By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/21/20
The lacrosse season for most Division III programs is opening this week, but Immaculata University is now without a head men’s lacrosse coach.
Niko Amato was informed Friday by Immaculata that he was being relieved of his post after two seasons (4-25 record). He said he was not given a reason; an Immaculata spokesperson said today only that Amato was no longer the coach but that no other information would be given.
Amato – a multiple All-American at La Salle College High and Maryland – inherited a program that has not made a post-season since 2011 and has had one winning season (2010) since the program was launched in 2007.
“I was trying to build a program,” said Amato, also the Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year in 2008 when he led La Salle to the final PSLA state crown. “I gave it my all and I will still be rooting for the players.”
Amato, also a standout in Major League Lacrosse with the Chesapeake Bayhawks, was the MLL Brine Co-Goalie of the Year in 2018.
A former member of the Duke’s Lacrosse Club and a Duke’s LC coach, he was an assistant at Chestnut Hill College before moving to Immaculata.
Amato helped lead Maryland to the NCAA Division I Tournament all four years, including two appearances (2011, 2012) in the finals. Amato was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team in 2011. He was a three-time USILA All-American, earning First Team status in 2014 to follow up Second Team in 2013 and Honorable Mention in 2012. Amato also captured the prestigious Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award in 2014 as the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I goalie.
Amato is one of only two Maryland players to earn All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) all four years (2011-2014) as a player. He was chosen as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year his senior season in 2014.
Following graduation from Maryland, Amato was selected in the fourth round as the 29th overall pick in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) draft by Florida. He has played with the Chesapeake Bayhawks since the 2015 season.