Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/23/14
Lehigh University men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Cassese will be inducted into the Long Island Metropolitan
Lacrosse Foundation Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame on Feb. 8 during the 29th annual induction ceremony at the Huntington Hilton Hotel in Melville, N.Y.
Cassese, a graduate of Comsewogue High in Suffolk County on Long Island, will be joined by inductees Tom Campolettano, Judy Stamatis, Ernie Olson, Nicholas Polanco, Doug Shanahan and Rich Wehman. Cassese is already a member of the Long Island High School Hall of Fame.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected to the LI lacrosse HOF,” said Cassese. “I’ve been blessed in my life to be surrounded by great people … family, friends, teammates, coaches, teachers, and mentors. This honor is a reflection of the lasting impact those very important people had on my life.”
Cassese was a High School All-American and helped transform Comsewogue from a struggling program into a New York state power. Playing midfield and at the face-off X, Cassese helped the Warriors win a New York State championship and earned the prestigious Ray Enners Award as the top lacrosse player in Suffolk County.
From Comsewogue, Cassese went to Duke where he helped the Blue Devils win two ACC championships and reach the quarterfinals twice and was a two-time first-team All-America selection and a one-time second-team selection. He won the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award given to a player with outstanding academic and athletic achievement in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
He was also named ACC Player of the Year in 2001, and won the Lt. Donald McLaughlin Jr. Award as the NCAA’s most outstanding midfielder in 2002. He finished his career with 80 goals and 38 assists.
Cassese took a job as an assistant coach at Stony Brook University and later was an assistant at Duke, his alma mater, where he assisted on a team that reached the NCAA title game in 2007.
Cassese took over as head coach at Lehigh in 2007 and again transformed a struggling program into a power. He has led the Mountain Hawks to consecutive Patriot League championships.
In 2012, Cassese led the Mountain Hawks to a school-record 14 wins, a program record nine-game winning streak and their highest-ever national ranking; Lehigh came in at #4 nationally in the final Coaches Poll following the regular season.
The excitement around the program has never been higher as Lehigh finished 10th in the final Coaches Poll of 2013, in or near the top 10 for the last two seasons.
Cassese also was a lacrosse standout on the field after graduating Duke. He played on two Philadelphia Barrage teams that won MLL championship and was a member of the US U-19 Men’s Team that won the International Lacrosse Foundation’s World Championship in 1999 in Adelaide, Australia. Two years later, he won the 2002 World Championship with the US Men’s Team in Perth, Australia.
In 2006, Cassese was part of the US team that lost to Canada, 15-10, but he captained the US team that avenged the loss in Manchester, England.
Cassese continues to make his mark on the U.S. Lacrosse scene as he’s coached the United States in Stars & Stripes Weekend and Champion Challenge each of the last two years. In February, Cassese was named an assistant coach for the 2014 U.S. men’s national team, joining a staff led by former Navy head coach Richie Meade. Cassese will serve as one of three assistant coaches along with Dave Pietramala (Johns Hopkins) and Jeff Tambroni (Penn State).