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 Cabrini.

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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