PITTSBURGH – Point Park University men's basketball head coach Bob Rager has announced his retirement after a long career coaching the Pioneers.
Rager was the head coach of Point Park men's basketball for 27 seasons from 1989 to 2016. This past season, the Pioneers were led by interim head coach Gabe Bubon, a long-time assistant coach for Rager.
Rager retires with the most wins ever for a college basketball coach at four-year schools in the City of Pittsburgh. He compiled a career record of 381-365 (.510) at Point Park, which is more wins than the next-highest names on the list of Dr. H.C. "Doc" Carlson (367) and Jamie Dixon (328) of Pitt, Charles "Chick" Davies (314) of Duquesne and his Point Park predecessor, Jerry Conboy (304).
Rager is also the all-time wins leader at Point Park having passed Conboy during the 2010-11 season for that honor. Rager was hired for the 1989-90 season as his first year as Pioneers' head coach. He replaced Conboy, who was the head coach for the previous 20 seasons from 1969-89 and amassed a record of 305-241. Rager was a player for Conboy at Point Park from 1970-74 and earned NAIA All-American status.
"We thank Bob Rager for his many years coaching Point Park men's basketball," said Pioneers Director of Athletics Dan Swalga. "He led the Pioneers to some great seasons during his long tenure and three NAIA national tournament appearances. That brought a lot of attention to the school, the basketball program and the athletic department. We wish him well in his retirement."
In all, Rager spent 34 years at Point Park as a head coach, assistant coach and player. He served for three years as an assistant on Conboy's staff. He also served as Point Park's athletic director at one point during his tenure.
Rager led Point Park men's basketball to three of its five all-time appearances in the NAIA national tournament. The highlight was the Pioneers' most successful season ever with a trip to the NAIA Division I Final Four in 1996-97. Point Park also made NAIA national tournament appearances under Rager in 2000-01 and 2006-07.
Point Park's 2006-07 team had a final record of 29-2, which is the team record for most wins and winning percentage in a season. The Pioneers climbed up to the highest national ranking in program history that year gaining a No. 3 NAIA rating and one of the top seeds in the NAIA national tournament.
Rager posted three 20-win seasons with Point Park, and each of those resulted in an NAIA national tournament appearance. In addition to the Final Four team of 1996-97 that went 23-8 and the 2006-07 team that was 29-2, the Pioneers reached the NAIA Division II Sweet 16 in 2000-01 and had a final record of 21-12.
Rager's Point Park teams made the conference postseason tournament 23 of his 27 years. That included conference tournament championships three times. His final two seasons at the helm had the Pioneers reach the KIAC Tournament finals in 2014-15 and the KIAC Tournament semifinals in 2015-16.
Point Park teams were well-known to be high scoring under Rager. The Pioneers led the country in scoring in four different seasons during Rager's time, which were 2005-06 (89.94 ppg), 2006-07 (92.94 ppg), 2011-12 (88.56 ppg) and 2012-13 (93.24 ppg). The 2012-13 team set the school record for scoring average in a season surpassing the prolific 29-2 team of 2006-07. The Pioneers averaged 91.86 ppg in 2015-16 to rank third in the NAIA, Rager's final season.
During his playing days at Point Park from 1970-74, Rager was the Pioneers' first-ever NAIA All-American. The 1972-73 season was a highlight when he was voted the "Small College Player of the Year" by Pittsburgh sports writers. Rager still ranks 16th on Point Park's all-time scoring list with 1,071 career points. He ranks eighth in school history with 367 career assists. His career averages were 12.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game and 43-percent field goals.
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