January 3, 2017
GETTING THEIR PHIL
Wagner names Casella women's coach
Phil Casella was named the new head women's soccer coach at Wagner College, the Staten Island school announced Tuesday afternnon.
Casella replaced Mike Minelli, who stepped down as coach Nov. 28.
A 1997 graduate of Northeast Conference rival Fairleigh Dickinson and former assistant coach for the Knights, Casella takes over the Seahawks' program after four seasons as the goalkeeper's coach at Mississippi State.
"We're excited to have Phil leading our women's soccer program here at Wagner," Wagner athletic director Walt Hameline said in a statement. "He brings a tremendous coaching pedigree, local recruiting ties, and a familiarity with the Northeast Conference, as well as impressive experience as an assistant coach within the SEC at Mississippi State."
At Mississippi State, Casella helped guide the Bulldogs to their best Southeastern Conference record in 13 years in 2015, highlighted by an upset of 20th-ranked Kentucky. He also oversaw the Bulldogs' recruiting efforts, match analysis and equipment.
"I would like to thank athletic director Walt Hameline and senior associate athletic director Brendan Fahey for providing me with this great opportunity at Wagner College," Casella said. "I am excited to get to work with our players. My goal is to revitalize the program and get us to a consistent level of being in the NEC playoffs and fighting for an NCAA berth.
"Having been involved in the NEC prior at FDU, and with my ties in New York, Long Island, and throughout the Northeast, there's enough talent in this region to take this program to the next level. We're looking to bring in student-athletes who are also of high caliber in the classroom so that we can create an overall culture of success."
Casella was an assistant coach at FDU from 2000-06 and helped the Knights to a 7-2-1 NEC record and a semifinal berth in the conference tournament in his first season, before winning the 2003 ECAC Championship along with an undefeated 6-0-3 regular season record and regular season championship for FDU. The Knights also reached the NEC semifinals in 2002, the program's third season of NCAA play.
In 2006, Casella served as an assistant coach at Fordham University, where he was involved with scouting and recruiting. The Rams went 14-7 overall and reached the Atlantic 10 Conference finals under Casella's direction.
Casella also had numerous stints in amateur and youth soccer, most recently coaching the Long Island Fury of the Women's Premier Soccer League in 2012-2013 and the New York Fury, whom he coached to a East-Mid Atlantic Conference regular season championship with a 7-2-1 record in 2011.
Casella owns a U.S. Soccer Federation's National "C" Coaching License and is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
He also played for the North Jersey Imperials of the U.S. Interregional Soccer League from 1996-98.