Special to the Journal
In search of a new softball coach, St. Mary’s Athletic Director Jeff Newhall only needed to look as far as the hockey rink.
St. Mary’s girls hockey coach Frank Pagliuca has been named to replace Paige Licata of Revere, who resigned after four years at the helm of the Spartan softball program.
“We are thrilled to have Frank take over the softball program,” Newhall said. “He has had significant success with our girls hockey program, he knows our school and our student-athletes extremely well, and he has a proven record as an outstanding softball coach as well.”
Pagliuca coached the Lexington High softball team from 2007-15, compiling a 128-49 record and winning back-to-back MIAA Div. 1 state championships in 2008 and 2009. He led the St. Mary’s hockey team to state titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010, giving him state championships as a coach in five consecutive seasons.
“If I were going to come back to softball, it had to be a situation where I felt really comfortable with the school and the community,” Pagliuca said. “I have a tremendous relationship with Jeff and the St. Mary’s community, so this worked out very well.”
A Wakefield native who played hockey at UMass Boston, Pagliuca has coached the girls hockey team at St. Mary’s since 2005, after one year at Wakefield High. His career record is 286-62-34, including four state titles and a 100-game unbeaten streak from 2008-11.
“Frank epitomizes what you want in a coach,” Newhall said. “He has the technical expertise and relates well to his players.”
Pagliuca is inheriting a powerful program that won state championships in 2009 and 2010 under Colleen Newbury and is a perennial contender in Div. 3 North. With last season having been cancelled due to the pandemic, there are eight players returning from the 2019 squad, including: Lily Newhall, Marina DiBiasio, Samantha Porazinski, Felicia D’Alessandro, Julia Nickolau, Sophia LeBert, Alyssa Grossi and Angelina Catino.
“I’m excited to be part of a great program,” said Pagliuca, who has taught for 19 years at Lexington High School, where he also served as girls soccer coach from 2005-11. “I know the value St. Mary’s places on the student-athlete, so this is really a perfect opportunity for me.”
Pagliuca said former St. Mary’s standout athletes Angela Dandreo ’11 and Genevieve Benoit ’12 will serve as assistant coaches. He is cautiously optimistic that there will be a season this year.
“For some kids, this is the last opportunity to play competitive sports,” he said. “I really hope they have the opportunity to get back on the field.”
Pagliuca lives in Lynnfield with his wife, Kara, and their daughters, Kiley (8), Mikayla (5) and Emma (2).