Coach Renee’ Kudzia
Renee’ started her basketball career at Swanton High School where she was a 3-year letter winner. The team achieved a 62-9 record, 3 league titles and 3 district titles. During her senior year, the team went 25-1 and won by an average of 24 ppg, but lost in regional finals to undefeated state champs. Four of the five starting players her senior year went on to play D1 ball in the Mid-American Conference.
Renee’ went on to play collegiately at Eastern Michigan University. She was a 4 year letter-winner, team captain her senior year, top rebounder junior season, and best defensive player senior year. The team finished 5thin the MAC her senior year when only the top 4 advanced to the MAC Tournament.
Renee’ has an extensive coaching background as well. She has coached at Swanton High School (1988-1992), Owens Community College (1992-1995), Defiance College (1996-1999) and Siena Heights (1999-2003).
She began her coaching career as a senior in high school for Swanton 6thgrade team. On this team, two of those players went on to the 1989 OHSAA State Tournament Semi-Finals, where I was an assistant coach at the high school from 88-92. She helped coach that 1989 team to a league, sectional, district championship and a trip to Columbus for the state tournament. Again in 1991, the team went 24-2 to win league, sectional and district titles losing in the regional semi-finals. Four players went on to collegiate careers, two of which played in the MAC. She also worked full time at Johns-Manville in Waterville, OH as a production scheduler from 1988-94.
She then resurrected the defunct Owens Community College Women’s basketball program and won the conference in the initial year (92-93) of the program going 17-11, earning an NJCAA quarterfinal appearance, and awarded “coach of the year” honors. The 1994-95 team went 20-11 winning conference championship with 13-1 record and getting to the semi-finals of the NJCAA Regional Tournament. She coached the conference “player of the year” and had three players go on to four-year colleges: one at D1 Ball State University and two were D-II universities. She held an overall record 66-52 (4 years). She also assessed student-athlete academic plans/transfer goals as an Admissions Counselor from 94-96.
She then went to Defiance College as an assistant coach (1996-97) where the team finished 25-1 losing in the D-III Elite 8 championship game. She took over as head coach the following season and saw the teams win back-to-back 20 win seasons including the 1999 team winning the MIAA conference & conference title (initial year in the conference) and making it to the NCAA D-III sweet sixteen with a 22-5 overall record. Defiance College led the nation in attendance for D-III women’s games all three years. She also coordinated and directed DC’s first-ever overnight basketball camp.
She then moved on to Siena Heights as head coach and assistant A.D. trying to rebuild a program that hadn’t had a winning season since 1982. In first season, she guided team to then first-ever post-season win in program history, assigned athletic work-study for over 185 athletes and fundraised over 33% of budget to supplement the program. In 2000, the team won the prestigious National Catholic Basketball Championship (NCBT) in Dubuque, IA. The team also upset then #1 ranked NAIA Shawnee State in 2003.
Renee’ has worked with various co-ed camps/clinics including leagues at the Steve Mix Basketball Academy for several summers. She also served as volunteer coach for middle school boys’ travel team from 2017-present.
Renee’ is employed full-time at Silgan Containers as an Area Planner, overseeing planning and inventory of multiple plant operations while developing 12-month budget capacity planning forecasts. She has an Undergraduate degree in Business/Physical Education and recently completed M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Lourdes University.