Coach Mondillo inducted to Pennsylvania’s Sports Hall of Fame
Gwynedd Mercy University Director of Athletics and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Keith Mondillo was elected to the Louis C. Cappiella Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014 last fall.
Mondillo is in his 20th season at the helm of the women’s basketball team where he has guided the Griffins to six conference championships, eight NCAA tournament appearances and more than 385 wins.
Mondillo’s induction came as a surprise to the veteran coach but he is recognized as one of the best among his peers, ranking 29th on the list of All-Time Coaches in Division III and winning Colonial States Athletic Conference Coach of the Year five times.
Basketball has been Mondillo’s passion his entire life, playing at Archbishop Kennedy High School and Arcadia University. At Arcadia, he captained the men’s basketball team in his junior and senior seasons before graduating in 1993.
Mondillo continued his athletic career in yet another Catholic institution when he began coaching the Griffins in 1995 at just 23 years-old.
“Playing in Catholic leagues is different; it’s about the community. I’ll never forget Saturday mornings after a big game in high school, I would walk into 7/11 and there will be old guys congratulating me on a good game – or criticizing a bad game - the night before,” Mondillo said.
It’s that same sense of community that has kept Mondillo at Gwynedd Mercy University for more than two decades but more importantly, it’s the reason he and his staff are able to recruit quality students. At almost every game, you can look into the standing-room only crowd and find President Owens cheering on the team, a rare occurrence at larger institutions. The support Mondillo and the rest of the athletic staff gets from the entire University community makes it an easy sell for recruits.
“I tell them [recruits], I'm in my 20th year here. I wouldn't still be here if I didn't believe in the education and experience we deliver to not just our student-athletes but to all of our students,” Mondillo said.
While from the outside looking in, Mondillo thinks it may appear as if he has chosen comfort over career ascension but despite many offers, he feels Gwynedd Mercy University is the right fit for him.
“When my kids ask, I never say I'm working or I'm going to work. It never feels like a burden,” Mondillo said. “We always tell our students they need to be lifelong learners; that’s true for all professions. The more I coach, the more I learn.”