Kennesaw State University women’s basketball coach Agnus Berenato has announced her retirement after a 33-year head coaching career that included four teams and 11 postseason appearances.
During a career at Rider, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Kennesaw State, Berenato accumulated 483 victories and was awarded the WBCA Carol Eckman Integrity in Coaching Award at the 2019 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four.
During the just completed season, Berenato had taken a leave of absence to recover from breast cancer surgery for a second time.
"It has been my great honor to represent Kennesaw State, and the time has come for me to step down as head basketball coach,” Berenato said in a release. “From my time as a student-athlete to coaching at prestigious universities, two in Georgia, these past 33 years, I am grateful for the numerous opportunities I’ve been offered to play and coach the game I love. I am grateful to have worked with the best assistant coaches in the business, learn from energetic administrators, and have an impact on the lives of so many phenomenal women. Together, we enjoyed the journey, grew our student-athletes and experienced the thrill of victory.”
During Berenato’s tenure at KSU, the Owls earned two first-team All-ASUN selections, three second-team All-ASUN selections, five All-Freshman Team selections and three ASUN Freshman of the Year awards. Berenato guided Kennesaw State to two ASUN Conference tournament victories, including a fourth-place finish in the league during her inaugural season.
She ends her career with six 20-win seasons and 11 postseason appearances. She is a member of four halls of fame, including the Rider University Athletics Hall of Fame (2002), the Camden County (NJ) Sports Hall of Fame (2005), the Mount St. Mary’s Athletics Hall of Fame (2015) and the Basketball Club of South Jersey Hall of Fame.
“I would like to thank coach Berenato for pouring into the lives of our student-athletes and representing Kennesaw State University with class on and off the court,” KSU athletic director Milton Overton said. “In her honor, we have established the ‘Coach B Scholarship’ that will serve as a lasting reminder of all the meaningful contributions she has made in the lives of our student-athletes and the impact she has in our community. Her legacy will live on through this scholarship and allow students in the coming years to live out her mission as they battle the effects of cancer.”
A 1980 graduate of Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md., Berenato earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and was a three-year starter on the basketball team. Playing for former NBA star Fred Carter, she was a two-time captain for the Mountaineers.
She became the women's basketball coach at Rider in 1982 and then coached at Georgia Tech from 1989 to 2003, followed by a decade with the University of Pittsburgh. In March of 2016, Berenato was named KSU's women's basketball coach.
On the court, Berenato mentored five student-athletes to All-America recognition, three student athletes went on to become WNBA players and 18 became international professional players.
Berenato's student-athletes have complimented athletic success with academic achievement. She proudly boasts a 100% graduation rate of every student-athlete who completed their eligibility.
Off the court, Berenato is recognized as an inspirational leader and motivator, and a dynamic public speaker. She was active in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), and devoted significant time to volunteer and mission work.
A national search for her replacement will begin immediately.