Ryan Matlack/The Student
Assistant Sports Editor
Being a part of Springfield College men’s lacrosse coach Keith Bugbee’s staff seems to be a rite of passage into the ranks of coaching the sport beyond Alden Street. Frank Fedorjaka of Bucknell, Jim Nagle of Colgate, Sean Quirk of Endicott, Mark Theriault of Keene State and John Klepacki of Western New England have all been disciples of our very own coach Bugbee.
Bugbee’s latest staff is sure to produce just as many high profile positions as listed above as he has not one, but three former captains under his tutelage this season. Pete Sessa (2010), Shawn Runyon (2011) and Vinny Senatore (2011) make up one of the youngest, and most promising, coaching staffs in the sport of lacrosse.
Sessa was a decorated long-stick midfielder in his time at Springfield, earning honorable-mention All-American as a senior, and returns to Springfield after spending a year in England where he played and coached for several programs.
“Coach Bugbee gave me a great opportunity to come out here,” said Sessa. “I went to England after I graduated and this has pretty much been the only thing on my mind for two years since I played my last game.”
Senatore, who was the emotional leader of last season’s team, has been Sessa’s right-hand man working with the defense.
The intensity is still evident as he prowls the sideline, almost hopping onto the field at times.
“Vinny has been a big help to me,” said Sessa. “Especially being a first-year coach, he’s been a huge help every day.”
“You could see [the coaching gene] in Vinny since he was a freshman,” says Bugbee of Senatore. “His dad is a high school football coach, so you could see he was geared for it.”
Sessa and Senatore fill the shoes of Tim Robbins, who after two years of leading the Pride’s defense was hired as head coach at the College of Saint Rose. His hiring added Division II to the list of realms Bugbee’s hands now reach.
Runyon returns to Springfield after leading the team in scoring just last season.
“The biggest thing is the respect that they’ve given me,” said Runyon of coaching his teammates. “They have taken a big role in helping me become a coach by giving me respect even though they used to be my teammates.”
He replaces Jake Beebe who ran the offense for the previous two seasons. The two men stay in contact, talking shop and keeping Beebe updated on things on Stagg Field.
Bugbee believes this is one of the most entertaining staffs in his 29 years, citing their relationships with each other as the main factor in that.
“It’s obvious we’ve got a good thing going as far as camaraderie between the coaches,” said Bugbee. “But they’re knowledgeable, too, and they’re working hard. It’s a great group to be around.”
Also helping out in the early going is Agawam High School coach Joe Heney. Heney is a 2010 graduate of, you guessed it….Springfield College.