|Alma Mater:||Saint Joseph's University '17|
Hawk alum Charles Giunta wrapped up his first season as the volunteer assistant on the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse coaching staff for Spring 2018. Giunta was a four-year starting defenseman on Hawk Hill from 2014-17 and focuses his efforts on the defensive end, with a specific emphasis on defensive player development and coordinating the substitution game.
Giunta helped guide an SJU defensive unit that ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense (8.00 goals per game) and seventh in man-down defense (.766) in 2018. The back line was an integral part of the team's single-season, program-record 11-game winning streak that spanned from March 10 through May 3 en route to an overall record of 11-4. The Hawks went 6-0 in NEC regular-season action to earn the program’s fourth NEC regular-season title and became the first team to defeat a pair of ranked opponents in the same season, with victories over then-#20/20 Penn and then-#18/20 Robert Morris. Those late-season wins in combination with SJU’s 11 straight victories led to the program’s first ever national ranking, as the Hawks were ranked 20th by both the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Lacrosse Division I Media Poll and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division I Coaches Poll on April 30.
"I am thrilled to announce the addition of Charles Giunta to our coaching staff here at SJU," said Saint Joseph's head coach Taylor Wray. "Charles' passion for the game and for coaching the game of lacrosse is tremendous. I've been involved with this game a long time, and I can tell you that Charles' understanding and eagerness to learn is something that sets him apart. He was a great leader for us on the field as a player, and I'm looking forward to him continuing to use his leadership ability from the sidelines."
Giunta has served as the director of youth operations and as the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Big 4/HHH since December 2014, where he organizes and manages the youth program and day-to-day operations for the 5th-8th grade group. He also develops the defensive curriculum for the entire program for 5th graders through high schoolers and has served as the assistant coach and defensive coordinator for the rising 8th grade group since June 2014. Giunta additionally designs practice plans that focus on team instruction as well as both offensive and defensive fundamentals and both coaches and designs defensive skill sessions that focus on individual skill development.
Giunta also worked as a defensive assistant with Sankey Lacrosse from July 2015 through July 2016, where he designed and implemented defensive fundamentals into Sankey Lacrosse camps and worked specifically with players on advancing their defensive skill sets.
As a defensive stalwart on Hawk Hill from 2014-17, Giunta totaled 41 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers in 56 appearances, with 50 starts, as a consistent starter on the back line. He reached career-high numbers in both categories as a senior, going for 15 ground balls and nine caused turnovers in 13 contests.
Giunta anchored the Hawks to three consecutive Northeast Conference postseason appearances from 2014-16 and captained the squad as a senior last spring.
Giunta was one of 20 candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award, an honor that recognizes student-athletes’ accomplishments in the areas of character, classroom, community, and competition, and earned SJU’s Dorie Leahy Award, presented to the student-athlete who best demonstrates dedication and loyalty to his team, last spring. He was also the recipient of the team’s “Head, Heart, Hustle” Award and the Headstrong Foundation’s “Nicolas Colleluori Relentless” Award.
"Charles is going to have a bright future in college coaching," added Wray. "I'm happy he can start his career here with us on Hawk Hill."
A native of Philadelphia and local product of William Penn Charter ‘13, Giunta graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in May 2017 with a degree in marketing and is currently pursuing an M.S. in organization development and leadership from Saint Joseph's University.