Montclair State Mourns the Loss of Coach John Greco

Montclair, NJ (11/5/10) Montclair State University head men's lacrosse coach John Greco, who led the Red Hawks to the greatest success in program history, passed away on Thursday, November 4. Greco was 33 and leaves behind a wife, Karen.

Greco completed his eighth season this past Spring as Montclair State fashioned the finest season in the 38-year history of the program. Montclair posted a 15-4 record, tying the school record for victories which also included 14 consecutive wins. The Red Hawks spent a majority of the season in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association national poll reaching a high mark at No. 17. Montclair State would go on to capture its second consecutive Skyline Conference Championship downing Kean University 12-8 to earn its second straight trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament where MSU hosted a opening-round contest for the first time. Greco was named the Skyline Conference Coach of the Year.

In eight seasons, Greco posted a 96-43 mark, including a 43-10 ledger in conference play 23-2 since joining the Skyline in 2007. He led MSU to its only two NCAA Tournament appearances and has played in five conference championship games winning the last two years (2009 and 2010). Greco was twice named the Knickerbocker Conference Coach of the Year prior to MSU's move to the Skyline Conference. In addition to his coaching honors, Greco also coached all four of Montclair State's All-Americans Thomas Bowers in 2009 and 2010 honorees Taylor Bonner, Patrick Ferry and Robert Sinicola and had three players Bryan Klimchak, Bowers and Bonner represent Montclair State in the USILA North/South Senior All-Star Game. Bonner was named a USILA Scholar All-American in 2010.

Greco took over the program in 2003, becoming the sixth coach in school history. In his first season he led his team to a 12-4 mark, the most victories MSU had posted since 1994. The Red Hawks went on to win the first of their three straight ECAC Division III Metro championships, topping the United States Merchant Marine Academy in overtime, 10-9. That 2003 season he was voted Coach of the Year in the Knickerbocker Conference.

The following year Greco guided Montclair State to perhaps the second-best season in the history of the program. Montclair won 14 games, one shy of the school record, losing only three. The Red Hawks reached the championship game of the inaugural Knickerbocker Tournament. MSU would qualify for the ECAC Metro Tournament for the second straight year, something it had not done in over a decade. Tabbed as the No. 1 seed, Montclair dominated the tournament outscoring its opponents, 26-8, capping off the season with a 13-3 win over conference rival Richard Stockton in the title game.

The 2005 campaign provided some adversity for Greco and his Red Hawks. Playing against a very difficult schedule, MSU stood just 5-6 late in the season. With Greco leading the way, Montclair would reel off five straight victories and advanced to the KLC Championship Game again. Montclair returned to the ECAC Championship successfully defending their crown with a 13-8 victory over Farmingdale State.

In 2007, the Red Hawks nearly pulled off a four-peat in the ECAC Championship. The No. 3 seed in the tournament, Montclair avenged an earlier loss in the season to Richard Stockton topping the Ospreys 12-11 in the semifinals. Making their fourth consecutive appearance in the championship game, MSU fell to Villa Julie.

The 2008 and 2009 campaigns were two more successful seasons for Greco. The 2008 team had a heartbreaking loss in the 2008 Skyline Championship game after a 12-5 season (5-0 in conference play) only to avenge their loss one year later and take home the 2009 Skyline Conference Championship after a 13-5 season (5-0 in conference play).

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2010-11-05



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