Alyssa Diacono to Lead New Men’s, Women’s Water Polo Program at Mount St. Mary’s

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Mount St. Mary’s Director of Athletics Lynne Robinson announced today that The Mount has selected Alyssa Diacono to lead their brand new men’s and women’s water polo program.

mount-st-mary-logo“We are thrilled to announce Alyssa Diacono as the head men’s and women’s water polo coach at Mount St. Mary’s University.” Robinson said in a statement released today by the Mount St. Mary’s Athletics Department.

“Alyssa’s experience as an elite player and successful coach perfectly position her to build and develop our new water polo program. I am confident that our water polo teams will grow and thrive under Alyssa’s leadership.

“I am humbled and honored to be named the inaugural Men’s and Women’s Water Polo Coach at Mount St. Mary’s University!” said Diacono, who ended her career at San Diego State with 158 goals, 90 steals as well as 292 exclusions drawn, second all-time in program history. “The Mount has a legacy of academic and athletic excellence that I’m excited to carry on.

“With the addition of water polo at the Division 1 level, the sport continues to expand and brings new opportunities for both men and women student-athletes. I want to thank President Trainor, Lynne Robinson and the hiring committee for welcoming me to the Mount. I look forward to building a program based on Mount St. Mary’s values.”

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Photo Courtesy: Mount St. Mary’s Athletics

The hiring of Diacono, a standout at SDSU from 2014-17, to lead both men’s and women’s polo, makes her the only other woman besides McKendree’s Colleen Lischwe currently coaching men’s NCAA polo—and one of the few females in Division I to coach men in any sport.

[On The Record with Colleen Lischwe, Head Coach of McKendree Men’s and Women’s Water Polo]

Carin Crawford—Diacono’s coach when she was honored as SDSU’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2017—as well as a two-time Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-American, garnering Honorable Mentions in 2015 and 2016—was emphatic in supporting her former player.

“I have no doubt that Alyssa Diacono is the right choice to lead the MSM men’s and women’s water polo programs into their inaugural seasons,” Crawford, now in her 22nd year leading the Aztecs, said in an email. “Alyssa will bring to Mt. St. Mary’s coaching experience on the East Coast and recruiting contacts from the West Coast to attract top-level student-athletes to the program.

“As an athlete, Alyssa never backed down from a challenge, and that attitude, plus her tireless work ethic, will serve her well in her new role as HC of MSM water polo,” she added.

After two seasons working as an assistant to Head Coach Curtis Robinette with the Mercyhurst men’s and women’s water polo teams, Diacono now becomes the second Aztec in as many seasons to assume responsibility for a Division I program. Last year Alana Burgess, who played for Crawford from 2008-11, was named head coach for the St. Francis Brooklyn women’s team.

[San Diego State’s Carin Crawford, St. Francis Brooklyn’s Alana Burgess: If You Can See Her You Can Be Her]

The Mount St. Mary’s men’s water polo team will open competition in the fall of 2020, while The Mount women will begin play in spring 2021.

With content from Mount St. Mary’s Athletics

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