Denise Marchese has left the nest.
Marchese, SUNY New Paltz’s softball head coach, has stepped down from her position to accept an assistant coaching job at NCAA Div. I University of Rhode Island.
The head coach, who leaves her perch with a 49-63 record over her three years in New Paltz, officially left her position on Oct. 10, according to SUNY New Paltz Director of Athletics Stuart Robinson.
“This was an opportunity that presented itself, and she felt that this was a necessary step in her development as a coach and professional,” Robinson said. “Those decisions are never easy, and some never find themselves in a position to act. Denise was fortunate, and I know that she will be successful as she moves on with her career.”
During Marchese’s career as a Hawk, five of her players were All-SUNYAC honorees, and she led her team to the 2010 SUNYAC Tournament, where they were defeated by fellow SUNYAC members Cortland and Brockport.
Robinson said Marchese was a quietly intense coach who not only guided the Hawks as a leader, but as a mentor to the student athletes she coached.
“She set a high standard of expectation for her student athletes and wanted them to believe in themselves as competitors and as people,” Robinson said.
Matt Brennie, an assistant softball coach who worked with Marchese since the conclusion of the 2011 season, said the former coach impacted the athletes she coached and left a lasting impression on the softball program at New Paltz.
“Coach Marchese has built a foundation for future success,” Brennie said. “I have always believed that the sign of a great coach is that the program is better off than when they arrived. I feel that is the case here at New Paltz and the future looks bright for the Hawks.”
Brennie said Marchese had a particular impact on the players she coached over the years.
“She gave many of her players the confidence to be a great student athlete,” Brennie said. “I feel that if you asked each player separately, they would tell you a specific story that helped change their lives while here at New Paltz.”
Both Robinson and Brennie said New Paltz has already begun a nationwide search to replace Marchese at the helm of the softball team.
A search committee, which was formed by Robinson and is comprised of both athletic and non-athletic members of the New Paltz community, has a list of criteria they are looking for in a prospective new coach.
“As with any search that we conduct with a new coach, we are looking for someone who knows the sport, can teach and challenge our student athletes and is a strong leader,” Robinson said.
Robinson said he hopes the committee will have a new coach in place by the end of the fall semester.
Marchese could not be reached for comment by time of publication.