June 25, 2010

Cerino Steps Down at Limestone; Now AD

from press release

GAFFNEY, S.C.
- Mike Cerino, who has guided the Limestone College men's lacrosse program to unprecedented success in his 15 seasons as the school's head coach, will relinquish his duties as head coach to focus all attention on the growing responsibilities placed upon his shoulders as Director of Athletics, beginning July 1, according to an announcement Friday by College President Dr. Walt Griffin.

The school's all-time wins leader for men's lacrosse, with 128 victories and 66 losses (.660), will look to guide the Athletic Department forward as it takes part in a new capital campaign which will aid in further developing the College's athletic facilities.

"Four years ago Dr. Griffin offered me an opportunity to return to Limestone to lead the men's lacrosse program and begin a career as an athletics administrator. Over those four years our department has grown to 22 intercollegiate sports programs with over 500 athletes and the need to expand our athletics facilities has become paramount. While my lacrosse journey is coming to a close, I anticipate the challenges of our capital campaign and reshaping our facilities with tremendous excitement and energy," noted Cerino.

In his first three years as Director of Athletics, Cerino has transformed the department. Under his leadership, Limestone has completed an NCAA institutional self-study and compliance blue print review, conducted a gender equity review to ensure the department's compliance with Title IX, expanded the athletic training department in both staffing and equipment, re-branded the athletics marks and logos, redesigned the athletics website, and secured an exclusive and favorable buying contract with a sports apparel company to support the various athletic programs. In addition, Cerino secured the necessary funding to add field hockey and men's volleyball; all while maintaining the budgetary goals of the Athletics Department.

The 43-year-old Cerino, who founded the men's lacrosse program in 1990 and built it into a National Champion in just 11 years, steps away from a 2010 team that went 12-2 overall and undefeated in the South Region. The Saints reached the NCAA Division II post-season where they fell to LeMoyne College, 11-7. Limestone men's lacrosse has made 11 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in Division II, which is the longest current streak and the second most all-time appearances behind Adelphi University with 14.

Stepping away from a coaching career where he guided two elite programs, at Limestone College and Washington and Lee University, Coach Cerino compiled an overall record of 181-90 (.668) over 21 seasons. He led Limestone to a NCAA Division II National Championship in 2000 and took Washington and Lee to the NCAA Division III Semifinal in 2002. He won a total of 8 conference championships between the two programs.

Coach Cerino was inducted into the Limestone College Hall of Fame in the fall of 2004. He was named the Deep South Coach of the year in 1994 and 1998 and was the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Coach of the year in 2002 and 2004. Following the 2000 season, Cerino was named Street and Smith's College Lacrosse USA Division II Coach of the Year. He is also a three-time recipient of the Jim "Ace" Adams National Sportsmanship Award.

Coach Cerino serves on the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) Board of Directors and is currently serving his second appointment to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Committee, having completed his first term from 1997-2000, operating as Committee Chair in 2000. He has been a member of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division III All-America Committee, the USILA National Ranking Committee; and was also selected to be a presenter at the 2000 and 2004 US Lacrosse Clinic and at the 2006 IMLCA Clinic.

During his 21 year coaching career, Cerino also guided the Charlotte Latin School boy's lacrosse team to an appearance in the NCISAA 2001 State Playoffs. He has mentored 49 USILA All-Americans and in 1996 was a coach for the South team in the 53rd Annual Division I North/South Classic All-Star Game.

In making the announcement, President Walt Griffin noted, "In some ways this is a sad day for Limestone College when Mike Cerino, the founding father of our highly successful men's lacrosse program and the coach whose team won our first National Championship, is relinquishing his coaching duties. However, Mike has also been very successful in his role as Athletics Director and we expect that allowing him to focus completely on those responsibilities will be a major benefit to Limestone College in the future."

While his presence on the field will be missed, having Coach Cerino at the Athletic Department's helm will bring victories to Limestone College both inside and outside the lines of play.


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