John Battaglino has his first chance to be a head coach at the collegiate level.
The University at Albany named Battaglino to succeed Lindsey Hart as its women's lacrosse team head coach last Thursday. Battaglino was Hart's assistant coach last season following five seasons on Syracuse University's coaching staff.
Battaglino said he doesn't feel like the promotion significantly changes his role, though.
I 've never felt like an assistant wherever I've been, he said. "I've always been kind of left alone to do whatever I felt that I needed to do."
Battaglino " who turned the Bethlehem Central High School girls lacrosse program into a Section II juggernaut in his nine seasons there " said Hart's resignation last week due to what the university called "personal reasons" did not come as a surprise.
"Part of me coming here [to UAlbany] was that I knew Lindsey before, and I knew she was someone I could work with," said Battaglino. "I did have a feeling she'd be leaving soon, and we talked about it a little. So, it wasn't a surprise."
"We are appreciative of Lindsey's contributions to the women's lacrosse program. She has been an excellent representative of the university and its values," UAlbany athletic director Lee McElroy said in a press release. "John's appointment will provide for a seamless transition as the program continues to ascend. He is a proven winner who has the leadership and vision that will positively impact our student-athletes."
Battaglino's impact since moving into the collegiate ranks has been felt at the offensive end of the field. While at Syracuse, he turned the Orange into the nation's top-scoring team in 2008 with 380 goals and 541 points. At UAlbany this past season, Battaglino's offensive schemes made the Great Danes the second-highest ranked NCAA Division I team in scoring (15.06 goals per game).