The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation named David Sylvester '85 as interim head coach of the Geneseo softball program.
Sylvester replaces Tony Ciccarello who has accepted a full-time head coach position at SUNY New Paltz. Ciccarello posted a record of 258-174 in his 11 years at Geneseo.
Sylvester brings in a “wealth of softball knowledge” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Michael Mooney in a statement. With 24 years of coaching experience, including three with the Knights as pitching coach, Sylvester is taking the first step in fulfilling what he said is his long-term goal of taking over a college program.
“This is a golden opportunity for me to go in, get my feet wet, get started on it,” Sylvester said.
According to Mooney, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation offered Sylvester the position in order to provide a level of comfort for the student-athletes during the coaching transition.
“After looking at many things and trying to see what would be best for the student -athlete, we felt moving forward with an interim coach for right now to get us through the season, then we can evaluate which direction we want to go,” he said.
“The biggest thing is sending the message to the ladies that even though it’s a mid-year change, it’s not going to be that big of a change,” Sylvester said.
The student-athletes responded to the switch with excitement and open arms, according to senior co-captains Katie Gallagher and Jessica Steubing.
“I’m not really that nervous,” Steubing said. “I’m more excited to get started and see the new changes that he’s making.”
“I don’t think it was that big of a change,” Gallagher said. “There’s going to be small changes, but at the end of the day we’re still the same girls that were here before and we have someone else who’s in charge, but I don’t think that’s going to change anything.”
Nickie Steger ’09 joins Sylvester for her third season as assistant coach. Former Geneseo women’s volleyball coach Martha Martin completes the coaching staff.
Martin spent 34 years as the York High School softball head coach after creating the program and became familiar with Sylvester and his coaching style when he coached at Perry Central School for 12 years.
“It’s really nice because it’s not like she and I aren’t brand new to each other,” Sylvester said. Martin will cover the infield positions, while Steger will continue to assist the outfielders.
The Knights begin their season on March 8 at the Sea Gull Invitational in Salisbury, Md.