August 10, 2009

Stevens Tech Hires Former RIT Coach Peluso

from press release

Coyne: Peluso Trucking Company

On Monday morning, Stevens Institute of Technology Director of Athletics Russell Rogers (Branchburg, N.J.) announced that Gene Peluso (Rochester, N.Y.) will take over as the 19th men's lacrosse coach in the 125-year history of the program.

Peluso, who began coaching in 1992 after a decorated playing career at Nazareth College, was the head coach at Rochester Institute of Technology for the past eight seasons. While at RIT he compiled an overall record 88-45. He consistently had his teams in postseason contention and will look to do the same with Stevens as he tries to get the program back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.

"I am extremely excited to continue my coaching career at such a well respected institution in Stevens," Peluso said. "I have always had a great deal of respect for the program's tradition of excellence, and I look forward to continuing that tradition for a long time."

Over the past eight years, Peluso led the Tigers to a top-five ranking in NCAA Division III Lacrosse and amassed an 88-45 record. He has produced 21 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-Americans, 60 All-Empire 8 honorees, 12 North-South All-Star Game participants, two Empire 8 Rookies of the Year, the 2004 and 2006 Empire 8 Players of the Year, three Verizon Academic All-Americans, and seven USILA Academic All-Americans. He was selected to coach the North squad in the USILA North/South game in 2008 and currently serves on the NCAA All-American Committee for Division III Lacrosse.

"Gene proved to be an ideal match for the criteria that we set in hiring a new men's lacrosse coach," Rogers said. "He has a proven track record of success as a head coach but clearly understands that his role as an educator goes well beyond the lacrosse field. We welcome him to Stevens and I look forward to supporting his efforts in maintaining and building on the success of our program."

Peluso, who acknowledged how tough of a decision it was leave RIT, said the hiring process was a great experience all around.

"It was an extremely tough decision to move from RIT, and I will look fondly upon the great relationships I built in the Rochester area and at RIT during my time there. With that said, Russell, Vice President (Dr. Maureen) Weatherall, and President (Dr. Harold) Raveché were wonderful during the entire hiring process, and I am extremely eager to get started."

Before RIT, Peluso was the architect of the Lycoming College men's lacrosse program, coaching the first-ever team . During his time at Lycoming, he directed the Warriors to a 41-30 record, including a 32-13 mark over his final three seasons. In 2001, Peluso led Lycoming to its most successful season with an 11-3 record en route to the program's first-ever regular season Middle Atlantic Conference Championship. Lycoming finished 12-4 overall after placing second in the conference tournament and earned a USILA Top-25 national ranking.

In 2007, Peluso recorded his 100th career coaching victory and has an overall mark of 129-75 in 12 seasons as a head coach. During his tenure at Lycoming, Peluso coached two North-South participants, four All-Americans, and 33 all-conference award winners. He was also the 1999 MAC Coach of the Year and chairperson for the MAC Lacrosse Committee from 1999 to 2001. Peluso served on the USILA All-American Committee from 1998 to 2001 and the USILA Ranking Committee from 1999 to 2001.

A native of Baldwin (Long Island),N.Y., Peluso had a great career at Nazareth, leading the Golden Flyers to the NCAA Division III semifinals in his final season and is looking forward to returning to his roots.

"Being able to come back and coach so close to home helped the decision-making process," Peluso said. "I feel like I have strong connections in the area and my family and I are truly excited about the challenges and opportunities that are ahead of us."

He began his coaching career at McQuaid Jesuit High School in 1992 and remained there for two seasons before beginning his collegiate coaching career at Drew University in Madison, N.J., where he served as an assistant coach from 1994 to 1996.

Peluso will take over a team that went 22-12 over the past two seasons and thinks big things await his new players.

"I am very familiar with the great talent that is returning and much of the talent that will be arriving in a few weeks. I believe we are in a great position to build upon the tradition and success that Coach Collins and others started here, and I have high expectations for the future."

What they say about Coach Peluso:

Chris Wakely - Former Head Coach Lehigh University - 2008 USILA Man of the Year
"When Gene was at Lycoming and I was at Widener University we played in three or four straight conference championships against each other. Though we were rivals, there was always such a great level of respect. He's honest, an exceptional worker, his teams are always ready to play and will play extremely hard. He will be a great fit for the Stevens program."

Rob Randall - Head Coach Nazareth College
"Even with the big-time rivalry RIT and Nazareth had during our time on opposite sidelines, I always had a great deal of respect for Gene and he had the same for me. People say that teams take on the character of their coach and that couldn't be more true with his teams, they just never give up. He did great things in his time at RIT and I know he will do wonderful things at Stevens."

Brian Anken - Head Coach Lycoming College - Former RIT Assistant
"Gene is a wonderful fit for Stevens and is the perfect guy to continue building on the great groundwork that has been laid by his predecessors. I think that he will undoubtedly take the program to the next level and career-wise it's a great challenge. His preparation and motivation is as good or better than anyone I have ever worked with in the lacrosse community, and his teams take on those same characteristics. The Ducks will be blue collar and will never get outworked."

Tom Leanos - Head Coach Drew University
"Gene came to us highly recommended out of Nazareth after he spent some time coaching in high school. During his time at Drew he was an energetic, strong recruiter that really studied the game. He also connected with the players really well. He's an intense New York-area guy, and when we played his teams at Lycoming they were always well prepared, enthusiastic, and extremely hard working. I'm certain he will get the job done at Stevens."


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