KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Charlie Katsiaficas of the Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and Tony Wingen of Carnegie Mellon University, each having dedicated their careers to growing men’s basketball in NCAA Division III over the last three decades, will receive Division III Outstanding Service Awards on Friday, April 5, from the National Association of Basketball Coaches at the Division III coaches meeting during the annual NABC Convention and NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four in Minneapolis. These awards recognize those who have contributed significantly “inside and outside the lines” of coaching as distinguished members of their communities.
Now in his 32nd season as the head coach of the Sagehens, “Coach Kat” has led his teams to 11 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships, including a stretch of four straight crowns, and 11 NCAA Division III tournament berths. Pomona-Pitzer has had winning seasons in 25 of 31 seasons under Katsiaficas with 463 wins entering the 2018-19 season.
A native of Ellsworth, Maine, Katsiaficas was team captain while playing at Tufts University, earning a degree in economics and later earned a M.Ed. degree from Azusa Pacific University. He is a Professor of Physical Education and served as Director of Athletics and Chair of the Department of Physical Education until 2015.
Joining the Pomona-Pitzer staff, Katsiaficas served as an assistant for two years under Gregg Popovich, now the head coach of the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. During that time, the Sagehens won their first SCIAC title in 68 years in 1985-86. After serving as interim head coach for one season and leading Pomona-Pitzer to a second-place conference finish, he left the college for one season before returning a year later to assume his lengthy career as head coach.
Katsiaficas has been a vibrant member of NABC and the NCAA committees, advocating for Division III men’s basketball. He has served on the NCAA Division III West Region Men’s Basketball Committee as a member and chair and later as a member of the NCAA Division III national committee. An NABC congressman, he serves on the all-district and All-America committee and is on the Josten Trophy Committee to select the most outstanding player in Division III men’s basketball.
“I have known Charlie for a very long-time and he has worked selflessly for Division III college basketball. He has been active on the NCAA regional committee, as a member of the NABC Division III Congress and All-America Committee,” said Charlie Brock, NABC president and head coach at Springfield College. “Charlie is always ready to step up whenever a need arises.”
A New England native like Katsiaficas, Wingen hails from Enfield, Conn., and went on to nearby Springfield College, earning a B.S. in physical education and a M.S. in athletic administration. He also began his coaching career in the Birthplace of Basketball as an assistant at Springfield from 1982-85 before leaving to take a similar position at Brown University in 1986. He helped the Bears win the Ivy League championship and that team was recently inducted into the Brown Hall of Fame.
An assistant coach at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., for two seasons, Wingen then served as head coach for two years before moving on to his position at Carnegie Mellon.
Now in his 29th season with the Tartans, his 2008-09 team holds the program record for wins in a season with 20 and also won Carnegie Mellon’s first-ever NCAA tournament game against Brockport State.
He became the Tartans’ all-time leader in wins in 2006 with a win over University Athletic Association opponent Washington University in St. Louis and had amassed 333 victories entering the 2018-19 season. Wingen and his coaching staff were honored as the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year in back-to-back seasons, 2004-2006. In 2006, he was named Great Lakes Coach of the Year.
“Tony Wingen has been a tremendous colleague for 27 years, whether it was when I started in the league as a young assistant coach or now after 20 years as a head coach. Tony has always been available to me and other coaches in the UAA for support and advice,” said Mike McGrath, head coach at the University of Chicago. “Tony has put in countless hours in the development of coaches and players in Division III basketball as chair of the NABC Committee on Academics, leading the way in the creation of the Honors Court and Team Academic Excellence Awards to honor men’s basketball student-athletes for success in the classroom.”
“As an outsider it is clearly evident that the greatest commitment that Tony has made over the years is to Carnegie Mellon University, its athletic department, its basketball program, and all of its student-athletes,” said McGrath. “The number of responsibilities, often tedious, that Tony has had at CMU are countless and no job was too small for him to do with great pride at the university.”