Marquette Tabs First Lacrosse Coaches in Program History

Feb. 4, 2011

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MILWAUKEE - Marquette University has announced the hiring of Joe Amplo and Meredith Simon Black as the first head coaches in Marquette men's and women's lacrosse program history. Both will spend the 2011 season at their current institutions of Hofstra University and the University of California-Berkeley, respectively, and join Marquette with almost two years to assemble a coaching staff and build their rosters.

"Joe Amplo and Meredith Simon Black are well-suited to be the first head coaches to lead our lacrosse programs at Marquette," said Steve Cottingham, Marquette Athletic Director. "As up-and-coming coaches, we feel Joe and Meredith will give us every opportunity to be competitive on the national level in a short amount of time. Both are first-time head coaches, but are very accomplished and well respected in the lacrosse community. We expect all of our student-athletes to excel on the field and in the classroom, places where both Joe and Meredith have proven to be great leaders of young adults."

Amplo will lead the men's program and comes to Marquette with 11 years of collegiate coaching experience, 10 of which have come at his alma mater, Hofstra University. He is currently in his third year as associate head coach with the Pride where he serves as the team's defensive coordinator.

"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 and sport administrator for men's lacrosse. "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."

AmploDuring his time at Hofstra, Amplo participated in 10 NCAA Championships, three as a student-athlete and seven as a coach, the most recent of which came in 2010.

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 would remain to this day, currently under head coach Seth Tierney.

"I am extremely grateful to be chosen as the first head men's lacrosse coach at Marquette University," Amplo said. "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."

Simon Black arrives at Marquette after spending the last six years as an assistant coach at Towson, Notre Dame and Cal. She helped Towson and Notre Dame to a combined four NCAA Championship appearances and is set to begin her first season at Cal where she works with the Golden Bears' attack and goaltenders.

"We are ecstatic that Meredith has accepted the position to be our first women's lacrosse coach," said Danielle Josetti, Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and women's lacrosse sport administrator. "Throughout this process she stood out as the perfect person to build our program. She has played and coached at a high level and she has the attitude, drive, and work ethic to get our program off to the right start. Every time I speak with Meredith I become more impressed and more convinced that she is a great addition to our department. Meredith comes highly recommended and she will be a great fit in the Marquette community."

Simon BlackAt Notre Dame from 2008-10, Simon Black helped the Irish to a 39-19 record in three seasons, including the 2009 BIG EAST Championship and three NCAA Championship appearances. She coached four all-Americans (Jillian Byers, Gina Scioscia, Caitlin McKinney and Shaylyn Blaney) and oversaw the 2009 team that set school records for goals (321), assists (150) and points (471), while claiming the BIG EAST title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.

During her playing career with the Irish, Simon Black helped Notre Dame to the first two NCAA Championship
appearances in school history in 2002 and 2004. She was also the school's first student-athlete to be named an Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) First Team All-American in 2004, while setting the then-Notre Dame single-season scoring mark with 74 points on 46 goals and 28 assists.

Simon Black led ND to the NCAA Tournament that season and became the first ND player nominated for the Tewaaraton Award, which honors the nation's top player.

"I am honored to be named the first women's lacrosse head coach at Marquette University," Simon Black said. "The inclusion of both men's and women's lacrosse at Marquette is going to be an exceptional addition to the University, as well as the Milwaukee community.

"I felt an instant connection to Marquette as I arrived on campus. While there, I saw the full support and excitement that the athletic department has for the future of the lacrosse programs. It was a clear and easy choice for me to join the Marquette family. I am confident that we will create and expand on the Golden Eagles' tradition of excellence, both in the classroom and on the field."

Both the Marquette men's and women's teams will begin regular season competition in the spring of 2013 as an independent before joining the BIG EAST Conference as full-time members in 2014.

The men's and women's programs are the 15th and 16th varsity sports at Marquette and the first new sports since women's soccer was added in 1993. Lacrosse is the first new men's sport since men's soccer was added to MU's athletic offerings in 1964.

MU Names Lacrosse Coaches

What others are saying about Joe Amplo...

Seth Tierney, head coach at Hofstra University:
"While we are sorry to see Joe leave Hofstra at the end of this season, we are excited for his opportunity to become a head coach at an outstanding institution like Marquette University. Joe has worked hard, both as a player and a coach, to reach this level and we are happy for him. He brings the passion, intensity and knowledge to his position that will make him successful."

Bill Tierney, six-time NCAA champion and current head coach at University of Denver:
"As Marquette University moves forward in its creation of a first-class Division I men's lacrosse program, it could not have done better than to hire Joe Amplo.  Joe is greatly respected in the collegiate lacrosse coaching community and everyone feels great about him getting his first chance to be a head coach.  He was a great player and great assistant coach, but most importantly he has the passion and drive to make his team great, and I am sure he will accomplish that task".

Dave Cottle, consultant to Marquette University and former head coach at Loyola (Md.) and Maryland:
 "Joe is not only an outstanding young coach but an outstanding person. He has worked for two great head coaches at Hofstra and now will get a chance to run his own program.  There is no doubt in my mind that Joe will be a great head coach."

John Danowski, 2010 NCAA champion and head coach at Duke University:
 "Joe Amplo gets coaching. He understands the importance the position plays in the development of today's student-athlete. His strong sense of family, superb communication skills and his love of teaching has already given Marquette lacrosse an identity that their students and fans will be proud of."

Jon Jiloty, editor of Inside Lacrosse magazine:
"Joe Amplo is one of the country's top assistant coaches and I think Marquette made an great hire. Not only is he an excellent defensive coach, but he's a first-class individual that really gets it. He will be a great ambassador for Marquette's brand-new program."

What others are saying about Meredith Simon Black...

Theresa Sherry, head women's lacrosse coach at the University of California-Berkeley:

"Meredith proved herself immediately as an asset to our program at Cal, and she is a perfect choice to lead Marquette's new program. Meredith's competitiveness and her innovative lacrosse mind will quickly make Marquette a force to reckon with on the national scene. We are thrilled for Meredith and her family, and cannot wait to watch her excel in the Big East as she already has as a player and an assistant coach."


Tracy Coyne, head women's lacrosse coach at the University of Notre Dame:

"I am thrilled Meredith Simon Black has been chosen as the first head coach of Marquette's women's lacrosse program. She is a perfect fit for Marquette. It takes a special person to lead a program from its inception. Meredith has the drive, the enthusiasm and knowledge of the game necessary to build a successful program. She will do it with integrity and passion. I have had the pleasure of coaching Meredith as a player and working with her on my staff. She is a rising star as a coach. Meredith will do great things at Marquette."


Missy Doherty, head women's lacrosse coach at Penn State University:

"Meredith is one of the top young coaches in the country.  Her love of coaching and her tremendous work ethic will be a true asset to Marquette.  It was my pleasure to coach with her for three years, and I am extremely confident she will bring quick success to the program at Marquette."




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