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Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner Honors Mike Strong

Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner Honors Mike Strong
From left, Dave Martin, University director of Athletics; P.J. Carlesimo, son of Peter A. Carlesimo; Mike Strong, former Lady Royals coach; the Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J. H’06, then-interim University president; and Colleen (Murphy) Pivirotto ’04, head women’s soccer coach, celebrate Strong’s career at the Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner.

The University honored former Lady Royals basketball coach Mike Strong with the 2018 Peter A. Carlesimo Award at its annual Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner at Saucon Valley Country Club in June.

More than 225 guests attended the event, helping to raise more than $100,000 for Scranton Athletics. The University partnered with title sponsor Quandel Construction Group for this year’s event.

In his 34 seasons as head coach of the University’s women’s basketball program, Mike Strong accomplished things no one else ever has. When he retired in 2014 with 815 wins under his belt, Strong ended his career as the all-time leader in career victories in NCAA Division III women’s basketball history. Over the decades, he led the Lady Royals to 19 conference titles, 26 NCAA Tournaments and eight Final Four appearances, where the team captured the 1985 national title.

Strong also coached some of the best athletes in University history, including 19 All-Americans and two National Player of the Year honorees. In addition, Strong mentored 11 different student-athletes who earned Conference Player of the Year or MVP recognition. During his tenure as head coach, he never had a losing season, and he became the first women’s coach in NCAA Division III history and the second in all of NCAA Division III to win 800 games. His overall record is 815-182.

Strong’s career at the University began well before his appointment as head women’s basketball coach. After graduating from Concord College in West Virginia in 1967, he joined the University as an assistant men’s basketball coach in 1972 under then-head coach and 2016 Carlesimo Award Recipient Bob Bessoir. Under their guidance, the team won the 1976 NCAA Division III national championship.

Strong also enjoyed success in other areas at the University. He coached the men’s tennis team to 91 victories over 11 seasons and led the women’s tennis team to 53 victories and three conference titles in five seasons as head coach. Strong is also a retired associate professor in the University’s Exercise Science and Sport Department. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Paupack. The couple has two children, Scott and Chris, and three grandchildren.

Named in honor of Peter A. Carlesimo, former University of Scranton coach and athletics director, the Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner celebrates athletics at Scranton and honors a person who has made special contributions to athletics and Catholic education. The Golf Tournament & Award Dinner serves as a fundraising event to support and enhance the student-athlete experience at Scranton.

For more information on supporting student-athletes, visit.

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