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MEDFORD - Casey D'Annolfo, who revitalized the men's lacrosse program at the Taft School during nine seasons as head coach, has been named as the new leader of the Tufts University men's lacrosse program.
A 2006 Tufts graduate, D'Annolfo replaces Mike Daly as the Jumbos' head coach. Daly left to become the head coach at Division I Brown University in July.
"I am very excited to welcome Casey back home to Tufts to lead our men’s lacrosse team in its annual pursuit of academic excellence and championships," said Director of Athletics John Morris. "Casey has a genuine passion for Tufts, and his values align completely with the ideals that Tufts Athletics stands for – providing a transformational student-athlete experience, achieving academic excellence, winning championships, and using an athletics field as a classroom to teach life lessons and develop leaders. He embodies everything we were looking for in our next head coach, and I cannot wait for him to get started."
When D'Annolfo was hired at Taft in 2007, the Rhinos were at the bottom of the Founders League. Playing in one of the most competitive lacrosse conferences in the nation - including teams such as Deerfield, Salisbury, Hotchkiss, Westminster and Choate - Taft won the Founders League championship under D'Annolfo's guidance in 2016.
D'Annolfo also established Taft as a nationally-ranked program. The Rhinos were #802 in the USA Today national high school poll for 2007, but by 2014 he had the team ranked in top 20. Taft was #18 in USA Today's rankings this past spring. The 2016 team broke the school record for goals in a season (287).
Eight Taft players earned All-American honors during D'Annolfo's tenure and three received Western New England Player of the Year awards. He helped more than 70 student-athletes move on to play college lacrosse at the Division I, II and III levels. Taft 2016 All-American Michael Kraus broke the school's single-season goals record with 57 and will play at Division I Virginia next year.
"I couldn't be more excited to return to Tufts University, my alma mater, in order to continue the great lacrosse tradition that has been established," D'Annolfo said. "The bar has been set very high by the alums, and I look forward to getting to work with this group of young men in order to create an equally impressive legacy. I am excited to re-immerse myself in the Tufts community that taught me so much and both reinvigorate relationships that I cherish to this day as well as make many new ones. I can't thank John Morris enough for giving me this opportunity."
At Tufts, D'Annolfo takes over a program that has won three NCAA Championships (2015, 2014, 2010), has played in the last three NCAA title games (2014-16), and has captured seven straight New England Small College Athletic Conference crowns (2010-16).
From West Hartford, Connecticut originally, D'Annolfo was a three-sport letterman in football, lacrosse, and basketball at Tufts from 2002-06. He played quarterback for the Jumbos and was a four-year contributor in lacrosse. He is as the only athlete in Jumbo history to throw a touchdown pass in football, score a goal in lacrosse, and make a field goal in basketball during his Tufts career.
D'Annolfo has coached at the prestigious Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Games since 2012. He has kept his connection to Tufts over the years by working at the Jumbo Lacrosse Clinic starting in 2010.
What They Are Saying About Casey D'Annolfo ...
"Casey D'Annolfo is a great hire for Tufts. Having coached him in two sports at Tufts, I have great confidence in Casey's passion to continue the legacy all of Tufts and our alums built. With the leadership in place, it's an exciting time for the program."
- Mike Daly, Brown University Head Coach, Former Tufts Head Coach 1999-2016, Tufts graduate 1995
"What an outstanding hire by Tufts University. Casey D’Annolfo has proven himself to be one of the most innovative high school coaches in the nation. With his institutional knowledge of Tufts and his deep breadth of recruiting insight in New England and beyond, Casey is well prepared to carry on the unique and fantastic tradition of Tufts Lacrosse created by Mike Daly."
- Lars Tiffany, University of Virginia Head Coach
"Casey D'Annolfo is a great coach who truly cares about his players' performance on the field and in the classroom. Casey is an inspirational leader just as his predecessor Mike Daly exhibited over his career. He is a fellow Jumbo and I believe the Tufts program is in very good hands."
- Garrett Clarke, Tufts All-American 2015 & 2016, Taft School graduate 2012