Gabe Bubon was named the Point Park University men's basketball head coach on July 21, 2017. Bubon has been on the Pioneers’ coaching staff for the past 13 years, including the 2016-17 season as interim head coach.
Bubon is just the fifth head coach in the 50 years of Point Park men’s basketball. He succeeds Bob Rager, who coached for 27 years before announcing his retirement. Rager and his predecessor, Jerry Conboy, were the only two head coaches for the 47 years from 1969 to 2016.
Bubon, 40, is a native of Warren, Ohio, and he is a 2006 graduate of Point Park. Prior to being named interim head coach for the 2016-17 season, Bubon was the associate head coach in 2015-16. He was the top assistant coach for nine years from 2006-15. Bubon joined the Pioneers’ coaching staff in 2004-05 as a student assistant coach, a position he had for two years.
In addition to his duties on the men’s basketball coaching staff, Bubon has been the head coach of the Point Park men’s and women’s golf teams for the past eight years from 2009-17. Bubon will no longer be the head coach of those two teams but will instead dedicate his efforts full time to basketball.
“We have the highest expectations for men’s basketball here at Point Park University,” said Director of Athletics Dan Swalga. “We feel that Gabe Bubon is up to the challenge as we transition to him as head coach. As a member of our coaching staff for many years, he knows what it takes to be successful in the River States Conference and the NAIA. We are excited for this next phase of Pioneers men’s basketball, a program that has experienced a lot of success through the years.”
“It is my extreme honor to be named the next head coach of Point Park University men’s basketball,” said Bubon. “I want to thank Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Keith Paylo and Director of Athletics Dan Swalga for this opportunity. And also Bob Rager for the many years on his staff.
“I am very excited about the upcoming season. And also about what Point Park has become as a school and a staple in Downtown Pittsburgh. I want to continue the success that has been achieved in the many years of Pioneers men’s basketball.
“I also want to thank all the Point Park men’s and women’s golf team members who have played for us. I will never forget those men and women, and I appreciate all their dedication and hard work over the last eight years.”
Point Park men’s basketball had a winning record in nine of the 12 years that Bubon was on staff as an assistant. The Pioneers led the nation in scoring four different season during that span including 2005-06 (89.94 ppg), 2006-07 (92.94 ppg), 2011-12 (88.56 ppg) and 2012-13 (93.24 ppg).
Coming off the Pioneers’ trip to the KIAC Tournament finals in 2014-15, Bubon was elevated to Point Park’s associate head coach in 2015-16. The Pioneers made another postseason run that year reaching the KIAC Tournament semifinals.
Bubon was named interim head coach for the 2016-17 season. The Pioneers had a record of 8-20 versus a tough schedule that included eight games versus Top 25 teams and 12 games versus national tournament teams from the NAIA and NCAA. Point Park, with one returning starter from the year before, was one of only two teams in the River States Conference to beat both IU East and WVU Tech, two of the three nationally ranked teams from the RSC.
In all, Bubon has spent 14 years at Point Park as either a coach or player. He played for the Pioneers for one year in 1999-00. That season, he led the American Mideast Conference in scoring at 21.0 points per game, which ranked 10th in NAIA Division I.
Bubon still holds the Point Park record for points in a single game when he scored 45 points at Shawnee State on Feb. 11, 2000. He made 11 3-pointers that game, also a school record. He scored a total of 505 points that year and averaged 6.0 rebounds.
Bubon finished up his college playing career at Brewton Parker (Ga.) in 2002-03. He was named Southern States Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year and NAIA Division I Honorable Mention All-America at the school in Mt. Vernon, Ga.
Bubon returned to Point Park in 2004 to finish his degree in history and join the Pioneers’ coaching staff as a student assistant. His first year as the top assistant on staff was 2006-07 when Point Park was 29-2 and was ranked No. 3 in NAIA Division II as a national tournament qualifier.
Bubon’s eight years as Point Park men’s and women’s golf head coach included five conference championships and four trips to the NAIA national tournament for the men’s team. That moved the men’s golf program into a tie with the men’s basketball team for the second-most NAIA national appearances in the Pioneers’ athletic department with five total appearances.
Point Park men’s basketball had its first year competing as a four-year program in 1967-68. Carl Rizzo was the head coach for the first season followed by Mel Cratsley for the second season. The next 47 years had Jerry Conboy for 20 years and Bob Rager for 27 years.