Rising to the Top: The St John Fisher Basketball Program

Rising to the Top: The St John Fisher Basketball Program

St. John Fisher College, a private college located in Pittsford, New York, boasts a basketball program that has been making waves in the NCAA Division III. The St. John Fisher Cardinals have achieved notable successes in recent years, but their journey to the top has been a long one. In this article, basketballtipss will explore the history of the St John Fisher basketball program, the factors contributing to its success, its impact on the community, and its future outlook.

Early History of St John Fisher Basketball

The St John Fisher basketball team was established in 1963, and its inaugural campaign was held in 1964. The Cardinals encountered several difficulties in the early years of the program and had trouble getting established. However, under the guidance of head coach Tom Donahue, the team started to have success in the 1980s. From 1984 to 1989, Donahue guided the Cardinals to six consecutive NCAA Division III tournament trips, including a 1989 appearance in the Final Four.

Recent History of St John Fisher Basketball

The St. John Fisher basketball program has been steadily improving over the past ten years. The Cardinals won their first Empire 8 Conference Championship in 2014, and they did so again in 2019. Additionally, the team has recently made several appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament, including one in the Sweet Sixteen in 2019.

Factors Contributing to St. John Fisher Basketball’s Success

Factors Contributing to St. John Fisher Basketball's Success

Coaching and player development are two important aspects of the St John Fisher basketball program’s success. Rob Kornaker, the head coach, has been crucial in creating a winning culture at St. John Fisher since he took over the team in 2002. Kornaker has a career record of 342-174 and has five times been voted the Empire 8 Coach of the Year. The program’s focus on player growth has also been essential to its success, as several players have made tremendous progress while attending St. John Fisher.

The chemistry and culture of the squad are another crucial component. The basketball team at St. John Fisher takes pride in being a family, with both players and coaches working to create a positive atmosphere. As a result, the team has grown closer together and adopted a winning attitude.

Finally, a key factor in the program’s success has been recruiting and talent identification. The coaching staff at St. John Fisher works arduously to find excellent players who suit the team’s ethos and can add to its success. In recent years, the program has drawn more excellent applicants thanks to the greater visibility that comes with success.

Impact on the St. John Fisher Community

Both on and off the court, the St. John Fisher basketball program has had a profound effect on the neighborhood. The program has contributed to increasing the profile of the college as a whole. The Cardinals have a devoted fan base that supports the team at every game. Basketball players and coaches work together and support one another across sports, and the team has a close relationship with other St. John Fisher athletic programs.

The basketball program has also been active in outreach and community service initiatives. For example, the team hosts an annual “Cardinals Care” event, where players and coaches volunteer at local schools and community organizations. This has helped to build a strong connection between the program and the surrounding community.

Impact on the St. John Fisher Community

Challenges and Future Outlook

The quality of competitiveness in NCAA Division III is one of the main challenges facing the St. John Fisher basketball program. Other teams are taking note and working hard to improve their own programs as the program continues to receive attention and success. As a result, the Cardinals will have to continue to be innovative and competitive in order to stay on top.

The requirement to maintain the program’s performance over the long term presents another difficulty. Even though the St. John Fisher basketball program has enjoyed some big victories lately, it’s critical to build on those victories and keep a winning culture. This will necessitate ongoing expenditures for player development, coaching, and recruiting.

The basketball team at St. John Fisher has many reasons to be upbeat about the future. Many quality athletes are interested in playing for the Cardinals because of the program’s solid foundation and winning culture. There is no reason why the program cannot continue to dominate NCAA Division III and compete at the highest level with ongoing innovation and investment.


The St. John Fisher basketball program is a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and teamwork. Over the course of its history, the program has faced many challenges but has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the NCAA Division III. The program’s success is the result of a combination of factors, including coaching and player development, team culture and chemistry, and talent identification and recruitment.

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