Joe Amplo is getting ready to explore uncharted territory as the Marquette men’s lacrosse team prepares for its first season as a NCAA Division-I team.
Marquette University decided to add a men’s and women’s lacrosse program to the list of NCAA Division-I sports on Dec. 16th, 2010. The search for a head coach for the men’s side would take two months as Amplo was announced as the first coach in the team’s young history in February.
That’s when Amplo and his family moved from Long Island, where he served as an assistant coach for the men’s lacrosse team at Hofstra.
After adding assistant coaches John Orsen and Stephen Brundage to the staff, recruiting was underway. While recruiting and talking to players, Amplo underscored the challenges that starting a new program could bring and looked for those that would be ready to move forward after those challenges.
“We’re going to find out who the men are,” Amplo said. “It will be those that are willing to trust themselves and their teammates to build this thing.”
In Aug. 2011, 28 players accepted the invitation by Amplo to step up to those challenges. By the fall of 2012, the team expanded to 49 members and is preparing for their first match in October.
The team released its first schedule on Sep. 12th and will be playing against several ranked opponents throughout the year. Amplo believes that wins and losses will not be highlighted in the first year of competition.
“If we can look back and say we invested as much as we possibly could, individually and collectively, to being the best that we could be,” Amplo said, “That’s success to us.”
When the team is not on the field, players can be seen around the Al McGuire Center’s Eagles Nest studying or participating in community service programs throughout campus. Amplo’s mission may not be to create winners right away, but leaders and men for others in the Marquette community.