On this week’s episode of New England Lacrosse Journal’s “Chasing The Goal” podcast, hosts Kyle Devitte and Jack Piatelli were joined by new Bates head coach Dan Annino.
Annino comes to Bates after serving as an assistant at Johns Hopkins for the past two seasons. Prior to that, he coached at his alma mater, Amherst College, helping that team advance to the NCAA Division 3 title game in 2019.
Annino has also served as an assistant coach with the U16 Haudenosaunee Nationals Development Team. He is the latest coach to join the most competitive league in all of Division 3 — the NESCAC.
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Jack Piatelli: Coach, you are the first new head coach at Bates in 22 years. Tell us a little bit about the hiring process and how you ended up where you are today.
Dan Annino: Yeah, well, certainly really grateful for the opportunity. You know, it is humbling to follow in the footsteps of Coach (Pete) Lasagna, a giant in this game and someone who has been an incredible advocate and spokesperson for the values that we want to instill through this sport in this game that we all share. So we’re really fortunate to have him as a mentor and a connection, actually, through (former Amherst coach Jon) Thompson, who played for him and coached with him.
So I’ve been connected with Coach Lasagna for a long time. It was just really fortunate that this opportunity came up, having had the experience in the league and then at the Division 1 level; (I’m) just really grateful to be able to take some of those things and the lessons that we learned from those 19 teams from the past couple of years at Hopkins and bring that back to the most competitive conference in our sport.
Kyle Devitte: Coach, let’s talk about your roster. I famously gave (Colby coach Guy) Van Arsdale crap for not having any Maine players on his roster, but I think maybe it’s more that the NESCAC schools are much more nuanced in their recruiting approach. They need to hit the national scene. What have you seen in your time there in terms of the talent dispersion at the events you’ve been at?
DA: I think one of the really nice benefits of being here at Bates is we have a really strong pipeline into Maine lacrosse, and we have a pretty good group of Mainers here on the roster. And the fun part about the opportunity to coach in this league is that Bates is a national brand and we’re able to touch every corner of North America to go out and find the best student-athletes to bring here to Bates. We’re really fortunate in that there’s nowhere that’s really off limits for us.
And we certainly want to be able to bring in the best players from our own backyard here. But we’re also going to go out and recruit far outside the region as well.