When it comes to the local lacrosse scene, Joe Spallina is one man who wears multiple hats.
After being named head coach of the Stony Brook University women's lacrosse team last June, Spallina has now been named head coach of the Long Island Lizards pro lacrosse team. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Lizards and will now take over for Jim Mule, who spent seven seasons with the team.
Lizards general manager Casey Hilpert said in a statement that the organization is excited to see what Spallina can do.
"He is a guy who knows how to win, and is around the sport of lacrosse all the time," Hilpert said. "We worked closely together this off season with our drafts and trades and he has a passion and a desire to win that I have not seen anywhere else."
Spallina, a Rocky Point native, joined the SBU coaching staff after four seasons coaching at Division II's Adelphi University, where he compiled a 73-2 record and three straight Division II championships. He has been named "coach of the year" multiple times by various lacrosse organizations.
"It is an honor to be coaching in the MLL especially for one of the original franchises, and I am excited to make the most of this outstanding opportunity," Spallina said via the Lizards' website.
Stony Brook Athletics said in a statement Spallina is not expected to miss any women's lacrosse practices or games. The Lizards' season kicks off April 28.