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.”
During 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.”
At 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.
Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located in Milwaukee, Wis., and is a member of the BIG EAST Conference. For more information on Marquette Athletics and Marquette Lacrosse, visit GoMarquette.com.