Who is New Chesapeake Bayhawks Coach Tom Mariano?
Earlier this week, Chesapeake head coach, Dave Cottle, announced his stepping down as Chesapeake’s acting head coach. It’s an unenviable job to replace Cottle. Cottle had as successful a coaching career as one could have. Cottle garnered a 49-37 regular season record. He was near perfect in the post-season with a 6-1 record. Chesapeake enjoyed four MLL championship campaigns (2010, 2012, 2013, 2019) with Cottle.
The Bayhawks didn’t look far for Cottle’s replacement. They quickly hired 2019 offensive coordinator, Tom Mariano, as head coach. Mariano is in a tough spot. It’s tough to replace arguably the most successful coach in league history; however, Mariano has the accolades. If anyone can keep Chesapeake humming, it’s him. So, who is Tom Mariano? Let’s find out.
Mariano is a 1994 graduate of Nazareth College. He was a member of its 1992 national championship team. He’s won at every level. Tom earned his master’s degree in elementary education at Sacred Heart University. Here, he was the university’s head coach for seventeen years. Mariano built Sacred Heart into a reputable program.
Currently, Mariano is the head coach at division two Pace. Pace has enjoyed unprecedented success under Mariano. Pace is 57-35 under Mariano and experienced its best season in 2019. In 2019, Pace won 13 games (school record) and reached the NE10 conference tournament for the fifth straight year. Pace enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, where the Setters appeared in the NCAA tournament for the first time. At season’s end, Pace finished #5 in the country with a 12-4 record. An impressive five players made NE10 All-Conference teams. Pace is expected to compete for the NE10 crown, yet again, in 2020.
Professionally, Mariano worked as the Ohio Machine’s defensive coordinator from 2013-2015. Ohio earned their first playoff berth under Mariano’s acumen. In 2016, Mariano was Chesapeake’s offensive coordinator. This lasted one season as he was quickly recognized as an up and coming MLL coach.
In 2017, the now defunct Florida Launch hired Mariano as head coach. In year one, Florida made the MLL playoffs (first appearance). For this, Mariano received Coach of the Year honors. Players enjoyed newfound success under Mariano’s leadership. Tucker Durkin earned All-MLL Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.
After the 2018 season, Florida folded. Mariano was out. He landed on his feet for a second stint as Chesapeake’s offensive coordinator. The rest is history. Under Mariano’s opportunistic offense, the Bayhawks defeated Denver for the crown. Now, he’s the head man.
Everywhere Mariano goes, success has followed. This is a homerun hire. Don’t expect a drop in performance. Mariano understands the high expectations that come with running the MLL’s most successful franchise. He knows the community and players. The transition will be seamless. Chesapeake will be in the running for another title under Mariano’s management. Soon, he’ll claim his first championship as an MLL head coach.
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