games that took place against Gwynedd-Mercy College prior
to the alumni game, or for the alumni game itself.
February 5 was also special for another reason, as it
was Dzik’s birthday, a fact not lost on the alumni who gathered as
they sang Happy Birthday to Dzik and presented him a with a cake at
halftime of the alumni game. Hopefully, it will be the first of many
more gifts that the alumni can present to Dzik.
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