Original article (Fairleigh Dickinson University Hires Angelika Szumilo as Head Women’s Basketball Coach) on Fairleigh Dickinson University’s athletic website fduknights.com.
Fairleigh Dickinson University and Director of Athletics Bradford D. Hurlbut announced today that Angelika Szumilo will be the seventh head women’s basketball coach at the University’s Division I Metropolitan Campus, starting her new role on April 26, 2019.
The Knights plan to introduce Szumilo to the FDU community in a press conference on Monday, April 29, at 1 p.m., inside the Stratis Lounge in the Rothman Center.
“We are thrilled to welcome Angelika to the Fairleigh Dickinson University family as our women’s basketball head coach,” said Hurlbut. “She has been a proven winner at every step of her career, both as a student-athlete and a coach. Her love and dedication to the game and her student-athletes was clearly evident to the search committee. Equally compelling was Angelika’s ability and intimate knowledge of how to build and sustain winning programs, both on and off the court. We are truly excited for what the future holds for the Knights with Angelika leading the program.”
Szumilo arrives at Fairleigh Dickinson after coaching for the past eight seasons at Fordham University as the associate head coach. In her tenure at Fordham, her teams won two Atlantic 10 Championships and also finished six seasons with 20-plus wins, including this past year when the Rams finished 25-9 and won the A10 Tournament title. She has also served as an assistant coach at Monmouth University and at LIU Brooklyn, where she was a two-sport athlete and helped the Blackbirds win the NEC championship as a player in 2001.
“It is a great honor to be selected as the next head women’s basketball coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University,” Szumilo said. “I am humbled, grateful and excited for this opportunity to serve the student-athletes, the athletic department, the University and the FDU community. I would like to thank athletic director, Bradford Hurlbut, senior woman administrator, Cathy Liggett, and the rest of the search committee for their confidence in me to lead this program. I think that FDU is an incredible place that has a lot to offer both on and off the court, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work!”
Since 2011, Szumilo has served as the associate head coach at Fordham alongside Stephanie Gaitley. This past season, the Rams captured the program’s first-ever A10 Tournament championship and was the A10 co-regular season champion as well. The Rams advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in Szumilo’s tenure (also in 2014) and reached the postseason for the fifth time in seven years, having earned berths to the WNIT in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018.
“I am excited to meet the team and begin to build relationships that will create a strong foundation of a successful program,” Szumilo continued. “Having played and coached in the NEC for 11 years, I believe with my whole heart that we can establish a winning culture and win at FDU. My husband and my two boys are thrilled to be a part of the Knights family!”
Szumilo served as the recruiting coordinator as part of her role with the Rams, helping recruit and coach four first team All-A10 players, four second team and third team All-A10 players, three A10 All-Rookie players and one A10 Defensive Player of the Year. She also assisted with player development, working closely with the guards on the team, and she also handled budgetary and compliance needs for the Rams. Her teams have also achieved success in the classroom, ranking 24th in the WBCA Academic Top 25 Honor Roll during the 2017-18 season.
Prior to Fordham, Szumilo was an assistant coach with Gaitley at Monmouth for three seasons, being promoted to associate head coach for her third year (2010-11) with the Hawks. During her time in West Long Branch, Monmouth reached 20 wins in a season for the first time since 1983 and earned the program’s first-ever berth into the WNIT in 2011. The Hawks finished with a winning record in all three of her seasons with the team and reached the NEC Championship game in 2010-11 while also ranking 15th in the WBCA Academic Top 25 Honor Roll in 2009-10.
The Stalowa Wola, Poland, native also assisted Gaitley at LIU Brooklyn from 2003-08. During her five years with the Blackbirds, Szumilo helped the team record their two winningest seasons in program history, going 22-9 and winning the NEC regular season title in 2006-07, also earning the program’s first-ever berth to the WNIT that season. The following year, LIU Brooklyn went 24-8, the most victories in a single season for the program.
“I am incredibly proud of Ang and feel she will take FDU to new heights,” Fordham head coach Stephanie Gaitley said. “Ang and I worked together for 16 years and I have seen her grow into a very special coach. Her work ethic is second to none. I have no doubt Ang will inspire the FDU student-athletes to achieve at their highest level both on and off the court. She will make her team and the FDU community part of her second family. She has already hit the ground running with alums, as my sister [Coco Vanderslice] was a member of the team from 1981-85. As a former player and coach in the NEC, Ang will be well prepared to bring that same success to the FDU Knights.”
Szumilo was a two-sport athlete at LIU Brooklyn, lettering in two seasons with the women’s basketball team and also co-captaining the lacrosse team her senior year. Then Angelika Stec, she led the team in assists in both her seasons and made the NEC All-Tournament team both years, and her 229 career assists still ranks 12th in program history. Her 136 assists in her first season with the Blackbirds is the fifth-most in a single season for the program, and she helped the Blackbirds win the 2001 NEC title that year. The following year, she was the recipient of her school’s Scholar Athlete of the Year award.
Szumilo graduated from LIU Brooklyn in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in sport science with specialization in adapted physical science. She transferred to LIU Brooklyn after receiving an Associate in Arts degree from Mercer County Community College in 2000. She co-captained the Mercer County team that won the Region XIX Championship in back-to-back years and was named Region XIX Player of the Year in 2000 as well as First Team All-Region XIX in 1999.
She currently resides in Ridgefield, N.J., with her husband, Rafal, and their two sons, Krystian and Daniel.