By John Grimaldi
Angelo Posillico has two small pieces of track turf resting side by side, almost hidden in the back corner of his office desk in the Wellness Center. One is a piece of all-purpose track from the University of Redlands in Southern California where Posillico received his Master’s degree and held his first coaching position. The other is a square cutout from Springfield’s slightly lighter clay-red outdoor track.
Almost identical to the average eye, Posillico explains how they differ functionally, the Redlands track better equipped for indoor running due to its lack of absorbency, but faster overall running surface. Springfield’s, durable in inclement weather, allows runners to keep traction in the very unpredictable New England climate.
The new director of track and field and cross country at Springfield College has a vast knowledge of all things track, and his passion for the sport and focus on specifics leading to great success in the future are key in continuing to develop athletes in the program.
“I’m always trying to think two or three, or five years down the road,” said Posillico, whose signature beliefs are an aggressive recruiting style and the implementation of hands on coaching from his entire staff.
Posillico spent his last four seasons as the Head Coach of both Men and Women’s Track and Field as well as Cross Country at SUNY Oneonta. A three time USTFCCCA Atlantic Region Track and Field Coach of the Year in his time there, Posillico lead Oneonta to five SUNYYAC Track and Field Team Championships, coached 30 All-Americans between Cross Country and Track and Field, and coached a Division III National Athlete of the Year.
Posillico is excited to bring a unified approach to Springfield College.
“What kind of student athletes do we want to attract to our program? What are our goals?” Posillico is constantly thinking about improvements in both physical preparation and the mindset of the program. “We provide our staff with the clear roles that they each need to fill so that we can get there. That’s how we’ve been operating so far. It’s pretty typical to how a lot of Division I programs are structured.”
Having great success in building a college program is a result of putting together and executing proper coaching techniques and making sure the staff is on the same page in the team’s overall approach to its schematics.
“Our biggest strength is the number of coaches on our staff,” said Posillico. “It gives us a lot of resources. The most important thing that it allows us to do is to not be spread as thin, so we’re sure we’re able to provide hands on attention to the athletes that are on our roster.”
That hands-on attention is something that Coach Posillico stresses to his staff and has relied on throughout his coaching career.
A significant change this year at Springfield reduces the number of overall coaches in the program.
“For the first time we’re doing a combined program. One coach for men’s and women’s track and the same for cross country. Both are new hires this year.”
Posillico hasn’t let his participative directing style interfere with the individual head coaches’ styles of running practice, but rather steps in and works with a number of athletes in correcting form and getting extra work in and does a lot of “on the track” coaching.
“We’re really big on letting our assistant coaches bounce around to multiple event groups,” Posillico said. “My hope is that will better prepare them for coaching jobs going forward.”
Posillico is excited about the year, and has already had a great experience in settling in here at Springfield. Fellow coaches who he had yet to meet reached out to Posillico when he first got to Springfield, delivering that welcoming feel that members of the Springfield College community take pride in.
“Springfield has certainly been the most welcoming campus of the three places I’ve coached. It was a really nice feeling,” he explained. “The people at Springfield College have been a big part why I think it’s been a pretty smooth transition so far, just learning a new place and getting settled in. There’s still a lot for me to learn, but I’m doing it as clean as one can.”
John Grimaldi can be reached on Twitter at @JGrim44