Major League Lacrosse is proud to announce Denver Outlaws’ Coach Jim Stagnitta as the 2013 Brine Coach of the Year. Coach Stagnitta led the talented Outlaws squad to the first perfect season in MLL history, ending the regular season with an unprecedented 14-0 record.
“Receiving this award is a great honor and the culmination of the hard work of many people,” said Stagnitta. “Starting with a selfless group of players who bought into the system, a phenomenal staff including Tony Seaman, B.J. O’Hara and Stan Ross, they all contributed to making this season a success. It is also a great honor to be recognized by my peers. It is a group of people that I have a lot of respect for and knowing they voted for me adds more to this award.”
This season’s Denver team boasts a stacked roster with skilled players on both ends of the field. Eager young players like Chris Bocklet and Eric Law, combined with veteran leaders such as Brendan Mundorf and Jesse Schwartzman, provide a strong core for a team that depends on balance throughout the ranks. Talent alone, however, does not win games. Stagnitta acted as an architect this season, putting together pieces of a puzzle to build the most successful regular season team in MLL history.
“Coach Stagnitta’s award is very well deserved,” said MLL Commissioner David Gross. “Going 14-0 in the regular season is something that no other MLL coach has done and at this point can only be matched and not surpassed.”
The second year head man beat out three other coaches who had fantastic seasons — Dave Huntley of the Hamilton Nationals, Mike Cerino of the Charlotte Hounds and Dave Cottle of the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Huntley, who led the Nats to their best season in club history finished second in the voting with four first place votes, also receiving five second and third place votes. The Hounds’ Cerino finished third in this year’s voting, compiling a first place vote along with seven second and four third place tallies. Cottle received two first place votes and four third place votes.
While this is only Stagnitta’s second season in the MLL, he is no stranger to regular season success. Last year, Denver finished first in the league with an impressive 11-3 record. The Outlaws were also major contenders in post-season play, making an appearance in last year’s Championship game.
Before joining the Outlaws coaching staff in 2011, Stagnitta spent the previous 10 years as the Head Coach at Rutgers University. In his time at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights made two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in 2003 and 2004 and established themselves as one of the top lacrosse programs in the nation. Coach Stagnitta’s efforts earned him NCAA coach of the year in 2003.
Before Rutgers, Stagnitta spent twelve years as head coach at Washington and Lee University, ending each season with a winning record, and worked three years as an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater. Stagnitta ended his extensive college coaching career with a 213-132 record.
Coach Stagnitta’s successful college coaching career has no doubt helped him build this championship contending Denver Outlaws team. After a tough loss in last year’s championship game, Stagnitta created a smarter, tougher, hungrier Denver team that shows no signs of stopping any time soon.