Arcadia University announced today that Jim Stagnitta, 2013 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Coach of the Year, is the University’s new head men’s lacrosse coach. Stagnitta begins his appointment on Oct. 7.
Stagnitta, a Penn grad, brings 26 years of experience and a proven record of success at the highest levels to Arcadia’s second-year program. He holds a career professional and amateur record of 220-128 for a winning percentage of .632, and has guided teams to seven NCAA tournament appearances and two MLL playoff appearances.
“We are thrilled to bring Jim on board,” said Brian Granata, director of Athletics and Recreation at Arcadia University. “He understands the importance of developing quality student-athletes, and his experience will benefit our team immensely. We have complete confidence in his abilities to develop a quality lacrosse program here at Arcadia.”
Stagnitta spent the last two seasons leading the Denver Outlaws to first-place finishes in the regular season with a combined 26-4 record. Denver went 11-3 and advanced to the MLL championship game in 2012 while establishing five team records, including wins and a single-season MLL record 229 goals. The Outlaws had another record-setting season in 2013, going 14-0 during the regular season before being upset in the MLL semifinals.
“I am honored to have been presented the opportunity to serve as head coach and continue to develop the Arcadia University lacrosse program,” Stagnitta said. “I was impressed with the direction and potential of the program, and the Athletic Department as a whole. The opportunity to work with Brian Granata and the staff of young coaches he has assembled is very appealing. I look forward to the challenge of leading the Arcadia men’s lacrosse program forward and building a strong foundation that will make the University, alumni, and student-athletes proud.”
Stagnitta’s last collegiate coaching stop was at Division I Rutgers University, where he led the Scarlet Knights to 58 victories in 10 seasons, placing him fifth on the program’s career victories list, and back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2003 and 2004. Stagnitta was named U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) and Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I Coach of the Year in 2003 after engineering the biggest turnaround in Division I lacrosse history, leading Rutgers to a 10-5 record after the team went 2-12 in his first season in 2002.
Stagnitta’s first head coaching position was at NCAA Division III Washington and Lee University, where he has more wins than any coach in the program’s history. In 12 seasons there, he guided the Generals to a record of 136-42 that included 12 consecutive top-10 national rankings, six conference championships, and five appearances in the NCAA tournament.
“Mr. Stagnitta has had great success at every lacrosse program he has coached,” said Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen, chief operating officer at Arcadia. “More important than the victories on the field, Mr. Stagnitta has proven his commitment to developing the character of his student-athletes and players. We are very fortunate and excited to welcome him to Arcadia.”
Stagnitta began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, helping lead the Quakers to two NCAA tournament berths and a trip to the national semifinals in 1988. As a student-athlete there, he was a three-year letter winner, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1984. He led the Quakers to a pair of Ivy League championships and two appearances in the NCAA championship tournament.
Additionally, Stagnitta is the owner and operator of MVP Lacrosse, one of the largest lacrosse camp programs in the country with more than 4,000 athletes attending each year nationwide. From 2001 to 2004, he served as president of the USILA.
In 2012, the Arcadia men’s lacrosse program won five games in its inaugural season. Led by head coach Drew Delaney, the Knights produced the MAC Freedom Rookie of the Year in Chris Jacovino and two second-team all-conference players in Patrick McDermott and Casey Joffe. Arcadia opens the 2013 season at home against Immaculata University on Saturday, Feb. 22.