Interim Director of Athletics Crystal Gibson announced Tuesday afternoon the selection of Gabrielle “Gabby” Holko as the next head coach of the Susquehanna University women’s basketball program. The Holko era commences on Monday, July 29 as she becomes the 12th head coach in the program’s 60-year history.
Holko’s coaching style and philosophy are deeply rooted in the three D’s of NCAA Division III – Discover, Develop, Dedicate. The majority of her nine-year career, both as a player and coach, has been spent in Division III, with a one-year stop at the junior college level. She’s a Pennsylvanian through and through as all of her previous stops have been in the Keystone state.
“Coach Holko, from the beginning of the process, emerged as a top candidate through her ability to not only coach and recruit young women student-athletes, but also develop them into leaders on and off the court. She has proved her ability to recruit top-level student-athletes, athletically and academically – developing them into highly competitive players and leaders. Gabby is an outstanding fit for the Susquehanna University community, and I am confident she will bring a high level of success to the program under her leadership,” stated Gibson, who chaired the search committee.
Last season, the Pittsburgh, Pa., native guided the Marywood University Pacers to a third-place regular-season finish in the Atlantic East Conference and an appearance in the semifinals of the AEC Tournament in her first head coaching gig. Holko also coached the AEC Defensive Player of the Year, Natasha Hessling ’19, who also earned D3hoops.com All-Atlantic Region honors.
Holko said, “I first want to thank Athletic Director Crystal Gibson and the entire search committee/SU administration for the confidence and belief in me to be the next women’s basketball coach at an amazing university such as Susquehanna! The first time I stepped foot on campus I knew that this was going to be a special opportunity and I am honored. I am beyond excited to get to work alongside the amazing coaches in the River Hawks athletic department and I cannot wait to get to work with our young women on the team. After meeting a few of them during the interview process, I could tell right away that they are ready to compete in the Landmark and make Susquehanna University proud on and off the court. Go River Hawks!”
She served as a compliance support coordinator as well as a gameday administrator in her one year at Marywood.
Holko added, “I also want to thank the Marywood University community and the MUWBB Team. It was an incredible time to work for you all this past year and I will forever be grateful.”
Prior to Marywood, Holko spent one year at Lackawanna College, a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II, as an assistant coach and senior woman administrator. One of her many duties at Lackawanna was to organize community service projects for the team.
She spent the 2016-17 academic year at Allegheny College (Meadville, Pa.) as an assistant coach and football ticket sales gameday operator. Her coaching career began as a graduate assistant at Misericordia University (Dallas, Pa.).
Holko graduated from Westminster College (New Wilmington, Pa.) in 2014 with a B.A. in history. She then earned a master’s in organizational management with a focus in human resources at Misericordia in 2016. As a Westminster Titan, Holko picked up All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference Second Team and Team MVP honors as a senior in 2013-14. She finished her collegiate career ranked 10th all-time in Titan history with 893 career points and second all-time with 153 career made three-pointers.