Mark Trakh has proven a successful leader for the Women of Troy, navigating his squad to the NCAA tournament in his first two seasons at USC before a run of injuries stalled out posteason pushes in the next two seasons. His USC squads have reached the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament three of the past four years, and last year the Trojans served up their first upset of Stanford since 2004.
Trakh now enters his fifth season at the helm of the Trojan women's basketball program and 15th season as a collegiate head coach, with a USC record of 73-49 (.598) and career record of 272-172 (.597). Now with his 250th career win well in the books, Trakh is striding on in his USC career, eager to see his newest recruits in action alongside his previously injured 2006 bluechip player Jacki Gemelos. Gemelos headlined a group of four newcomers considered the nation's No. 1 recruiting class entering in 2006.
The injury bug held tight to the USC roster in 2006-07, when Trakh had just a handful of healtyh scholarship players and three top players sidelined throughout the year. Still, Trakh and his Trojans made adjustments and extended their win streak over rival UCLA to five in a row and pushed through Pac-10 play to reach the semifinals once again, finishing the year with a 17-13 overall mark.
The 2005-06 season marked a gutsy effort by Trakh's Trojans, who reached the NCAA Second Round for the second straight season. Under Trakh's guidance, USC finished 19-12 and took fourth in the Pac-10 while placing three players on all-conference lists.
In his first year at Troy, Trakh followed up a successful 11-year stand as head women's basketball coach at Pepperdine by propelling the 2004-05 Women of Troy to their first NCAA tournament appearance in seven years. That season, Trakh led the 20-11 Trojans to a second-place tie in the Pac-10 at 12-6 to help earn a long-awaited place in the 2005 NCAA tournament. There, USC posted a first-round win over Louisville before falling on a last-second basket to NCAA runner-up Michigan State.
Trakh, 50, was hired on April 14, 2004, becoming the seventh head coach in USC history.
"I am very grateful for this opportunity," said Trakh. "USC is a wonderful institution and I am honored to be a part of it. We will work very hard to make USC basketball one of the top teams in the country once again."
"During his time at Pepperdine, Mark proved that he deserved this position," said USC athletic director Mike Garrett. "We were very impressed with his teams' success both on the court and in the classroom. He is a perfect fit to our current staff of outstanding head coaches."
In 11 seasons (1994-2004) as the Waves' head coach, Trakh built a nationally recognized program that made six postseason appearances (2000, 2002-03) NCAA; 1999, 2001, 2004 WNIT) and dominated play in the West Coast Conference, winning four of the last six league titles. He was twice named WCC Coach of the Year (1999, 2002).
His teams compiled a 199-123 (.618) overall record at Pepperdine and a 99-55 (.643) mark in the WCC. Under his leadership, Pepperdine posted six 20-win seasons.
Trakh coached two WCC Players of the Year -- Rasheeda Clark (2000) and Tamara McDonald (2002). Clark went on to become Pepperdine's first WNBA pick. In total, Trakh has had seven players advance to the professional ranks, both internationally and in the U.S.
More impressive is the fact that in 11 years at Pepperdine, Trakh graduated each and every one of his student-athletes (100% graduation rate).
Over his last seven seasons in Malibu, Trakh's teams accounted for an overall record of 145-69 (.678) and a 76-22 (.776) record in the WCC. Pepperdine's conference winning percentage during that time topped all member schools. In those seven years, the Waves also captured three regular-season titles outright while tying for another, and finished second twice and third once. In each of those seven campaigns, Pepperdine tallied at least 10 conference victories, including a school-record 12 wins in 2000 and 2003.
In 2004, his squad finished 17-13 overall, tied for second in the WCC at 10-4. The team made their sixth-straight postseason appearance by advancing to the Women's NIT.
The previous year marked the third time in four years that the Waves advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The 2003 squad won 14 of its last 17 games to reach the 20-win plateau for the sixth consecutive season, becoming the first team in WCC history to accomplish the feat.
Trakh earned his two WCC Coach of the Year honors in 2002 and 1999. Pepperdine compiled a 23-8 record in 2002, captured the conference championship and advanced to the NCAAs. In 1999, the Waves recorded a 21-9 overall mark and tied for the regular-season conference title. At the time, the WCC champion was not granted an automatic NCAA bid and Pepperdine advanced to the WNIT.
The 2000 campaign was a season of firsts for the program as Pepperdine won its first-ever outright WCC title and made its inaugural NCAA Tournament appearance. In addition to winning a school-record 12 conference games, the Waves reached the championship game of the WCC Tournament for the second straight year. Trakh came to Pepperdine after serving as the head girls' basketball coach at Brea (Calif.) Olinda High for 13 seasons (1981-93). During his tenure, the Ladycats emerged as a nationally prominent program, compiling a cumulative record of 354-45 (.887) and earning annual rankings from USA Today. His teams captured four California state championships (1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993), six CIF Southern Section titles (1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993) and 11 consecutive Orange League crowns. Brea Olinda High did not lose more than two games during any of Trakh's final five seasons, rolling to an amazing record of 161-8 (.953).
Several of his players went on to enjoy successful collegiate careers, including ex-USC standout and current assistant coach Jody (Anton) Wynn.
Trakh is a member of the City of Brea Hall of Fame and the Southern California High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
A 1981 graduate of Long Beach State with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a teaching credential, Trakh also taught English at Brea Olinda. He also attended Fairleigh Dickinson and Fullerton Community College before transferring to LBSU.
He served as assistant boys' varsity basketball coach at Western High in Anaheim, Calif.
Born on May 31, 1955, Trakh prepped at Lakeland Regional High in Wanque, N.J., where he played both baseball and basketball.
Trakh is the godfather to Derek and Jody Wynn's daughter Jada.