Air Force Falcons Men's Basketball Coaching Corner
Dave Pilipovich - Air Force Falcons Head Coach
Pilipovich (pronounced pill-ih-POE-vitch)
Pilipovich became the eighth head coach in the history of the Air Force
men's basketball program on February 8, 2012 and was named permanent
head coach on March 3. Pilipovich was in his fifth season as a member
of the coaching staff and first as associate head coach when he was
promoted to head coach after Jeff Reynolds was relieved of his duties.
taking over the program, Pilipovich won two of his first three games as
head coach, including a 58-53 win at Wyoming in his first road game. He
then led his team to one of the biggest victories in program history
with a 58-56 triumph over 13th-ranked San Diego State at Clune Arena,
marking Air Force's first-ever win over a Top 20 team and just the
second against a ranked opponent.
In his nearly five seasons as
an assistant coach, Pilipovich helped the Falcons snap a 16-game losing
streak in conference tournament play in 2009 and earn AFA's first trip
to the postseason since 2007 with an appearance in the
CollegeInsider.com Tournament following the 2010 campaign. In his first
season at Air Force (2007-08), the Falcons finished fifth in the
Mountain West Conference after being picked eighth in the preseason
media and coaches poll, the greatest margin between predicted and
actual finish in the league that season. He also helped Tim Anderson
earn the conference's Defensive Player of the Year award that campaign.
Prior to joining the Falcons, Pilipovich spent two years with
the University of Michigan basketball program. In his first season with
the Wolverines, he served as the administrative assistant to head coach
Tommy Amaker, then was an assistant coach during the 2006-07 campaign.
has 25 years of coaching experience under his belt. He served as an
assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University for five years (2000-05)
prior to joining the Michigan staff. Before his stint at EMU, he served
four years as an assistant coach at Robert Morris University
(1996-2000), two years an assistant coach at Georgia State University
(1994-96) and two years as the assistant head coach at Florida Atlantic
University (1989-91) before being named associate head coach the
following four years (1991-94).
Pilipovich began his coaching
career serving as a graduate assistant at California University (Pa.)
for two years (1986-88), before being named as an assistant coach for
one season (1988-89).
A 1986 graduate of Thiel College in
Greenville, Pa., with a degree in business administration, Pilipovich
earned four varsity basketball letters and served as team captain
during his senior season. He earned his master's degree from California
(Pa.) in 1988 in geography and regional planning. He is an active
member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and
continues to serve on the NABC Assistant Coaches Committee.
Pilipovich and his wife, Kelly, have a son, Kyle (20), and a daughter, Kelsey (17).
Kurt Kanaskie - Assistant CoachAir Force head coach Dave Pilipovich announced today that Kurt Kanaskie has been hired as an assistant men's basketball coach. Kanaskie replaces Steve Snell, who left to take a similar position at Santa Clara.
comes to the Academy from Jacksonville University where he was an
assistant coach. A coaching veteran, Kanaskie has been at the helm of
three programs and worked in power conferences for much of the past
Kanaskie served as the head coach at Drake for seven
seasons (1996-2003) and was one of the most successful Division II head
coaches in Pennsylvania history. "Kurt Kanaskie brings a wealth of
experience to our staff. Having been a head coach for 18 years, he has
sat in the head coach's chair. He is an outstanding all-around coach,"
Pilipovich said. "He's a very good recruiter; he is an excellent skill
development coach and is extremely good on the floor as a teacher. He
has developed great relationships with the players he has coached. He
has performed this job at a high level and will be a great compliment
to our staff. We are exited he is joining our Falcon family."
a stellar playing career at La Salle, Kanaskie began his career as an
assistant coach at South Carolina for five seasons. His first head
coaching job came at Division II Lock Haven, where he was in charge of
the Bald Eagles for three seasons and was twice named the Pennsylvania
State Athletics Conference (PSAC) Coach of the Year. He inherited a
Bald Eagle program that was 18-84 over the previous four seasons and in
his first year set a school record for wins with 15. His LHU team
reached the NCAA Tournament a year later and earned the school's
first-ever national ranking. He was named PSAC Coach of the Year twice
Moving within the conference, he then took over at
Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In eight seasons, Kanaskie was
named the PSAC Coach of the Year two more times and twice named The
Basketball Times National Coach of the Year. Kanaskie inherited an IUP
program that had posted four straight losing seasons and, after a first
year of building a solid foundation, posted seven straight winning
records. In 1993, IUP made the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
(PSAC) semifinals for the first time in 16 years.
