Mariano Out at Sacred Heart After 17 Seasons
|Tom Mariano went 89-144 in 17
years at Sacred Heart, but was named the NEC's Coach of the Year
after the Pioneers made the league playoffs for the first
© Joe Rogate
There are now two Division I men's coaching openings.
Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., said Friday that Tom Mariano is no longer its head coach after 17 seasons at the helm. Mariano won Northeast Conference Coach of the Year honors this season.
"The Sacred Heart Department of Athletics announced that head men's lacrosse coach Tom Mariano is no longer with the University. The athletic department will begin a search for his replacement," a brief statement reads on the Sacred Heart athletics website.
Mariano had an 89-144 career record at Sacred Heart. The Pioneers went 3-11 this season and 3-2 in the NEC, making the conference postseason for the first time and first postseason berth since 2001.
Sacred Heart had played in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) for eight seasons under Mariano before moving to the NEC following spring 2009.
Before Sacred Heart, Mariano, an Ossining, N.Y. native, was head coach at Marist.
Mariano graduated from Nazareth in 1995, winning a Division III national title as a player there, and he earned a Master's in elementary education from Sacred Heart in 2000.
The coaching change is the second announced this offseason at the Division I men's level.
Last week, Hobart announced T.W. Johnson, its head coach for the previous five seasons, was leaving to take a job at his high school alma mater. He will be the new director of boys' athletics and boys' lacrosse coach at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (Va.).
Sacred Heart this season had four players named to the All-NEC team and two of them are set to return: first-team All-NEC rising senior defenseman Andrew Newbold and rising sophomore midfielder Alex Dodge, who was named to the NEC's all-rookie team.
The Pioneers lost their first eight games of the season, but won three of the last six.
Sacred Heart lost to eventual NEC champion Bryant in the league's post-season semifinal round, 11-9.