“Selecting our Head Coach is one of the most important decisions I will make as Team President. We conducted a thorough search and interviewed many qualified candidates. In the end, we felt Mike was a perfect fit for the job,” said Jim McPhilliamy. “He brings a lot of experience to the field and front office, possesses strong local and regional ties and certainly has an amazing track record. As we strive to set new benchmarks of achievement off the field, we feel Coach Cerino will guide us down the path of success on the field.”
“I am honored to be chosen as the first head coach in Charlotte Hounds history” said Cerino. “I am excited about the potential of professional lacrosse in Charlotte and am thrilled to continue to be a part of the development of the sport of lacrosse in the South.”
Cerino, 44, currently serves as the Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. He served as the head lacrosse coach from 1989-2000 and rejoined Limestone in 2006 as Senior Associate Athletics Director after coaching at Washington & Lee. Cerino was named Director of Athletics in the fall of 2008 and was given his current title of Vice President in 2011. He will continue to serve in that role at Limestone.
In addition to overseeing the athletics department, Cerino had a 15-year tenure as the head coach of the Saints’ successful men’s lacrosse program, returning to the helm from 2006-10. He is the school’s all-time wins leader with a record of 128-66 (.660) and was the first coach in the program’s history.
In his first four years in his current role, Cerino has transformed the athletics department. Under his leadership, Limestone has completed an NCAA institutional self-study and compliance blue print review, conducted a gender equity review to ensure the department’s compliance with Title IX and expanded the athletic training department in both staffing and equipment.
He has also led the effort to re-brand the athletics marks and logos, spearheaded a redesign of the athletics website and secured an exclusive and favorable apparel contract with adidas America to support the various athletic programs. Additionally, Cerino was instrumental in the College’s adding of field hockey and men’s volleyball, all while maintaining the budgetary goals of the department.
Cerino founded the men’s lacrosse program in 1989 and built it into a national champion, winning a Division II title in 2000. In his college coaching career, he guided two elite programs, Limestone College and Washington and Lee University, to NCAA Tournament appearances and compiled an overall collegiate record of 181-90 (.668) over 20 seasons. During his coaching career he won a total of nine conference championships between the two schools and took W&L to the NCAA Division III Semifinal in 2002.
A member of the Limestone College Hall of Fame since the fall of 2004, Cerino was inducted into his alma mater’s Hall of Fame, Pfeiffer, in 2010 for his accomplishments as a player. As a coach, Cerino was named Street and Smith’s College Lacrosse USA Division II Coach of the Year in 2000 and is also a three-time recipient of the Jim “Ace” Adams National Sportsmanship Award.
He was also named Conference Coach of the Year four times, twice in the Deep South Conference (1994, 1998) and twice in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (2002, 2004).
In addition to his many accomplishments on the field, Cerino has served on several high profile lacrosse committees in an administrative role, including the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) Board of Directors, the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Committee, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division III All-America Committee and the USILA National Ranking Committee.
He has also been selected to be a presenter at the 2000 and2004 US Lacrosse Clinics as well as at the 2006 IMLCA Clinic. During his 20 year coaching career, he has mentored 51 USILA All-Americans and was a coach for the South team in the 1996 Division I North/South Classic All-Star Game.
A native of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Cerino now resides in Greer, S.C., with his wife Christine and his three children, Ryan, Caitlyn and Allison.
About Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, was founded by Jake Steinfeld and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Major League Lacrosse commenced play in June of 2001 and will enter its twelfth season in 2012. MLL has continued to lead the sport of lacrosse into the mainstream of competitive team sports. The league is made up of eight teams: The Boston Cannons, Charlotte Hounds, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws, Hamilton Nationals, Long Island Lizards, Ohio Machine and Rochester Rattlers.
The 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft will take place on January 13, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA. The 2012 season will commence on April 28, 2012. More information about the league can be found at www.majorleaguelacrosse.com.