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      UT Rockets hire new Men's basketball coach

      Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Tod Kowalczyk directs his team during the second half of Green Bay's 75-66 upset victory over Butler in an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, in Green Bay, Wis.

      / AP

      The University of Toledo has hired former Wisconsin-Green Bay head coach Tod Kowalczyk as its head men's basketball coach, according to UT Athletic Director Mike O'Brien.

      "We are very pleased that Tod Kowalczyk has agreed to become the head men's basketball coach at the University of Toledo," O'Brien said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. "Tod is a proven builder of basketball programs, both as the head coach at Wisconsin-Green Bay, and as an assistant coach at some very fine schools. Tod has all the qualities we are looking for in a basketball coach. He is a proven winner in an excellent basketball conference. He has a superb academic record, graduating every single player who completed his eligibility during his eight years at Green Bay. Above all, Tod is a terrific teacher and a leader of young men. I think Tod is the perfect fit to lead our men's basketball program."

      Reports indicated that the school met with Kowalczyk Monday night to offer him the vacant position. Former Rockets head coach Gene Cross stepped down from his position earlier in March after two seasons with the Rockets. The team completed their worst season in school history this year, finishing with a 4-28 record.

      Kowalczyk has been the head coach at Wisconsin-Green Bay for the past eight seasons, compiling a 136-112 record. The team has finished in the top four of the Horizon League in each of the past seven seasons. "I'm very excited about the opportunity to coach at the University of Toledo and become a part of the greater Toledo community," said Kowalczyk, a native of De Pere, WI who becomes the 18th head coach in UT history. "I'm looking forward to the challenge of building a championship-caliber program and making Rocket fans proud of our team. We will do it with hard work and integrity. Our student-athletes will represent our institution in a first-class and positive manner."