Stagnitta Resigns as Rutgers' Head Coach
from press release
Rutgers' Jim Stagnitta became the fourth Division I head coach to resign in the last week, joining Towson's Tony Seaman, Navy's Richie Meade and Wagner's Jason Rife. Stagnitta has 22 years coaching experience, including the last 10 in Piscataway.
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers Director
of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti announced Monday that
men’s lacrosse head coach Jim Stagnitta has resigned from his
position, effective immediately. Stagnitta served as head coach of
the Rutgers men’s lacrosse program for 10 years, highlighted
by two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in 2003 and 2004,
the first for the Scarlet Knights since making the postseason in
“I appreciate the opportunity Rutgers University has provided me,” said Stagnitta. “Over the past 10 seasons, I have coached terrific kids and built relationships that will carry on for a lifetime. I especially want to thank my staff and administrators for their support and friendship over the years. I will certainly miss the people. We have a talented group of young men who have worked very hard and I know that they will achieve on a high level both on and off the field in the years to come.”
On the strength of a 10-4 regular season record in 2003, Rutgers advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991, and Stagnitta was rewarded by being named the 2003 USILA National Coach of the Year.
In 22 years of coaching, Stagnitta has won 60 percent of his games, which ranks in the top 20 among active coaches.
“Jim poured his heart and soul into our program and we can’t thank him enough for his years of dedicated service,” Pernetti said. “He ran his program with integrity and delivered many significant contributions to Rutgers lacrosse.”
During his time at Rutgers, Stagnitta has led the Scarlet Knights to back-to-back NCAA tournament berths (2003, 2004) and victories over 12 ranked opponents.
As a byproduct of his team’s success, several of
Stagnitta’s players have earned conference and national
awards. In 2006, goalie Greg Havalchak, who was part of
Stagnitta’s first recruiting class, was selected in the 2006
Major League Lacrosse draft by the Baltimore Bayhawks as the 32nd
overall pick. The 2003 ECAC and Inside Lacrosse Rookie of the Year,
Havalchak earned Second Team All-America honors from the USILA in
2004, while finishing second nationally in save percentage and
fourth in goals-against average. Attackman Devon Britts, who
finished his Scarlet Knights career with 21 goals and seven
assists, was also selected in the 2006 Major League Lacrosse Draft
by the Los Angeles Riptide as the 45th pick in the draft. In the
2010 MLL Draft, Justin Pennington was selected by the Chicago
Machine with the 25th overall selection.
Several other Scarlet Knights have also gone on to careers with Major League Lacrosse teams.
Delby Powless, who scored 63 goals over his two-year Rutgers career, was a two-time USILA Honorable Mention All-America and was selected by the Buffalo Bandits with the first overall pick in the 2004 National Lacrosse League Draft. Two-time All-ECAC selection Chris O’Dougherty was selected in the fourth round (31st overall) of the 2009 Major League Lacrosse Draft. He was chosen by the Denver Outlaws.
Eleven of Stagnitta’s players -- Brad Kerwin (2002), Nick Schmidt (2003), Jeff Duca (2003), Joe Duncan (2004), Powless (2004), Jamie Lovejoy (2005), Havalchak (2006), Colin Checcio (2007), O’Dougherty (2009), Gerhard Buehning and Pennington (2010) -- have played in the prestigious North/South All-Star Classic. Stagnitta coached the South squad in 2009.
A national search for Stagnitta’s replacement will be conducted immediately. Assistant coach Errol Wilson will serve as interim head coach.
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