Head coach Lubomyr Lichonczak begins his fourth season at the helm of the UTSA women’s basketball program after becoming the eighth head coach in school history during the summer of 2013.
Through three seasons with UTSA, Lichonczak has amassed a 40-51 (.440) record and has led his teams to the program’s only two wins over nationally ranked programs, both of which were Conference USA opponents (WKU and UTEP).
In the past two seasons, he has helped his squads finish top two in the league in either defensive scoring or defensive field-goal percentage, allowing opponents a league-best 37.1 percent shooting this past season.
Along with owning the conference’s best defensive field-goal percentage, the Roadrunners set an NCAA record on Dec. 28 when UTSA and Texas Southern combined for 29 total blocks, surpassing the previous NCAA mark of 23 set back in 2009. The Roadrunners accounted for 16 swats, a new single-season record, while TSU checked in with 13.
On the other end of the court, the Roadrunners reached triple digits for the first time since the 1993-94 season when UTSA defeated Prairie View A&M by nearly 70 points. The Roadrunners handed Division III Howard Payne a 106-65 loss, a feat 12 years in the making.
Lichonczak’s most successful season came during the 2014-15 campaign when the Roadrunners improved to a 16-15 record and tied for fourth in the Conference USA standings, which earned them a first-round bye at the Conference USA Basketball Championships hosted by UAB. The Roadrunners went on to face Old Dominion for the second straight year in the quarterfinals and suffered a loss to wrap up the season.
That same year, Lichonczak guided his team to the program’s first-ever victory over a ranked opponent in a 64-63 win over No. 24 WKU. Leading scorer Kamra King concluded her senior campaign averaging 11.7 points per game and became the first Roadrunner to lead the team in scoring each of her four years. King also became the all-time leader in games started (118), surpassing Monica Gibbs’ 113 career starts.
With his guidance, the Roadrunners led the league in rebounding margin, grabbing 3.2 more rebounds than its opponents. UTSA was also second in scoring defense allowing 58.7 points per game and finished third in blocks (3.8) and steals (10.3) per game.
In his first season leading the Roadrunners team in 2013-14, he led UTSA to a 14-17 record and a 15th place finish in the standings in the Roadrunners’ inaugural season in Conference USA. UTSA made an appearance in the conference tournament and upset 10th-seeded Tulsa in the opening game before being knocked out by Old Dominion in the second round.
Prior to taking over the women’s program in 2013, Lichonczak spent 11 years on the Roadrunners’ coaching staff, including nine as the associate head coach. He was hired at UTSA prior to the 2002-03 season and spent two campaigns as an assistant before being promoted to associate head coach. Lichonczak primarily worked with the post players and served as the program’s scouting coordinator and team academic liaison and assisted with scheduling and recruiting.
During his time on the UTSA bench, he helped mentor 23 all-conference selections – including seven first-team All-Southland Conference picks – one Southland Player and Defensive Player of the Year (Monica Gibbs/2009), three Southland Newcomers of the Year (Dwella Holliday, 2003/Vivian Ewalefo, 2006/Onika Anderson, 2008) and a pair of Southland Freshmen of the Year honorees (Richelle Parks, 2005/Monica Gibbs, 2006).
He was instrumental in helping UTSA win back-to-back Southland Tournament Championships to earn the program’s only NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009. The 2008-09 squad posted a school-record 24 wins and became the first No. 15-seed in the history of the NCAA Division I Championship to take a No. 2-seed to overtime.
In addition to the squad’s accomplishments on the court, Lichonczak tutored several student-athletes in the classroom. Ryba Pawlaczyk earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District IV, Southland Student-Athlete of the Year and first-team Southland All-Academic in 2009, while Nicole Dunson took home the league’s Student-Athlete of the Year and first-team all-academic honors in 2005.
Lichonczak came to the Alamo City after spending the 2001-02 campaign as the associate head coach at Colorado State where he helped the Rams to a 24-7 mark, including a 12-2 league record en route to the Mountain West Regular Season Championship and an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.
His stint in Fort Collins came after an 11-year run as the head coach at Radford (1990-2001). Lichonczak coached the Highlanders to a 151-151 (.500) overall record and 99-53 (.651) mark in Big South Conference games. His 151 wins rank second in program annals.
Under his guidance, Radford claimed six consecutive Big South Tournament titles (1991-96) and made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1994-96). Lichonczak earned Big South Coach of the Year honors in 1992 after the squad posted a 20-9 record and 11-1 league ledger en route to a conference regular-season title.
Lichonczak was an assistant under current Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey at Texas A&M from 1987-90 after a pair of seasons (1985-87) at Old Dominion, where he helped the Monarchs to the 1987 Sun Belt Conference Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. Prior to his time in Norfolk, Va., Lichonczak was an assistant at Ohio State from 1980-85 and aided the Buckeyes to four consecutive Big Ten titles (1982-85) and NCAA Tournament appearances in 1982, ’84 and ‘85. The 1985 squad finished the season with a 26-2 record, 18-0 Big Ten mark and advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to Old Dominion, the eventual national champion.
His coaching career began at his alma mater, Idaho, in 1978. In his final campaign with the Vandals, the squad went 25-6 and claimed the Region IX Championship to advance to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division II National Tournament.
Along with his collegiate experience, Lichonczak served in the WNBA as an advance scout for the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2010 and was a first assistant and offensive coordinator for the Washington Mystics in 2009. In addition, he was an assistant coach for the Nigerian Women’s National Team in 2007.
Lichonczak, who earned a bachelor of science degree in social studies and education from Idaho in 1978 and a master of arts degree in athletic administration from The Ohio State in 1985, and his wife, Maryann, have a son, Yov, and a daughter, Nika.