Patchogue, NY – St. Joseph’s College (L.I.) Assistant Vice President & Senior Director of Athletics & Recreation Shantey M. Hill announced the appointment of Tom Rotanz as the college’s first-ever men’s lacrosse head coach.
“St. Joseph’s College is excited to add Coach Rotanz to the Golden Eagle family,” said Hill. “He is a proven winner and has excelled at every level he’s competed at. We couldn’t have selected a better candidate to build our program from the ground up.”
Rotanz, who arrives at St. Joseph’s having most recently served as a varsity assistant at Smithtown West High School, spent 18 years as varsity head coach at Shoreham-Wading River High School from 1995 to 2013 and led his program to 10 Suffolk County Championships, five Long Island Championships and three New York State Championships.
“I’d like to thank Director of Athletics, Ms. Hill, and the hiring committee for giving me opportunity to head the at St. Joseph’s College,” said Rotanz of his hiring. “The academic programs and facilities available at the college make this an ideal situation for men’s lacrosse. St. Joseph’s sits in a lacrosse hotbed and will offer an ideal environment for student-athletes at the NCAA Division III level.”
A three-time Newsday Long Island Coach of the Year (2001, 2003, 2007), Rotanz-who has been around the sport for over 40 years-compiled a 256-99 career record at Shoreham-Wading River despite going 1-15 in his first season. Rotanz earned the first of six Suffolk County Coach of the Year honors he would receive in his career in 1999, two years before he led his Shoreham-Wading river program to a Suffolk County Championship in 2001. In 2002, the program repeated as Suffolk champs en route to claiming the Long Island and New York State Championships.
Under the direction of Rotanz, Shoreham-Wading River would sweep as Suffolk, Long Island and New York State champions two additional times in 2007 and 2012.
“I brought a lot of playing experience with me to Shoreham-Wading River, a new program, in 1995, and within 7 years we went from a scrappy upstart to New York State champions with a top-10 national ranking.”
A Ward Melville High School standout, Rotanz would claim All-American honors as a senior in 1977, a year after winning the Long Island Championship in 1976. After graduating, Rotanz attended Suffolk County Community College where he was a two-time NCAAl-American and a part of the program’s 1979 NJCAA National Championship team. Rotanz went for two-more All-American campaigns at Adelphi University in 1980 and 1981 and helped the Panthers claim the NCAA Division II National Championship as a senior.
Rotanz is a member of the Suffolk County CC (1986), Long Island Metropolitan Lacrosse Foundation (2000), Ward Melville HS (2003) and NJCAA (2013) Hall of Fames. In addition to his success at the high school and collegiate levels, Rotanz also served as an assistant for the 2012 USA Men’s U-19 team that won a world championship.
“I look forward to starting the recruiting process and showing prospective student-athletes this great academic institution,” added Rotanz. “I’m excited to invite them to be part of something special here at St. Joseph’s College.”