The next season (`94-'95), IUP grabbed its first national ranking in
school history (No. 5), earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the first
time ever and advanced to the Elite Eight. A year later (`95-'96), IUP
earned a No. 1 national ranking and advanced to the national
Moving up to Division I, Kanaskie was named the
head coach at Drake, where he stayed for seven seasons until 2003. He
then moved to Penn State, first as an assistant coach under Ed
DeChellis and later as the associate head coach. In his years in State
College, the Nittany Lions claimed three postseason berths and won the
2009 NIT Championship. Departing Penn State after the 2010-11 season,
he spent one season as the associate head coach at Navy, and then moved
on to become an assistant coach at Virginia Tech for the past two
Kanaskie earned his bachelor's degree from La Salle in
1980 and a master's in business administration from South Carolina in
1985. While at La Salle, he earned All-Big Five and All-East Coast
Conference honors, was an academic All-American, and left as the
school's ninth all-time leading scorer. The NBA's Golden State Warriors
A native of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Kanaski (born
April 14, 1959) has three children, a daughter, Kristin Kanaskie
Grotewold, and sons Kevin Kanaskie and Kyle Kanaskie.
Tyron Wright - Assistant Coach
Wright rejoins the Falcon coaching staff for the 2012-13 season. Wright
was an assistant coach for Air Force from 2006-09 and a graduate
assistant coach for the Falcons during the 2000-01 campaign. Prior to
rejoining the program this season, Wright worked in the Registrar's
Office at the Academy and served as an assistant coach for the USAFA
Prep School men's basketball team from 2009-12.
earned his Bachelor's Degree in Human Factors Engineering in 2000 from
the Academy, enjoyed a stellar basketball career with the Falcons.
After spending his first two years with the junior varsity, he became a
two-year starter for the varsity. He burst on the scene in 1999 as a
junior to lead Air Force in scoring with an 18.2 average. His scoring
average still ranks as the third-best in school history for a
Wright ended that season as a second-team
all-conference selection and was twice named conference player of the
week. He earned his first player of the week honor after scoring a
career-high 36 points and grabbing 11 rebounds vs. SMU. Wright
shattered the school record for most points by a reserve with 31 in a
win over Denver.
An all-around player, Wright finished second on
the team in scoring, rebounding and assists as a senior, averaging 13.8
points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
2000-01 season, Wright was assigned to Randolph Air Force Base in San
Antonio, Texas, where he served as an ACE lieutenant for the 12th
Communications Squadron. Upon the completion of his ACE tour in 2003,
he joined the 509th Communications Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base
in Missouri as the Support Flight commander.
In Nov. 2004, he
became the Network Systems Flight commander, then was hired as the
Executive Officer to the commander of the 509th Maintenance Group in
June of 2005. While assigned to the Maintenance Group, Wright was
deployed to Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, where he served as the
Executive Officer to the 386th Maintenance Group commander.
2003, `04 and `06, Wright was selected to represent the Air Force in
the Armed Forces Basketball Tournament and was named all-tournament all
three years. As a result of his performance in 2003, he was also chosen
to represent the United States Military in international competition at
the Military World Games held in Cantania, Italy.
Wright was selected to coach the All-Air Force Team at the Armed Forces
Tournament in April 2011. The team went undefeated and won the gold
medal, which qualified Wright to coach the Armed Forces Team in
international competition at the CISM World Games held in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil in July 2011. The team tied for the best record at the
tournament, and was one of five U.S. teams to medal with a third-place
Wright, 34, and his wife Hassain are the proud parents of daughters, Jada (7) and Anaya (3).
