Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SBU to hire Spallina from Adelphi

Joe Spallina, a lifelong resident of Long Island and winner of three consecutive NCAA Division II national championships as the head coach of the Adelphi University women’s lacrosse program, has been named the head women’s lacrosse coach at Stony Brook University, Director of Athletics Jim Fiore announced Wednesday.

“We are thrilled that we have found a head coach who is representative of the type of program we want to have here at Stony Brook - tough, competitive, tenacious and smart,” Fiore said. “Coach Spallina has proven to be committed to student-athlete excellence on and off the field. He has produced national championships by continually recruiting the top local talent on Long Island, and his record speaks for itself. Joe knows Long Island women’s lacrosse, as well as, if not better than anyone, and I think he is the perfect fit to raise Stony Brook’s profile in what is clearly becoming one of the most popular and fastest growing college sports in the country.”

Spallina spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Adelphi, producing a dominant 73-2 (.973) record and an NCAA-record three consecutive Division II national championships, including in 2011 when his team defeated Limestone in the title game on its home field on May 22. The victory completed a perfect 20-0 season and was the team’s 26th consecutive win. Spallina’s Panthers were the wire-to-wire No. 1 ranked team in the nation according to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll.

“I am incredibly excited about this phenomenal opportunity to become the head coach of the Stony Brook University women’s lacrosse team,” Spallina said. “My wife, Mary Beth, and I recognize just how impressive Stony Brook University is, and we are committed to working with the administration, the student-athletes and the entire community to take the women’s lacrosse program to new heights. We will not stop until we achieve the highest levels of success. As we prepare to compete for championships at Stony Brook and to continue to build a strong brand, it is also important that I express my sincere appreciation to everyone at Adelphi University for the exceptional experience I had there during the past four years. As a lifelong resident of Long Island, it has been and will continue to be my great honor to represent the strongest lacrosse community in the nation here on Long Island as the newest member of the Seawolf family.”

In all four of his seasons, Spallina led Adelphi to at least the NCAA Championship semifinals. In 2008, Spallina’s first season, the Panthers won 16 consecutive games to reach the final four before falling to C.W. Post. The following season, Spallina led the program to its first-ever undefeated season with an 18-0 record and beating C.W. Post and Lock Haven to secure Adelphi’s third national championship. In 2010, Spallina’s team won its first 14 games for an overall 32-game winning streak before slipping up against C.W. Post. However, the Panthers avenged the loss by beating Post again in the national semifinals and then topping West Chester for a second consecutive national championship. In 2011, Adelphi’s championship win marked the team’s 26th consecutive victory and the program’s second-ever undefeated season.

Spallina has received numerous personal accolades for his coaching efforts. He is a two-time IWLCA Coach of the Year and a three-time conference Coach of the Year (Northeast-10 in 2010 & ’11 and East Coast Conference in 2009). In 2011, he was named the Nassau County Sports Commission College Coach of the Year, and in 2009, he was the FieldTurf NCAA Division II Women’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year.

Spallina has proven to be a strong recruiter on his native soil. A resident of Rocky Point, N.Y., Spallina’s 2011 roster at Adelphi was 89 percent Long Island recruits, including 16 student-athletes from Suffolk County. In total under Spallina’s watch, Adelphi has had 21 IWLCA All-American selections, 22 IWLCA All-Region picks and 35 All-Conference honorees. His team has also produced the IWLCA Goalie of the Year for three consecutive years and the Attacker of the Year and Midfielder of the Year for two consecutive seasons, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. The team has also nearly swept the conference awards for the last three seasons, producing the conference Player of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year in all three years and Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year for two of the three seasons.

Spallina’s student-athletes have also produced in the classroom. Adelphi’s Kristin Jones was the 2011 NCAA Div. II Elite 88 Award recipient as having the top GPA among the four NCAA Championship teams. She was also named the IWLCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In total, Spallina has had six IWLCA Scholar-Athletes, three CoSIDA Academic All-District selections and one CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree.

In addition to his duties at Adelphi, Spallina is also in his second season as an assistant coach for the Long Island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), helping guide the Lizards to the MLL championship game in 2010. Spallina also is director of the Pro Player Girls Lacrosse Camp in Oakdale, N.Y.

Prior to taking over at Adelphi, Spallina was the head coach of the girls lacrosse team at Rocky Point High School and led the squad to five Suffolk County finals, including three consecutive championships in his last three years, compiling an impressive 87-9 overall record. Spallina also coached the girls soccer team at Rocky Point.

Spallina is a 1996 graduate of Adelphi, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education. He was a four-year starter at midfielder on the men’s lacrosse team and helped lead the Panthers to a 38-14 record and two national championships in 1993 and ’95. He also lettered in men’s soccer for two years. Spallina is also a graduate of Rocky Point High School, where he was All-Conference in lacrosse and All-County in soccer.

Spallina, who also earned his Master of Arts in Health Studies from Stony Brook University in 2004, resides in Rocky Point, N.Y., with his wife, Mary Beth, and four children.

Information on a formal press conference will be announced in the near future.

For more information on Stony Brook Athletics, please visit GoSeawolves.org and follow the Seawolves on Twitter at SBAthletics.