Kornaker steps down at St. John Fisher

More news about: St. John Fisher
Rob Kornaker led the Cardinals to a 69-13 record and two NCAA Tournament appearances in the last three seasons.
St. John Fisher athletics file photo

Rob Kornaker, who won 318 games in 16 seasons as St. John Fisher's men's basketball coach, announced he is stepping down to spend more time with his family. His assistant Mike Grosodonia II will take over as the Cardinals' head coach.

"My success is directly tied to my wife Leslie who has sacrificed so much along with my children, Alexis and Griffin," said Kornaker in the College's release.  "Those four along with the many assistant coaches and the wonderful players made my job very easy.  Without them, the program would not have achieved the way it has.  It is because of them that we won the right way.  I am looking forward to what the next chapter brings."

Kornaker arrived at St. John Fisher as the College's director of residential life and the head men's golf coach in 1998. In 2000 he joined the men's basketball coaching staff as an assistant to Bob Ward, who is now the College's Athletic Director. Kornaker became the head coach in 2001-02 and, after a 13-13 season, began a run of five straight 20-win seasons. The Cardinals' best season under Kornaker came in 2004-05 when St. John Fisher went 28-1 and were ranked third in the country before losing to Potsdam State in the NCAA Tournament sectional semifinal. The next season St. John Fisher went 26-4 and reached the NCAA Tournament sectional finals.

St. John Fisher won the Empire 8 seven times and reached the NCAA Tournament eight times under Kornaker. The Cardinals were ranked in the D3hoops.com national rankings 47 times over eight seasons including a No. 25 ranking to finish last season.

Kornaker told Hoopsville's Dave McHugh that he decided to step down now so he could watch his son Griffin begin his college playing career at Middlebury. Coach Kornaker had limited opportunities to watch Griffin play high school ball as a senior at Suffield Academy in Connecticut last season.

"It wasn't easy. Even with that I had to miss a practice here and there and I don’t want to have to choose between my son and my job," Rob Kornaker told the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle. "Fisher has been more than a job to me. I'm a coach who is there for my guys, so I had a hard time with that. The closer this season got, I realized I needed to pick my family, pick my son."

Kornaker's daughter Alexis graduated from St. John Fisher. 

St. John Fisher named assistant coach Mike Grosodonia II as the new head coach. Before serving as Kornaker's full-time assistant coach, Grosodonia had a highly successful career at the Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y. where he went 194-38.

The Cardinals open their 2017-18 season at Hobart on November 15 and then will play Birmingham-Southern and Hope in the Greak Lakes Inivatational.