Alumna hired to revive struggling program
April 25, 2011 —
For the second time in two years, SVSU hired a former student to coach their alma mater.
Cale Wassermann led the Cardinals to a 9-6-3 record in his first full season as men’s soccer coach.
Former women’s basketball player Jamie Pewinski will look to have the same success.
Pewinski was hired as the 10th coach in the program’s history. Pewinski takes over the vacant position left after Shannon Baugh unexpectedly resigned more than halfway through the season.
“After an extensive national search, we have found a perfect fit in Jamie Pewinski to lead our women’s basketball program,” said Mike Watson, athletic director.
In SVSU’s search, the Cardinals were looking for a coach with a GLIAC background.
With Pewinski, they found that coach.
As coach of Lake Superior State for the last five seasons, Pewinski led the Lakers to a 77-61 record, including a 16-10 overall record in 2010. Before taking over as coach, she was an assistant coach at LSSU for seven seasons. The Lakers were 142-57 in that stretch.
“We felt we needed a coach that could restore our women’s basketball program back to the glory years,” Watson said. “Who else better to understand to where this program needed to go than one of our own alumna?”
While Pewinski played at Oakland University, she graduated from SVSU in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. She helped lead Oakland to a 90-27 record.
Pewinski has her work cut out in order to resuscitate a program that has struggled in recent memory.
Under Baugh, the Cardinals were 16-58 in less than three years. Assistant Joe Zinni took over on an interim basis and led SVSU to a 2-6 finish.
In her first season, Pewinski returns a number of players with collegiate experience. While the Cardinals lose senior forwards Brittany Burkhardt and Rhonda Gusa along with senior guard Kelley Wesp, the cupboard isn’t bare.
Guard Marah Kyle returns for her senior season along with junior forward Cheritee Green and junior guard Jasmine Woods.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me,” Pewinski said. “It’s not something I take lightly to come in and be the 10th coach of this university.”