By Caroline McCarthy, Sports Editor
The Manhattan College Athletic Department faced coaching turnover and additions in nine of their Division I sports, which will affect six men’s teams and five women’s teams for the 2022-2023 season.
“I think turnover is like a rejuvenation. I always think when there’s a vacancy, there’s an opportunity to grow and change,” said Marianne Reilly, director of intercollegiate athletics at Manhattan College.
Most notable of the coaching changes lies with the 2022 MAAC Lacrosse Champions. After leading his team to victory for the first time in 20 years of the program’s history, head coach Drew Kelleher was offered and accepted the head coaching position at the UMass Lowell.
Reilly reports that after the championship, UMass Lowell was the first of many athletic departments to inquire about Kelleher. Just a few days later, Kelleher moved on and left his assistant, John Odierna, to be the interim head coach.
John Odierna was solidified as head coach just four days following Kelleher’s departure and hired his first additions to the coaching staff Chad Surman and Doug Sage earlier this summer.
Head baseball coach for the Jaspers Mike Cole’s departure from the team was announced via a tweet from Kendall Rogers. Cole will be joining Army West Point’s squad as head coach Chris Tracz’s top assistant.
Assistant coach Dave Vandercook has been named interim head coach and a permanent replacement will be officially announced this week. Rogers also tweeted that the college is set to hire David Miller, former Major League Baseball player and coach for Penn State-Abington and La Salle University.
Players on the team have confirmed this hire, stating they had a meeting on Friday, Sept. 2 to discuss.
After a chaotic 2021-2022 losing season, the women’s volleyball coach Lora Sarich Egbert will be replaced by Mauro Miletic. Miletic first joined the Jaspers as an assistant coach from 2014-2016 and recently volunteered his time this past season when Egbert was barred from entering Manhattan’s Draddy Gymnasium due to vaccination status. Miletic has hired Sara Atai as his new assistant coach, a position that remained vacant at the college from 2017-2021.
Women’s basketball says goodbye to two assistant coaches, Allie Bassetti, who also served as recruiting coordinator, and Kiambra “Kiki” Griffin. Bassetti has accepted an assistant coaching position at Columbia University and Griffin is now working with the Women’s National Basketball Association as a league operation analyst.
Rena Wakama and Callan Stores, two assistant coaches for the Jaspers, will be taking on the recruiting roles formerly held by Bassetti. Stores will be the defensive coordinator and the international recruiting coordinator, and Wakama will be the recruiting coordinator for the United States. Samera Marsh will join the squad as an assistant coach, and Raven James will join as the new director of basketball operations.
Men’s basketball assistant coach Scott Padgett is leaving his position under head coach Steve Masiello to join the Mississippi State staff as an assistant under new head coach Chris Jans. This change comes during the last year of Masiello’s contract with the Jaspers.
Phil Wildermuth, former head coach of the golf team, has left the position to Keith Prokop as he continues his career at St. John’s University. The program is also set to receive a new golf house and simulator donated by alum and former head coach Jerry Wood.
Margaret Hayden has been promoted from volunteer assistant coach of the track and field team to assistant coach. Hayden will work alongside head coach Kerri Gallagher and assistant coach Patrick McGrath as a throwing instructor and day-to-day operations manager for the Jaspers.
Head coach Jenna Dingler added Stefani Peluso to the women’s lacrosse coaching staff as an assistant coach in May.
Whitney Swab, Manhattan College’s senior associate athletic director for external relations and senior woman administrator will be leaving the college after five years. Swab has accepted a position at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, where she previously worked for six years.
Women’s rowing coach Alex Canale announced to his team he will be leaving the program on a zoom call last week.
Reilly shares that the athletic department is proud of the coaches who have moved on to other opportunities and is excited about the new wave of staff members set to lead the 2022-2023 season.
“When you look at Manhattan College, we recruit really good people to work here,” Reilly said. “What’s going to happen if they have any success? They’re going to get moved.”
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the Riverdale Press by Sports Editor Caroline McCarthy