New Paltz Welcomes Three New Head Coaches

Samantha Miller will be starting her first season as the softball interim head coach. Photo by Matt Nash.

For the Spring 2017 season at SUNY New Paltz, the Hawks welcome three new coaches into the fold.

The baseball team, the softball team and the women’s lacrosse teams will each have new coaches taking the reins and will look to make strides in the right direction this season.

Arlan Freeman, the new men’s baseball coach, most recently served as the assistant coach at Stevens Institute of Technology for four seasons.

In 2014, Stevens’ pitching staff ranked first nationally with 371 overall strikeouts per staff, as well as a school-record 2.34 earned run average and ranked nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (9.6), shutouts (five) and stolen bases (113).

Freeman additionally served as the pitching coach at Felician University in Rutherford, New Jersey, where his pitching staff registered 400 strikeouts in 463 innings and Barry University from 2008-11 where he also earned his master’s in sports management and helped lead the baseball team to two Sunshine State Conference titles.

Freeman says that one of his biggest mantras is being able to take responsibility for losses and being able to make adjustments.

“Having an opportunity to go out and win games and wear the loss is important in coaching,” he said. “There are going to be days where I make mistakes and being able to take the responsibility for the loss is important. I’m here to make these players successful.”

The softball team will also see new management in the form of Samantha Miller.

Miller previously worked as the assistant coach at New York University, helping the Violets to an  Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Div. III Metro Championship in the program’s second year of varsity competition.

Prior to her time at New York University, Miller served as the head varsity softball coach at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School from 2013-16, as well as the program’s junior varsity team from 2010-12.

Miller also competed at NCAA Division II University of Bridgeport from 2004-07, serving as a team captain on the Knights’ two ECAC championship teams from 2005-06.

She has also played professionally, competing for the Connecticut Brakettes of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) in 2007.

As head coach, Miller says her biggest goal for this upcoming season is to push her players and for them to leave it all on the field.

“I don’t want them to lose sight or be satisfied with just a win, but to win the day,” Miller said. “We can be beat, it’s bound to happen at some point, but as long as they give it their all, we come home and figure out statistically how we can improve. I want to help them reach the potential in which they either had doubts or that they never knew they had.”

Miller also adds that she tries to shake things up during preparation, and tries not to focus on just one thing.

“We keep practices interesting, adding in ‘Hawk Team’ challenges, which are competitions between two teams [within our team], each Monday,” Miller said. “It helps us reset our minds each week and re-establish why we are here. We’ve created a family and I believe that’s key so the team is something more than just being involved in a collegiate sport. These are friendships and memories that last a lifetime. That’s why I do this, I don’t look at it as my job, it’s more of a lifestyle.”

Lastly, the women’s lacrosse team’s assistant coach from last season will now take charge as the team’s interim head coach.

Keith Detelj, a graduate of Marist College, competed for the Red Foxes from 2003-07 as a midfielder.

During his four years, he accumulated 73 goals and 28 assists and was a three-time First Team All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) honoree, as well as the 2004 Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year and the 2005 MAAC Tournament MVP.

Detelj was the assistant offensive coach for the Nassau Community College women’s lacrosse team from 2012-14 before taking the reins as head coach for the 2015 season.

Detelj led the team to the 2015 Region XV Championship, the 2015 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) District “D” Championship and helped obtain its second NJCAA Div. III Final Four appearance.

As head coach of the women’s lacrosse team, Detelj says that he looks to improve on the team’s three-win campaign last year.

“I’m trying to get them to buy into my philosophy of playing at a high level and practicing discipline,” Detelj said. “Overall, we are looking to progress to a playoff caliber team, so getting there is good progress.”

Detelj also adds that the team is close knit and are already starting to embrace challenges they have set for the preseason and regular season.

“They want to get better,” Detelj said. “We have to take the good from last year and make our weaknesses our strengths.”