When Sacred Heart announced that they were letting Tom Mariano go, there was only one reasonable candidate to lead the Pioneers' lacrosse program: "Big Red," the school's mascot. Division I lacrosse has never seen a mascot lead a program before, and Sacred Heart -- with its historically western and likely sociopathic athletic representative -- could have potentially started a trend to reshape our common perceptions about what is necessary in a head lacrosse coach.
Alas, the Pioneers did not elevate from within; instead, Sacred Heart looked to the northeast of its state, plucking Jon Basti from Hartford and relocating his efforts southwestern Connecticut. To the press release!
Sacred Heart Executive Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine announced on Thursday that Jonathan Basti has been named the Pioneers' new head men's lacrosse coach. Basti comes to Sacred Heart after serving as the Associate Head Coach at the University of Hartford for the last five seasons.
"I was very humbled and privileged to be offered this position," said Basti. "I'm very excited about the things we can do here in the future. I think there is a lot of potential for us to do a lot of great things and compete both in the Northeast Conference as well as nationally."
Basti heads to Sacred Heart after five years at Hartford, most recently holding the position of associate head coach under Peter Lawrence. Before working with the Hawks, Basti spent time at Lafayette, Fairfield, Eastern Connecticut State University (where he was the head coach), and -- shockingly! -- Sacred Heart (where he started his college coaching career).
All that is important stuff, but what is most important is whether the image announcing Basti's appointment implies that Basti can see into your soul, unlocking the secrets of existence and kind of freaking you out a little bit: