June 24, 2005
Columbia, SC – University of South Carolina Head Basketball Coach Dave Odom proudly announced today that Ken Potosnak will join the Gamecock basketball staff as an assistant coach. Potosnak will replace Ricky Stokes, who is now the head coach at East Carolina University.
Potosnak is familiar with Odom’s system as he served as a graduate assistant under Odom at Wake Forest from 1990-1992.
“We are thrilled to have Ken Potosnak join our staff as an assistant coach,” said Odom. “I have known Ken for over 15 years as both a player and a coach. He was on my staff at Wake Forest and he was instrumental in helping us win championship titles. Ken is highly respected in the coaching profession as an excellent recruiter; he is a fine teacher and coach. He cares deeply about the total development of his student-athletes. Ken will make an immediate and positive impact on Carolina’s basketball program.”
“I am very excited about the opportunity to once again work for Coach Odom and with the outstanding staff and team at Carolina,” said Potosnak. “Coaching in South Carolina the past 13 years (eight at Furman, five at The Citadel), I followed Carolina’s progress with interest and was both proud and happy when they won the NIT Championship this past season. I know the University and its fans care deeply about the Gamecocks and their support of the athletics program is second to none.
“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to work for a terrific university in an outstanding conference. I look forward to joining the staff and team as we work together to build a program that we can all be proud of.”
Prior to coming to South Carolina, Potosnak was an assistant coach under head coach Larry Davis at Furman University for the past eight years.
“”Coach Potosnak has been a hard working and loyal assistant who has been a key piece of the puzzle that helped turned the Furman basketball program around,” said Davis. “He did a wonderful job in helping recruit both quality students and people as well as outstanding players during his time here. In addition, he has great international contacts. He was also an excellent teacher on the court and is one of the best and bright young assistants in the game today. While it will be a big loss for our program, we wish him nothing but the best at the University of South Carolina. I know he will do a quality job for one of the premier coaches in the Southeastern Conference in Dave Odom.”
Furman was 16-13 in 2005 and 9-7 in Southern Conference South Division play (fourth place). It was the first winning league season for FU since the 1991-92 campaign. Furman defeated Chattanooga 73-65 on their home court (in the regular season finale), only a week before the Mocs won the league tournament (also in Chattanooga) and the SoCon’s bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Since coming to Furman, Potosnak played a major role in the Paladins rebuilding efforts, investing time and energy in every aspect of the program, including domestic and international recruiting, where his numerous contacts and hard work greatly assisted in the school’s search for outstanding young talent. Two of Potosnak’s top international recruits, Brazilian guard Guilherme Da Luz and French forward Karim Souchu, both All-Southern Conference performers, recently completed outstanding Paladin careers. His domestic focus was primarily the state of Georgia, where Furman secured a pair of top notch performers in Quan Prowell, last year’s SoCon Freshman-of-the-Year, and Robby Bostain, the SoCon’s leading scoring freshman a year ago.
Prior to joining the Paladin staff, Potosnak served as an assistant at The Citadel (1992-97) for five seasons. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Wake Forest in 1990, where he served alongside then Deacon assistant coach Larry Davis. During his two-year stay in Winston-Salem, the Deacons made consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament with teams that featured NBA players Randolph Childress, Rodney Rogers, Chris King, and Anthony Tucker.
A 1990 graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., Potosnak earned four letters in basketball during his collegiate career. As a senior in 1990, he was named Randolph-Macon’s Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year.
A native of New Kensington, Pa., Potosnak, earned a master’s degree from Wake Forest in 1992.