By Carolyn Stransky
With the new field finished and a new coach hired, the development of the Beloit lacrosse program is finally underway. Official as of last June, Bob Dignazio will be Beloit’s first head coach of men’s lacrosse. He is already starting to shape his team.
“We’re in the process of buying equipment, having students on campus to interview, creating a schedule and really putting the first season into place,” said Dignazio. “We’re still in progress, but we are where I want to be.”
Dignazio is no stranger to the game. As a player at Kenyon College in Ohio, Dignazio started every game for three seasons, leading his team to two appearances at the NCAA Division III Tournament and earning himself the title of a two-time All-North Atlantic Conference Defensive man.
After graduating in 2008, Dignazio worked at Randolph-Macon College as the defensive coordinator, but soon made his way back to Kenyon where he worked as the defensive and recruiting coordinator for the 2010-2011 seasons.
“To be honest, when I interviewed [at Beloit], I hadn’t really heard much about the school,” said Dignazio. “I wasn’t really excited about the position until I got here, saw how beautiful the campus is, met the people here and discussed the plans that are in place.”
Dignazio wants to take full advantage of the opportunities that a clean slate can provide. “As a new program, what the guys do on and off the field will be magnified. There’s no good or bad reputation going into it, they will have a chance to create that,” said Dignazio. “In terms of coaching, I want to put in place a structure for guys to succeed and I believe in holding players accountable. Off the field, I want to build a strong team culture, almost family-like.”
Many of the lacrosse players on campus are getting anxious about the current plans for their season.
“I can’t wait to play in that beautiful stadium and have my skills critiqued by an experienced lacrosse coach,” said Will Kubetin’15.
Another lacrosse hopeful, Tom Szamocki’15 agrees: “I’m just excited to get back out there and compete at a high level with teams from across the country.”
The addition of lacrosse may have been another hook for the college to install a turf field, but Dignazio believes that lacrosse will have many benefits to the Beloit community. “[Lacrosse] is going to be one of the college’s biggest rosters eventually and will attract
a large number of male athletes,” said Dignazio. “It’s also a physical sport and will be exciting for students to watch.”
The first season of men’s lacrosse will commence spring of 2013. Until then, the coaches will continue with the process of recruitment and general preparation for the season.