COLUMBIA-The University of Missouri Men’s lacrosse team has announced the addition of former Tigers defenseman Matt Yacovino as the team’s new defensive coordinator.
Yacovino replaces Hatton Taylor, who moved to Nashville, Tennessee following the 2016 season. He will be in charge of a Tigers defense that has ranked as one of the best in the GRLC over the past few seasons.
“It’s a great feeling to be named an assistant coach,” Yacovino said. “It gives me the opportunity to take what I’ve learned over the years and apply it to the team to help them succeed.”
A native of St. Louis, Yacovino starred at Desmet Jesuit High School, garnering recognition as one of the top close-defenders in his grade in the metro-STL area. Following high school, Yacovino played at Division-III power Nazareth University in Rochester for one season before transferring to Mizzou for his final three years of eligibility.
A three-year starter, Yacovino played in 39 games for the Tigers and scooped up 106 ground balls, the highest for any Missouri defenseman over that period. In 2016, following a season in which he led all GRLC defenseman in ground balls with 64, Yacovino was named to the GRLC first team, the first Missouri defenseman to do so since Eric Chole in 2011.
“It’s awesome to be able to coach for Mizzou.” Yacovino said. “Mizzou Lacrosse is a great program that I am proud to say I played for over the years. I’ve always wanted to coach at the high school and summer club levels, but I never imagined my first role would be as an assistant coach in the MCLA. Coach Anagnostis has began to implement a philosophy that I believe in and I look forward to learn more from him over the season to help me become a better coach.”
With the Tigers starting spring practice next week, Yacovino says the team is ready to compete for a conference title in 2017 under new head coach Nick Anagnostis.
“I believe Nick is the guy to take this team to the next level and create an winning program in the next few years,” Yacovino said. “We have a tough schedule this year, but I see it as a good test for the guys to learn a new system and become successful and win the GRLC.”
Missouri opens the 2017 slate against Missouri S&T at Stankowski Field on February 4th. Please visit Mizzou’s MCLA page at mcla.us/team/missouri for rosters, stats and game information during the regular season and make sure to follow @MizzouLacrosse on Twitter for all the latest information.