Section: Sports

Lacrosse coach leaves for Division I program

Lacrosse coach leaves for Division I program

courtesy of Marty Fuller

By Alex Pijanowski

Lacrosse is a fast-paced sport, and sudden changes in fortune are an integral part of the game. Lords Assistant Coach Gary DiClementi is aware that the same is often true for the sport’s coaches.

After three seasons working alongside Head Coach Doug Misarti, DiClementi left Kenyon this week to begin preparing for a position as defensive coordinator at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y.

DiClementi said that Matt Poskay, the head coach at Wagner, reached out to him after someone recommended his name. After interviewing last Thursday, DiClementi was offered and accepted the position the following day.

Misarti anticipated that DiClementi might move to another school in the near future.  

“I was well informed the entire way, and also encouraged him the entire way,” Misarti said. “That is part of my role: to develop my assistants to take that next step in their career.”

“There’s a lot about the position that’s exciting,”  DiClementi said. For one thing, DiClementi, who hails from Long Island, N.Y., found the opportunity to be closer to home enticing.

“I’m about 10 hours away from my family on Long Island,” he said. “Everyone still lives there … so to be closer to them was a big part of the decision.”

The particular makeup of the institution was also appealing. Despite Wagner being a member of Division-I athletics, DiClementi is optimistic that the transition will not be as stark as it might be if  he were departing for a larger school, especially given some of Wagner’s similarities to other schools he knows well.

“[Wagner] is a Division-I school, but it’s very much like a Division-III school — it’s a small, private, liberal arts college,” DiClementi said. “A lot of things are similar to Kenyon, or to Drew University [Madison, N.J.], where I went to college.”

What might have made the opportunity most attractive, though, was its once-in-a-lifetime nature.

“The Division-I aspect is huge,” DiClementi said. “Very few assistants make that jump, so I’m really honored to have the opportunity.”

At this week’s Monday afternoon practice, DiClementi made an announcement to the entire team that he would be departing for Wagner. This was inevitably a bittersweet moment; both coaches and players said they were aware of the opportunities presented by the position, but nonetheless lament the separation.

For DiClementi, it will be especially difficult to leave behind this year’s senior class, as their first collegiate season was also his first at Kenyon.

“The seniors this year were freshmen when I came,” he said. “We’ve kind of gone through this for three years and been through a lot — ups and downs, good times and bad.”

“We kind of grew up together — him as a coach, and me as a player,” Co-Captain Jack Fraser ’15 said.

Misarti is confident in DiClementi’s abilities: “His knowledge of the game for a coach at this stage of his career is really strong,” he said. “I think he’s ready to go and do a great job at Wagner.”

Misarti will now begin the process of finding a successor to DiClementi — he began advertising for the position on Tuesday. For many on the roster, however, he will not be replaced easily.  

“[He] will be missed dearly by everyone on the team,” Patrick Kim ’15 said.

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