Spallina named MLL Coach of the Year

Joe Spallina
 
Joe Spallina
 
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Aug. 16, 2012

BOSTON – Stony Brook women's lacrosse head coach Joe Spallina has been named the 2012 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Coach of the Year, the league announced Wednesday, after leading the Long Island Lizards to an 8-6 record and the fourth seed in the 2012 MLL Championship Weekend.

"It’s a tremendous honor," Spallina said in a MLL press release. "This is the highest level of the sport that we all love, so I’m tremendously humbled. Our team dealt with a different kind of hand and dealt with adversity and guys deciding not to play or being injured, but that's a tribute to the character of guys we have who share the same vision that I had of restructuring and getting to the top level.

“We have a good group and the right mix of veterans and a very young team. A large part of our success has to do with rookies hitting the ground running and the way our veterans welcomed those guys in and made them feel part of it." 

In his first season with the Lizards, Spallina turned around a squad that missed postseason in 2011 into a postseason qualifier in 2012. The Lizards head into championship weekend leading the league in fewest two-point goals allowed with just eight and is fourth in MLL in scoring with 165 goals.

This is Spallina's second coach of the year honor in 2012. He was named America East Coach of the Year after turning around the Stony Brook women's lacrosse program with an NCAA-best 10-win improvement, leading the Seawolves to 14 victories and their first-ever America East Championship final appearance.

Spallina's Long Island Lizards squad will face top seed Denver in the semifinals on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. The championship game takes place the following day, Aug. 26, at 3 p.m.