LOUDONVILLE — Siena lacrosse has a new head man.
New men’s lacrosse head coach Liam Gleason was introduced to media on Thursday afternoon at Siena College as the 10th head coach in program history.
He inherits a team that struggled last season, finishing with a 3-9 record and the resignation of John Svec following the season. Gleason, who does not move very far, his previous job being the associate head coach at UAlbany, preached an immediate culture change for the program in their hunt to get back to the top of the MAAC.
“My goal in our first year will be to build a culture of positivity, passion for the game and a mindset of competitive nature in everything we do,” Gleason said Thursday.
He had spent the last seven seasons at UAlbany as their associate head coach under Scott Marr, a program that achieved great success and reached the national semifinals this spring. Before that, he had spent time as an assistant coach at Siena under Brian Becht, and then spent a year as the head coach at Division II St. Rose to build their program, but albeit never coached a game or practice. However, his former bosses, specifically UAlbany head coach Scott Marr, and he himself believe that he is ready to lead a Division I program.
“I got to a spot in my mind and my heart that I knew I was ready to take that next step, and then when Siena opened up, to me it was just a no-brainer,” Gleason said. “Scott has always given me a lot of confidence, he’s been telling me that I’m ready to be a head coach for probably about four years now, so that’s always something I’ll cherish.”
Siena vice president and athletic director John D’Argenio added, “Not only does he know lacrosse, but he also knows Siena. He knows the values that we espouse and he’s going to help us recruit and coach to those values.”
The players seem to be very happy with the new hire and are excited to play for him.
“The fact that we’re going to have fun while we win is a big bonus. You never want a coach to come in and be hard on you and you don’t enjoy it. He’s going to do the right things,” said Anthony Tebbano, a goalkeeper who is a rising sophomore on the team.
Also, he addressed that he wishes to bring back the Siena-UAlbany lacrosse rivalry, in which a game has not been held in recent years. While UAlbany’s schedule for the 2019 season is full, Gleason said that he eventually wants to bring the nonconference rivalry back on the forefront. He also said that he has had a number of coaches contact him about games for next season that he hopes will pad the team’s schedule.
Overall, Gleason is a coach who wants to be in the Capital Region, an area that he has seen grow into a hub for lacrosse in the time that he has been around, both at the high school and college levels. He graduated UAlbany in 2007 and has been an area college coach ever since.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience to see the Capital District grow as far as lacrosse goes. You have two amazing Division I programs here, bunch of D-3 programs and the high school level is booming. It’s just a really exciting place to be a lacrosse coach,” Gleason said.
Gleason does want the players from last year’s team to stay, and the team will begin to get ready in the fall to start play next spring.