Andy Moore - Assistant Coach
Force men’s basketball coach Dave Pilipovich announced today that Andy
Moore has joined the program as an assistant coach. Moore replaces
Silvey Dominguez, who resigned to become an assistant coach at
44, recently finished his second season on the men’s basketball staff
at Virginia Tech. The 2013-14 season was his first as an assistant
coach after spending the 2012-13 season as the Hokies’ director of
basketball operations. He joined the Tech staff in June of 2012
following four years at Eastern Michigan University. Moore moved into
game operations during the 2011-12 academic year after spending the
three previous seasons as a full-time assistant coach at EMU. This was
Moore’s second stint at EMU, as he served as the director of basketball
operations from 2000-02.
“I am very excited that Andy has agreed
to join our program,” said Pilipovich. “We coached together at Michigan
and Eastern Michigan and he really impressed me with his knowledge of
the game and interaction with student-athletes. I feel he is a perfect
fit at Air Force.”
Moore spent the 2007-08 season as a men’s
assistant basketball coach at Bowling Green State University and the
previous five years as an assistant men’s basketball coach at the
University of Michigan. While with the Wolverines, he spent four years
as an assistant coach and one season as the director of basketball
operations. During his tenure in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines registered
three 20-win seasons and had an overall record of 98-65 in those five
seasons. Michigan won the postseason National Invitational Tournament
(NIT) title in 2004 and advanced to that tournament’s championship game
Before making the short move to Ann Arbor, Moore spent
two years as the director of basketball operations at EMU. His resume
also includes four years at California University of Pennsylvania, from
1996 until 2000. After serving as an assistant coach for his first
three years, he was promoted to assistant head coach for the 1999-2000
Moore began his coaching career at Mt. Vernon (Ohio) High School, where
he was an assistant coach for the varsity boys’ team (1992-94). He then
moved on to Kenyon (Ohio) College, where he served as an assistant
men’s basketball coach and head men’s golf coach (1994-96).
He is a
1992 graduate of Muskingum College, where he was named first-team
All-American and Ohio Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a
senior in 1991-92. Moore was a three-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference
(OAC) selection and finished his career as the school’s all-time
scoring leader. He was inducted into Muskingum’s Athletic Hall of Fame
Moore and his wife, Stephanie, have two sons, Graham and Nolan.
Nate Zandt - Assistant Coach
Zandt is in his fifth season as the video coordinator for the men's and
women's basketball programs at Air Force. Zandt came to the Academy
from California University (Pa.), where he served as a graduate
assistant coach for the men's basketball team in 2006-07.
to his stint at California Univ., Zandt was the head team manager for
the University of Michigan men's basketball team from 2001-2006.
Originally from Constantine, Mich., he earned his bachelor's degree in
general studies from Michigan in 2006 and his master's degree in sports
management from California University in 2010.
coaching experience by working basketball camps at Michigan, Notre Dame
and Bowling Green. He and his wife, Rebecca, are the proud parents of a
son, Kaden (4), and a daughter, Elliott (2).
Evan Washington - Assistant Coach
Evan Washington enters his first season as an assistant basketball
coach in 2015-16. Washington, a 2011 Academy graduate, is returning to
the Academy after serving as an acquisitions office at Hill Air Force
Base, Utah, from 2013-15. He served as a project officer in the Space
and Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence (C3I) program
office. In addition, he also served as a project manager for the F-22
program office. Washington began his Air Force and coaching career as
an instructor and assistant basketball coach at the Air Force Prep
School in 2012.
Washington, a native of Columbus, Ohio, was a four-year letterman at the Academy and finished his career ranked 36th
in school history in scoring with 904 points, an average of 8.5 per
game. He ranks second in school history in career games played at 124,
just one shy of the school record. Washington is the school record
holder for career games started with 112. He also served as the team’s
captain as a senior.
Washington’s basketball career continued in
the Air Force after graduation. He competed and won the gold medal in
the All Armed Forces tournament with the All-Air Force team in 2012 and
2014. In 2014, he played and won a gold medal in the International
SHAPE tournament in Mons, Belgium. In addition, he competed in the HQ
INTERCOM tournament in RAF Lakenheath, England, and CISM military world
games in Mungyeong, South Korea, in 2015.