WEST HAVEN – The Notre Dame High School lacrosse program is now in the hands of former Quinnipiac University player and Branford High School assistant coach A.J. Alessi.
Alessi, who was a high school all-American at Branford and helped lead Quinnipiac University to the league playoffs in each of his four years as a Bobcat, was tapped by athletic director Tom Marcucci, ’66, to be Notre Dame’s second lacrosse coach in the program history.
Alessi replaces Robb Bajoras, who guided Notre Dame to to 53 wins and six CIAC Class M state tournament berths in his seven years as Notre Dame bench boss.
“The Notre Dame athletic program is very excited that A.J. has come on board to lead our lacrosse program,” said Marcucci. “I am confident in his ability to continue to grow our program and lead it in the right direction. A tremendous player, his youthful energy and enthusiasm combined with his coaching experience at Branford and with the Bulldog lacrosse program made him an ideal candidate for us.”
Alessi, who was the New Haven Register Player of the Year as a senior in 2005, said, “I was extremely excited when Coach Marcucci called me to offer the job. I really wanted it and I can’t wait to meet the guys and get started.”
He added, “The program has made great strides in a short time and the Notre Dame athletic tradition speaks for itself. We are in a hotbed of lacrosse in Connecticut and I am confident we can continue to grow the program. The SCC is one of the elite conferences for lacrosse and I feel this program is ready to be in the top tier and in the mix with the elite teams.”
Holy Cross Brother James Branigan, Notre Dame president, praised Alessi.
“A.J. knows the value of lacrosse in conjunction with our academics and mission. We are thrilled he accepted our position and know he will be a great addition to our coaching family,” he said.
Alessi has a master’s degree in education from Quinnipiac University. He was a four-year letter winner in soccer and lacrosse at Branford, and helped guide the Hornets to the 2003 Division I state title and the 2005 Southern Connecticut Conference regular season championship while earning all-State honors in both sports.
Notre Dame will start its eighth lacrosse season with its first practice on March 24. The schedule is not yet available.