CORTLAND, NY – Rutgers head men’s lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta was presented with the annual Howdy Meyers Man of the Year award at the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-American banquet on Friday, June 10.
The Howdy Meyers award was established in 1944 in honor of one of the game’s most outstanding coaches, who spent much of his career molding Hofstra into a national power.
Stagnitta recently finished his 16th season as a head coach and fourth at Rutgers. The 2003 USILA National Coach of the Year, Stagnitta has guided the Scarlet Knights to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2003, 2004) and has a 160-74 (.684) career record. Stagnitta arrived in Piscataway after molding Washington and Lee University into one of the most dominant programs at the NCAA Division III level. He compiled a staggering 136-42 (.764) record at W&L, including 12 consecutive winning seasons and a 56-8 record (.875) from 1998-2001.
After leading the Scarlet Knights to the biggest turnaround in Division I lacrosse in 2003, Stagnitta guided Rutgers to an 8-6 record the following year, which resulted in another NCAA Tournament bid. The Scarlet Knights were ranked in the USILA Top 15 the entire season, climbing as high as No. 4 for two weeks in March.
Along with his coaching success, Stagnitta has spent 12 years in the hierarchy of the USILA. In 2003 and 2004, he served as the organization’s president, and has also been the vice president and Division III representative during his career.
“It’s always nice to be recognized by your peers,” said Stagnitta. “It’s an honor just to be considered for the award, especially because of who it comes from.”
In 2005, Rutgers faced seven NCAA Tournament teams, including two that advanced to the quarterfinals. The Scarlet Knights earned their first victory over Princeton in 16 years with an 8-5 triumph over the Tigers on April 9.