Pitt-Johnstown Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Rukavina earned his 300th career victory and his third straight 20-win season at Pitt Johnstown with the Mountain Cats’ (83-67) victory over Salem International on Thursday. With the victory, the Mountain Cats, ranked 5th in the east region, secured the regular season championship in the WVIAC and a bye in the first round of next week's WVIAC tournament. This is Pitt-Johnstown’s first year competing for a championship in the WVIAC.
A native of Verona, PA, Rukavina is the winningest mens’ basketball coach in the school’s history. He took over a struggling Mountain Cat program in 1989, turning it into one of the top teams in the country. Rukavina has posted a 299-209 overall record, and has led Pitt-Johnstown to its only two NCAA tournament appearances. The Mountain Cats earned their first NCAA postseason berth following the 1996-97 season, before duplicating the feat the next season with a school-best 24-5 record.
“We are Mountain Cat Proud of our team and Coach Rukavina for an outstanding season. Their hard work and commitment to excellence have helped to create the renewed spirit of enthusiasm that has permeated our campus. We look forward to their continued success in the tournament games," commented UPJ President Jem Spectar
The Mountain Cats finish the 2007-08 regular season at Shepherd (WV) University on Saturday. Pitt Johnstown will also compete in the WVIAC Tournament that runs from February 26-March 1.
Founded in 1927, UPJ is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic development, UPJ offers a first-class educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.