PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers University head men’s lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta has been named USILA Division I National Coach of the Year, the organization announced at its annual All-American banquet. This is the second postseason award garnered by Stagnitta, who was also named ECAC Coach of the Year.
“This honor holds great significance for me because the recognition comes from your fellow coaches,” said Stagnitta. “We didn’t reinvent the wheel, we just had a great group of kids, who bought into our system, and a terrific group of assistants.”
Stagnitta, in just his second year at Rutgers, engineered the biggest turnaround in Division I lacrosse, guiding the Scarlet Knights to a 10-5 record after a 2-12 campaign in 2002. The season was highlighted by Rutgers’ first NCAA Lacrosse Championships berth since 1991. In the first round of the tournament, the Scarlet Knights hosted its first postseason game since 1986, against Georgetown, on Sunday, May 11. The Hoyas won the contest, 9-6, but Rutgers (10-5) still finished with its most wins since 1990.
Stagnitta led the Scarlet Knights to victories over five ranked teams, including
three overtime wins, at No. 13 Towson and No. 4 Syracuse, and at home against
No. 17 UMBC. The Scarlet Knights also earned a 12-9 win over No. 3 Massachusetts
on May 3 in the regular season finale at Yurcak Field. UMass is the highest
ranked team Rutgers has defeated since beating No. 3 Syracuse in 1998. Rutgers
also defeated No. 10 Navy on the road, 13-8, on March 15.