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Kurt Kanaskie

 
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Kurt Kanaskie joined new UNCW men’s basketball coach Takayo Siddle’s staff at UNCW in April of 2020.

Kanaskie becomes the first coaching addition for Siddle and arrives on the North Carolina coast from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he has spent the last six seasons at Air Force.

“We’re honored and excited to have Kurt as a part of our coaching staff," said Siddle, who takes over the helm of the program after three years at N.C. State. "Kurt has a wealth of experience and knowledge as a basketball coach. He’s exceptional on the court, in recruiting and he's great at building relationships with players."

Kanaskie, who has headed up three programs during his extensive career, spent four years as an assistant coach at Air Force before being elevated to associate head coach in 2018-19. He helped the Falcons post three 14-win seasons and three conference tournament victories.

Kanaskie came to the Rocky Mountain State from Virginia Tech, where he was an assistant coach with the Hokies. Prior to his stop in Blacksburg, Kanaskie served as the head coach at Drake for seven seasons (1996-2003) after becoming one of the most successful Division II head coaches in Pennsylvania history.

“I’ve been coaching a long time and I’ve never been as excited about an opportunity much as UNCW,” he said. “UNCW has so much basketball history and potential. Coach Siddle is a rising star in our profession and it will be great to be part of the program.”

Following a stellar playing career at La Salle, Kanaskie began his coaching career as an assistant at South Carolina for five seasons.

His first head coaching job came at DII Lock Haven, directing the Bald Eagles for three seasons. He was named Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference (PSAC) Coach of the Year twice after inheriting a program that went 18-84 over the previous four years.

Kanaskie then moved across the state to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). In eight seasons at IUP, Kanaskie was named PSAC Coach of the Year twice and voted Basketball Times National Coach of the Year on two occasions. Kanaskie inherited an IUP program that suffered through four straight losing seasons and piloted the Crimson Hawks to seven straight winning records. In 1993, IUP made the PSAC semifinals for the first time in 16 years.

In 1994-95, IUP collected its first national ranking in school history (No. 5), secured an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time and advanced to the Elite Eight.