New York Institute of Technology


The 2015-2016 year was a remarkable one for Lions Athletics, with multiple conference and tournament championships, as well as the Sunshine State Conference Mayors’ Cup (above right) for the men’s program.

Men’s Program Captures SSC Mayors’ Cup
For the third time in four years, Saint Leo University captured the Sunshine State Conference Men’s Mayors’ Cup, representing overall supremacy among SSC institutions in men’s conference competition.

The Lions finished second in the race for the Women’s Mayors’ Cup for the second year in a row.

Points in the Mayors’ Cup race are earned based on order of finish in the final Sunshine State Conference standings in league sports. The Men’s Mayors’ Cup competition awards points in soccer, cross country, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis, lacrosse, and baseball, while the Women’s Mayors’ Cup is decided by competition in the sports of volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis, softball, and rowing.

Saint Leo walked away with the Men’s Mayors’ Cup with 46 points, besting its nearest rival in the standings, Florida Southern, by 10 points. In the Women’s Mayors’ Cup final standings, Nova Southeastern came out on top with 53.5 points; Saint Leo was close behind with 48 points.

Spring 2016 SCC Championships


Saint Leo captured four Sunshine State Conference spring championships with regular season crowns in softball (above), men’s tennis, and women’s tennis, and men’s tennis also claiming the SSC tournament championship.

These were the first SSC championships for the tennis teams. It was the second title in program history for the softball program, with the first earned in 2013. The 2016 senior class has now been a part of the two SSC championship teams at Saint Leo, its freshman year in 2013 and its final season in the Green and Gold.

Lions Take Second in Learfield Directors’ Cup

directors-cup-logo-_top-fiveSaint Leo University finished the 2015-2016 academic year ranked second among 307 NCAA Division II institutions for the Learfield Directors’ Cup, presented by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

The Lions finished the year with 723 points, trailing only Grand Valley State (MI), which earned 1,070 points and won its second-straight Division II Learfield Directors’ Cup and 11th overall.

Saint Leo’s second-place finish eclipses the previous high of eighth, set in 2015.

“This is an incredible moment for Saint Leo Athletics. The class that entered Saint Leo in August 2012 arrived when we had broken the top 100 in the Directors’ Cup standings for just the second time in program history. That class graduated this past April as part of the second-best overall athletics program in all of Division II. Those student-athletes believed in our goals and mission, as did our coaches and staff and university administration, and together they made this achievement possible,” said Francis X. Reidy, Saint Leo’s director of athletics.

Troy Sieber Chosen by the Houston Astros

Saint Leo junior first baseman Troy Sieber was selected by the Houston Astros on the third day of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft. He was taken in the 24th Round, and was the 727th pick of the draft.

“We’re very proud of Troy and all the hard work he has put in to make this happen. We wish him all the best and we will miss him,” said Sean O’Connor, Saint Leo’s head baseball coach. Sieber is the fifth Saint Leo player drafted under O’Connor, who recently completed his fourth season as the Lions head coach.

An ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American and finalist for the 2016 Tino Martinez Award as Division II Player of the Year, Sieber batted .457 this season, leading the Sunshine State Conference and ranking fourth in all of Division II.

Anthony Crocitto Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach

crocitto-anthonyA veteran Division II head coach with experience at all three levels of NCAA women’s basketball, Anthony Crocitto has been named Saint Leo University’s new head women’s basketball coach.

”We were looking for a coach with a proven record of success in Division II women’s basketball, and out of an incredibly deep pool of applicants we found an ideal fit in Anthony Crocitto,” said Francis X. Reidy, Saint Leo’s director of athletics. “I believe that Coach Crocitto’s passion for the game, coupled with his experience at identifying, recruiting, and developing talent at this level, will quickly lead to greater success for Saint Leo women’s basketball.”

Crocitto comes to Saint Leo from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), where he has served as the Bears’ head women’s basketball coach for the past seven seasons. Under Crocitto’s guidance, NYIT has logged three 20-win campaigns over the last four seasons, rejuvenating a program that was 4-23 in the year prior to his arrival at the Old Westbury, NY, campus.

Growing up in Lynnbrook, NY, head men’s and women’s tennis coach Chris Frusci played three sports in high school—football, basketball, and baseball—and played football at Muhlenberg College (PA).

So how did he end up as a tennis coach? “The opportunity presented itself, and I took it,” he explained.

A talented athlete, Frusci did not have a single day off from sports in high school and excelled so much as quarterback that he earned a college scholarship. But when he was injured after just a year at Muhlenberg, he had to hang up his cleats and regroup. Remaining at Muhlenberg, he completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in marketing, and graduated in 2008. At that point, he was offered a job at a media company in New York City, but the idea of a long commute and working in an office did not appeal to him. His love of sports was as strong as ever, so when he was offered a position as facilities supervisor and equipment manager for the Athletics Department at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), he knew that was a better fit.

Upon his arrival at NYIT, the tennis program was new. He and the tennis coach got to know each other, and before long, she asked him to join the program as a part-time assistant coach. He jumped at the chance and just a year later became head coach at NYIT. He saw remarkable success, proving the team to be a contender within the competitive world of Division II tennis its first four seasons. He was named 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Men’s and Women’s East Region Coach of the Year and 2014 East Coast Conference Co-Coach of the Year.

Now at Saint Leo, Frusci notes big contrasts between New York and Florida. “In New York, there might be two or three matches a year to get excited about, but here I’d say 15 out of 25 matches we play are critical—something is always on the line. A bad match in February can affect us in April,” he commented. “We have to be in the best shape possible. To be ready for three-hour matches in the heat, we have to commit to regular off-court workouts and practice on-court agility. The great thing about Florida is that we can train all year outside—but everyone else in our conference can, too.”

Coach Frusci looks at his teams and tries to remember that for all the student-athletes, playing tennis should be a positive four-year experience of traveling, training, and teamwork. In this mind, having a winning team means

  • having the right players in place—recruiting is hugely important;
  • getting players used to the training structure;
  • developing players and helping them reach their peak;
  • creating and maintaining a supportive team environment; and
  • having fun! It’s a long season.

For the upcoming year, he expects great things from the Lions. The men’s team ended the 2014-2015 season as No. 7 in the country, and the women’s team finished in the No. 6 spot. He would like to see both teams make it to nationals for 2015-2016.

So what does Coach Frusci do when he is not working out or coaching the team? “Eat. I love to try new restaurants. I’m a foodie.”