July 5, 2005
From Duke Athletics
DURHAM, N.C. (goduke.com) -- Kevin Cassese, one of the most decorated student-athletes in Duke history, will return to his alma mater as an assistant coach for the Blue Devil men's lacrosse team, announced on Friday by head coach Mike Pressler.
"Kevin is arguably the most dedicated player in Duke lacrosse history, and when this position came open he was without question our first choice," Pressler said. "He is the son of a very successful football coach on Long Island, and is a rising star in the coaching profession. Speaking for our alumni and players, we couldn't be more pleased with this hire. We feel Kevin certainly will help us build on the success we experienced during the 2005 season."
Cassese spent last season as an assistant coach at Stony Brook, directing the nation's top extra man offense to a 45.7 percent efficiency rate as the Seawolves posted a 10-6 overall record. The vacancy on the Duke staff was created when Joe Alberici, who spent nine seasons alongside Pressler in Durham, accepted the head coaching position at Army.
While at Duke, the Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., native led the Blue Devils to a 38-25 four-year record, three NCAA Tournament berths and a pair of ACC championships. A two-time team captain and three-time All-ACC choice, he earned All-America honors three times including first team citations in both 2002 and 2003. Cassese was a two-time finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy, ACC Player of the Year in 2001 and the recipient of the Lt. Donald McLaughlin, Jr. Award as the nation's top midfielder in 2002. He concluded his career with 80 goals and 38 assists and currently ranks 25th all-time at Duke with his 118 career points.
In the summer of 2002, he helped the United States to the goal medal at the International Lacrosse Federation world championships and was tabbed to the ACC 50th Anniversary Team. A year later, Cassese was the number two overall selection in the Major League Lacrosse Draft by the Rochester Rattlers. He was a two-time MLL Rookie of the Week choice in 2003, helped Rochester to the National Division title in 2004 and was chosen for the 2005 MLL All-Star Game. Earlier this summer, he was named to the United States team that will play in the 2006 ILF world championships in London, Ontario, Canada.
As a prep at Comsewogue High School, Cassese was on a state championship team in lacrosse in 1998, and later helped teams capture the gold medal at both the Empire State Games (1998) and ILF Under-19 world championships (1999). He was a First Team All-America pick in lacrosse and a three-time All-Long Island selection in football.
Cassese earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Duke in 2003, garnering USILA Scholar All-America and ACC Academic Honor Roll honors as well as the ACC's Weaver-James-Corrigan Honorary Award for outstanding athletic and academic achievement. Following graduation from Duke, he served as a Brand Marketing Associate for Brine, Inc., and founded Cassese Sports Enterprises, Inc. Born April 5, 1981, Cassese is engaged to be married to Katie Granson, a former Duke women's tennis player from 2000-03.
Duke is coming off a 17-3 campaign in 2005 as the Blue Devils set a new NCAA record for wins in a season and advanced to the national championship game.