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Joe Amplo, the 2014 BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year, was named the first head coach in Marquette men's lacrosse history on Feb. 4, 2011 and guided the Golden Eagles to a 10-win campaign in just their third season of NCAA Division I competition in 2015.
The Golden Eagles reached a ranking as high as ninth nationally in 2015 in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll after beginning the year with seven-straight victories and ended the year just two spots outside the top 20. Marquette's hot start was highlighted by four one-goal wins, including a pair over ranked opponents, and thrilling come-from-behind wins at Richmond in overtime and Ohio State, an NCAA tournament team, in early March. MU began the 2015 season with a 10-9 win at then-No. 18/16 Lehigh on Feb. 7 and picked up a second win against Amplo's alma mater in as many tries by topping then-No. 17/19 Hofstra on Feb. 14.
Under Amplo's tutelage, Marquette has qualified for the semifinals of the BIG EAST tournament during each year as a league member and has increased its overall win total each season. Six Golden Eagles have earned nine All-BIG EAST honors in just two seasons, while two players have been selected in the NLL draft and a pair of players were chosen to participate in the USILA North-South Senior All-Star Game.
Marquette's first-ever season of men's lacrosse in 2013 included a three-game winning streak in April as the squad finished 5-8 overall. The Golden Eagles first win in program history at Air Force came in just the second game for the first-year program.
His second season as head coach marked Marquette's first year of BIG EAST competition, which resulted in conference coach of the year honors for Amplo. The Golden Eagles, who played the No. 14 toughest schedule in 2014 according to Inside Lacrosse, picked up their first win against Hofstra, which was ranked as high as No. 11 nationally in 2014. Marquette posted a 4-2 conference record that included overtime wins over St. John's and Georgetown and finished second overall in the BIG EAST to earn MU's first ever postseason appearance.
Under Amplo's direction, four Marquette players garnered All-BIG EAST recognition in 2014, including redshirt sophomore B.J. Grill, who was the only defenseman unanimously selected to the First Team. Grill was joined on the first team by attackman Tyler Melnyk, who also earned a USILA All-America Honorable Mention after scoring 36 goals and tallying 51 points in 2014.
Amplo came to Marquette with 11 years of collegiate coaching experience, 10 of which came at his alma mater, Hofstra University. He served as associate head coach with the Pride for three years, and was the team's defensive coordinator.
During his time at Hofstra, Amplo participated in 11 NCAA Championships, three as a student-athlete and eight as a coach, the most recent of which came in 2011. That year, Hofstra had the nation's No. 1 defense, boasting the lowest goals against average in the country.
"Joe's story of non-recruited walk-on to all-conference performer will serve as an inspiration to future Marquette men's lacrosse student-athletes," said Mike Broeker, Deputy Athletic Director. "While better understanding his ideals and values, it became quite evident Joe was the ideal person to build our program. Those who know him best talked of an excellent lacrosse coach and skill developer, but more importantly characterized him as family man of great integrity; a selfless teammate who displayed tremendous work ethic and perseverance; and an educator committed to being more than just a coach to the young men in his program. We are so pleased to welcome Joe and his family to Marquette."
Amplo joined the Hofstra coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 1999 and remained with the University until 2001 when he took an assistant coaching position at the University of Pennsylvania. After one year at Penn, Amplo returned to Long Island where he remained through the 2011 season.
"I am extremely grateful to be chosen as the first head men's lacrosse coach at Marquette University," Amplo said upon being named head coach in 2011. "I have dreamed about the opportunity to lead a Division I lacrosse program and after better understanding, and seeing first-hand, Marquette's commitment to lacrosse, I realized quickly this was the perfect opportunity to pursue. I am blessed to have been mentored by some incredible people throughout my career, individuals who taught me to work hard, believe in myself, be accountable and always do the right thing. This decision was easy once I realized members of the Marquette community embody those same ideals.It truly is the perfect fit for me and my family."
In his first stint with Hofstra, Amplo worked under then-head coach John Danowski, now the coach of three-time NCAA Champion Duke University.
Since his return to Hofstra in 2003, the Pride has posted a 76-49 record and advanced to five NCAA Championships. He has coached 53 all-conference players at Hofstra, including five conference players of the year, four rookies of the year and 21 all-Americans. One of those players, Doug Shannahan, earned the Tewaaraton Award in 2001, honoring the top player in college lacrosse. Amplo has also coached another Tewaaraton Award finalist in Chris Unterstein, 13 North-South All-Stars and six USILA Scholar All-Americans.
As a student-athlete, he was an All-America East performer as a senior in 1999 when he started all 16 games and led the school to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship. He played in 58 games in his career and notched 91 ground balls, 40 of which came during his senior season.
In addition to his work with Hofstra, Amplo is active on the lecture circuit and is the founder of the Golden Eagle Lacrosse Club, which operates clinics, camps and competitive club teams for the Milwaukee area lacrosse community.
The Farmingville, N.Y., native attended Sachem High School in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., where he earned four letters in both lacrosse and football and was an all-conference performer in both sports.
Amplo graduated from Hofstra in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in geography and earned a master's degreein college student counseling. He and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Cedarburg, Wis. and have three daughters, Sophia, Charlotte, and Lily.
What others are saying about Joe Amplo...
Seth Tierney, head coach at Hofstra University:
Bill Tierney, seven-time NCAA champion and current head coach at University of Denver:
John Danowski, three-time NCAA champion and head coach at Duke University:
USILA Scholar All-Americans
USILA North-South Selections
All-BIG EAST (*-unanimous)
All-BIG EAST Championship
BIG EAST All-Academic
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