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September 4, 2013

Cross country coach to run O-State track

The Daily Star

---- — Staff Report

Angelo Posillico is doubling up at Oneonta State.

The Red Dragons announced Monday that cross country coach Posillico will replace Matt LoPiccolo as their track and field coach and lead both programs during the 2013-14 academic year.

The college said in a media release that LoPiccolo is headed to Duke University to work for the Blue Devils’ Division I track and field program, although it did not state what job title the three-time SUNY Athletic Conference Coach of the Year will hold.

“Angelo is ready to take on his new role as the head coach of both programs,” O-State Athletics Director Tracey Ranieri said in the release. “Working with Matt as a coach and having him as a mentor is a bonus to a young man who has been preparing for years for this moment. Angelo personifies today’s successful college coach. He is committed to the student athlete experience, prepares with intention, is kindhearted and works extremely hard.”

A 2008 O-State graduate, Posillico will enter his third year as head cross country for the men’s and women’s programs this fall. He also had been serving as associate head coach of LoPiccolo’s track and field teams.

“I’m honored and excited to be the next head coach,” said Posillico, who competed for the Red Dragons in cross country and track. “Matt has done a tremendous job building this program from scratch and my goal will be to continue that tradition of success.”

Posillico’s coaching staff for both programs will include O-State standout Sean Bernstein, Chris Popovici and Hannah Backus. Bernstein will serve as an intern while he completes his undergraduate work. Popovici and Backus will be assistant coaches.

Before coming to Oneonta, Posillico was as an assistant coach for cross country and track at the University of Redlands.

LoPiccolo, whose wife is Unatego graduate and 2012 Pit Run women’s 10-kilometer champion Amanda LoPiccolo, led the men’s track team to its first winter SUNYAC title last season en route to SUNYAC and NCAA Atlantic Region men’s Coach of the Year accolades. He also guided the men’s outdoor track team to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Division III championships this past spring.

“I am proud that I was not only able to establish track and field as a sport here, but that I enjoyed success even beyond my own expectations when I took the position,” LoPiccolo said. “I leave the program with a bright future, and I feel content leaving it in great hands.”

WRESTLINGO-State adds assistant

Oneonta State coach Duane Ritter announced Saturday that four-time NCAA Division I championships qualifier Rocco Caponi has joined his coaching staff as an assistant.

Caponi, who recently moved to the area with his family, won more than 110 matches for the University of Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 2008 and a master’s degree in 2009. He went on to serve Campbell University and Gardner Webb as an assistant coach.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Coach Caponi join our team here at Oneonta State and we are excited to mesh our current fundamentals and approach with those of Mr. Caponi,” Ritter said in a media release. “We have been in search of someone of his caliber for some time now and are very fortunate to have him on board.”

Caponi primarily wrestled at 184 pounds in college and won three Atlantic Coast Conference. He also won a state title for Ohio’s St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Catholic High in 2004 and a freestyle national championship in 2003.