Kowalska leaving WVU Tech to take over at Life University

Rick Barbero/The Register-Herald

Anna Kowalska, center, is leaving WVU Tech to become the new head women's basketball coach at Life University.

WVU Tech women's basketball head coach Anna Kowalska is leaving the Beckley school to take over as the new head coach at Life University.

Life announced the hiring on its website Wednesday morning and Kowalska announced it on her Twitter account.

"I would like to announce that I accepted a Head Women's Basketball position at Life University, Marietta, Georgia! I'm beyond grateful for everything that WVU Tech gave me for the past 9 years. WVU Tech will always be in my heart! This place gave me great experience, great friends, and most importantly home. I want to thank Carolyn Long, Kenny Howell, and administration for the support! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!"

Joining Kowalska will be her husband and assistant coach Nic Kjaerholt.

Kowalska took over the Golden Bears program in 2018 and found immediate success. She was the River States Conference Women's Coach of the Year each of her first two seasons after guiding Tech to consecutive RSC regular season championships.

The conference did not crown a regular season champion in 2021 because of the effects of Covid-19, but Tech defeated Rio Grande in the tournament championship to secure its third NAIA national tournament appearance in as many seasons under Kowalska.

The Golden Bears won a national tournament game for the first time in program history in 2020, defeating Morningside in the first round. The next day, the tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.

Kowalska, who had a 61-26 (.701) career record at WVU Tech, coached two All-Americans in Savannah Shamblin and Summers County High graduate Brittney Justice.

"All of us here at WVU Tech would like to wish Coach Kowalska and her family the best, as they take on this new challenge. Anna, Nic, and Noah are family, and we will always consider them Golden Bears," WVU Tech Director of Athletics Kenny Howell said.

"While it’s hard to replace not only one, but two, top-notch coaches, we will be ready, and are still poised for a great year. We will commence the evaluation process for potential replacements as soon as possible, and begin a national coaching search immediately."

Email: gfauber@register-herald.com or follow on Twitter @GaryFauber

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