July 1, 2012

Mercy's Manitta Named Manhattan Head Coach

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | Division I Coaching Carousel

updated 07.02.2012 at 2.30 p.m.

RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Steve Manitta has been named head coach of the Manhattan College men's lacrosse program. Manitta comes to Riverdale after three years as head men's lacrosse coach/assistant athletic director at Mercy College.

"Coach Manitta impressed me as a 'can-do' coach with an excellent record of rapidly improving programs he takes over," Manhattan Athletic Director Bob Byrnes said. "He is extremely positive and enjoys an excellent reputation among other lacrosse coaches, which is invaluable in recruiting student-athletes to Manhattan. I feel fortunate to have Steve join us and know his impact will be very positive with the players."

Manitta was hired as the first head coach of Mercy's fledgling men's lacrosse program in 2009. The team began play in 2010 and posted a 5-10 record in the competitive East Coast Conference (ECC) during its inaugural season. In 2011, he was named ECC Coach of the Year after leading the Mavericks to an 11-3 mark. Mercy was nationally ranked in 10 of 12 weeks that season, peaking at No. 7, and the six-win improvement represented the biggest jump of any program in NCAA Division II. In addition, Mercy led Division II in man-down defense in 2011, allowing just seven goals in 68 man-down situations (10.3 percent).

Among the 80-plus players Manitta recruited during his time at Mercy was goalkeeper T.J. DiCarlo, who was the USILA Division II Goalkeeper of the Year and an All-American in 2011.

"I want to thank Mr. Byrnes for allowing me this opportunity," Manitta said. "We had a few very positive conversations about the direction of Manhattan College and the MAAC. I'm absolutely thrilled to be a Jasper and excited to get started. Right things happen when the time is right."

Prior to his arrival at Mercy, Manitta was the head coach at Chatham High School in Chatham, N.J., from 2001-09. He compiled a 115-47 record at Chatham and developed five All-American players, including the 2008 NJSIAA Player of the Year. Manitta guided the Cougars to a pair of conference titles in 2007-08, as well as consecutive appearances in the Morris County Tournament semifinals. His 2002 squad reached the state quarterfinals for the first time school history.

Manitta began his coaching career at Roxbury High School in Succasunna, N.J., where he established the lacrosse program in 1993. He guided the program to the state tournament in just its third year of existence and mentored eight all-conference players, including five all-state selections, in seven seasons.

"I think that starting two programs from the ground-up and having success right away is beneficial," Manitta said. "The MAAC is a very competitive conference, and Manhattan is outstanding academically, as well."

Manitta is just the third head coach in the history of the Manhattan men's lacrosse program, which began play in 1996.

He and his wife, Kim, reside in Chatham, N.J., with their two sons, Teddy and Colin.

Original story 07.01.2012 at 8.01 p.m.

Steve Manitta, the head coach of the Division II Mercy men's lacrosse team, will be formally announced as the new head coach at Division I Manhattan College on Monday, Manhattan athletic director Bob Byrnes confirmed to Lacrosse Magazine on Sunday night.

Manitta notified his players at Mercy about the news beginning on Friday and he has been in contact with current Manhattan players about taking the job.

In October 2008, Manitta was tabbed as the first coach at Mercy, located in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and the program began competition in 2009-10 in the East Coast Conference. Manhattan College is located in the Bronx, N.Y., about 11 miles south of Mercy.

Mercy went 22-20 over Manitta's three seasons, going 5-10 in the program's inaugural season, 11-3 in 2011 and 6-7 this year.

Prior to Mercy, Manitta served as the head boys lacrosse coach at Chatham High (N.J.) from 2001-08 and left as the winningest coach in program history with a 115-47 record.

In his first season, Chatham was ranked in the state for the first time ever. In his second season, Manitta was named the state coach of the year by the Star Ledger and Daily Record after leading Chatham to the quarterfinals of the New Jersey state championships.

From 1993-2000 he was the head coach of Roxbury (N.J.) High and brought the team to the New Jersey state tournament in his third season.

A native of Fulton, N.Y., Manitta played at SUNY Morrisville, earning all-region honors as a midfielder in 1989. He later earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Nyack College.

Manitta replaces Tim McIntee, whom Manhattan said would not return after the season. Manhattan finished the 2012 campaign with a 5-9 overall record and went 1-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

Manitta's hire at Manhattan fills the last coaching vacancy in the Division I men's ranks for programs already competing. Monmouth, which begins varsity play in the spring of 2014, is still seeking a head coach. Scranton's Jim Rogalski was named head coach at Lafayette on Friday. Providence tabbed Duke assistant Chris Gabrielli on June 15.

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