Szymanski quits as coach of Loyola women

January 29, 1992|By John W. Stewart

Frank Szymanski ended a 29-year collegiate coaching career yesterday when he resigned as head coach of women's basketball at Loyola College.

Assistant coach Donna Seybold has been named interim head coach and will be on the sidelines when Loyola meets Manhattan College, her alma mater, tomorrow night at Reitz Arena.

"I gave it my best shot, and it wasn't enough," Szymanski said. He leaves a program that is 4-11, 1-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. His record in five years at Loyola was 24-103.

In a statement, he said: "My decision was based on the team's lack of progress, its won-lost record, and the increased responsibilities of my full-time position at the University of Baltimore.

"Developing a Division I program as a part-time coach has placed great demands on my time and energy. In order to go forward, a full-time person is needed, one who can take the program to the next level -- winning."

Szymanski indicated he took the step now to give a search committee adequate time to hire a successor without losing too much time in the recruiting process.

Brought in five years ago, he recruited for a team in the Northeast Conference, and two years later the team was in the tougher MAAC.

The freshman class has shown promise, but the team has been burdened by the MAAC requirements for scheduling teams from more high-profile conferences, such as Atlantic Coast, Big East and Big Ten.

This season, Loyola has played nationally ranked Maryland, George Washington and North Carolina (losses by at least 35 points each), and Duke is still ahead.

A Baltimore native, Szymanski, 54, holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and graduate degrees from Maryland and the University of Baltimore. His head coaching background included stints as the men's coach at the Community College of Baltimore, Drexel University and the University of Baltimore.

At Baltimore, where he served for 13 years as athletic director and coach, his teams often were among the best in Division II. He played a vital role in focusing attention on college basketball in a city that boasted two national champions (Morgan State and Coppin State) and two nationally ranked teams (Baltimore and Towson State).

After Baltimore discontinued intercollegiate athletics in 1983, Szymanski remained as a teacher and director of the school's extensive intramural program.

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