Mater Dei Prep has hired Dennis Kazimir, who has years of experience coaching on the collegiate level, as its new boys’ basketball coach.
The Middletown school announced the hiring on Aug. 29.
Kazimir, who is from Brick and graduated from Donovan Catholic High School in Toms River, was selected from a pool of at least 18 other candidates.
“I would like to thank (Mater Dei Prep President) Mr. Don Galante, (Mater Dei Athletic Director) Mr. Robert Eriksen and the entire Mater Dei Prep Board of Trustees for providing me with this platform to assist in fostering the development of our next generation of leaders,” Kazimir said. “I am extremely appreciative to be a part of the Mater Dei Prep family and enthusiastic about leading this program as we strive to excel in the classroom and on the hardwood.”
“The overriding factor in the decision to hire Coach Kazimir was his organizational skill set and our focus on wanting to build a program with a long term view,” said Galante. “Our ultimate goal at Mater Dei Prep is to position our student-athletes for success at the college level in academics as well as athletics.”
Kazimir spent many years coaching at the college level. He was a graduate men’s basketball assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University under Shaka Smart. Smart had guided VCU to the NCAA Final Four in 2011. In the national semifinal game, VCU was defeated by Butler University. Smart is now the coach at the University of Texas.
A 200 graduate from Seton Hall University, Kazimir also coached at Seton Hall, Tiffin University, Wright State University and Rhode Island College.
Kazimir’s most recent experience came as an assistant coach and interim head coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He coached at USMMA for the past four years.
Now, he is taking over an elite high school program. Mater Dei has reached the Shore Conference Tournament championship for three straight years, winning twice. Mater Dei fell to Ranney Prep in last year’s title game.
The Seraphs are 74-12 since the start of the 2015-16 season.
“This is a great day for the Mater Dei Prep basketball program,” said Mater Dei athletic director Robert Eriksen.