Gavinski moves up to coach girls basketball at Tosa West

Successful West, Greendale assistant gets first head job

June 14, 2011

They say good things are worth waiting for, so you can understand how happy Ron Gavinski is.

The 55-year-old Gavinski has been named head coach of the Wauwatosa West girls basketball team this week, his first head coaching job in a long career of being a successful assistant.

"I can't tell you how excited I was," he said when offered the job by athletic/activities director Nathan DeLany. "This gives me a chance to take a program in a direction that I want to.

"I was very fortunate to work with Jerry Hastings at Greendale. What he and I did together, the kids bought into, and I believe our kids will buy into it at Tosa West too."

Gavinski was also quick to praise former coach Mike Pietrowiak, who he worked with the past few years as his JV coach.

"We all should appreciate what Mike's done and contributed to the program and thank him for that," he said.

Gavinski compiled a 22-20 record as JV coach at Tosa West the past two years, and he was an assistant varsity and freshman coach at Marquette University High School for five years, compiling a 81-9 record, an amazing .900 winning percentage.

He teamed up with Hastings at Greendale and put together an excellent stretch of basketball for 14 years as the assistant varsity and JV coach for the Panthers.

The Panthers compiled a .770 winning percentage (214-64) and at one point put together a record 46-game conference winning streak (2003-06).

The also won six conference championships, four regional championships, a sectional championship and earned a state tournament appearance.

"Ron comes with great basketball knowledge," Delany said about Gavinski's hiring. "He has the experience of rebuilding the program from the ground up as he did as an assistant coach in Greendale.

"What separated Ron from other candidates was his ability to communicate his vision and passion for Tosa West girls basketball."

Gavinski, who was a supervisor for Lang Corporation before they moved out of Wisconsin last January, was busy year-round at Greendale.

He implemented a youth select program for players in grades fifth through eighth, worked in tandem with the middle school coaches to begin teaching the fundamentals, drills and basic offenses run at the high school level as well as introduce pressure defenses.

He ran summer camps for the high school and youth programs focusing on shooting, dribbling and defensive fundamentals and he attended youth, select and AAU games and tournaments to evaluate local talent and promote Greendale High School academics and athletics, as well as Triple Threat Basketball Clinics.

"One of the reasons I always wanted to coach the JV, it's an amazing experience to coach by yourself," he said. "I could teach the girls the little things. I've always been there for them."

Gavinski emphasized he cares for his kids off the court as well as on.

"Sports in general teaches about life's up and downs," he said. "More important than their success as basketball players, is their development as young ladies and their growth as people.

"Basketball teaches more than just winning or losing. It helps to build the foundation for handling success with humility, and disappointment with determination, preparation and commitment.

"These characteristics transcend any sport, and are the building blocks to achievement in a personal and professional environment."

Gavinski, who is running the Trojans summer basketball camps for the third year, feels his experience at the high school level is building strong relationships with players, developing skills and talent, and implementing fundamentally sound offensive and defensive concepts.

Gavinski was asked what it will be like to move over one chair on the bench now that he's running the show.

"I have never stood up before in my life (only head coaches can stand)," he laughed. "I've always been sitting on the bench. But I'm extremely excited to be the head coach, and I'm ready to take it to another chapter."


MARRIED: Donna, 26 years

SON: Dustin, a senior at UWM in the business school

HIGH SCHOOL: Cudahy, where he played football, basketball, track and baseball

COLLEGE: University of Minnesota, UWM, Social Studies major

HOBBIES: Golf, reading.


MOVIES: Rudy, Hoosiers




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