Mark Trakh Leaves Pepperdine To Take Over Vacant Head Coaching Position at USC
April 14, 2004
MALIBU, Calif. - The man who built a nationally recognized basketball program at Pepperdine and who was the winningest active women's basketball coach in the West Coast Conference (WCC), announced today he is leaving Pepperdine University after 11 seasons.
Late Wednesday, Mark Trahk, 48, was named head coach of the University of Southern California (USC).
"Pepperdine will forever hold an enduring place in my heart and my experience here has been better than I ever imagined," Trakh said. "The people here are amazing, especially the players I've coached over the years. I will miss them greatly."
"I think it's also important for me to thank our Director of Athletics, John Watson, and Dr. Andy Benton (Pepperdine University President) for their support over the years. I also want to extend my appreciation to Roxanne Levenson (Senior Women's Administrator) and the entire athletic staff. I couldn't have made it without all their compassion and encouragement."
Nationally recognized for his team's academic success, Trakh maintains a 100 percent graduation rate among his athletes.
"Mark Trakh has been the inspiration and guiding force in bringing Pepperdine's women's basketball to the national scene," Watson commented. "He established a strong foundation for fundamental basketball and a commitment to academic success. He is a tremendous leader, teacher and strategist. We are grateful for the eleven years of service to Pepperdine and wish him the very best in this transition."
Under Trakh's leadership, Pepperdine posted six consecutive 20-win seasons, including a program-best 22-8 overall record in 2002-03, and a cumulative mark of 199-123 (.618).
"Mark was instrumental in raising our women's basketball program to its highly successful level during his 11 years at Pepperdine," Levenson said. "His ability to garner top recruits and develop the entire student-athlete, both on and off the court, sets him above most others. We will miss Mark's leadership, style, passion and abilities tremendously. We wish him the best at USC."
The 2003-2004 campaign concluded with the Waves making their sixth straight post-season appearance as they took part in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. Over the last seven seasons, Pepperdine has registered an overall cumulative record of 145-69 (.678), including a 76-22 (.776) mark in West Coast Conference (WCC) play.
During those seven seasons, the Waves captured three regular-season titles outright, tied for another, finished second twice and tied for third. In each of those campaigns, Pepperdine tallied at least 10 victories, including a school-record 12 wins during the 1999-2000 campaign and again in 2002-03. The 2002-03 season marked the third time in the last four years that Pepperdine advanced to the NCAA Championships
Trakh held the longest tenure of any women's basketball coach in the program's 29-year history.
The search for Pepperdine University's fifth head women's basketball coach will begin immediately.