PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's University men’s lacrosse program is thrilled to welcome back Mike Rastivo '17 as a volunteer assistant coach on the Hawks' coaching staff, ninth-year head coach Taylor Wray announced on Friday morning.
Rastivo was a four-year starting attackman on Hawk Hill from 2014-16 and 2018 and will focus his efforts primarily on offensive player development and coordination of the substitution and face-off game.
“I am so thrilled to welcome Mike Rastivo back home to Hawk Hill,” said Wray. “He wants to pursue a career in college coaching, and our staff and players are so excited to have him begin that career with us. To have one of the greatest players in SJU lacrosse history join our coaching staff is a tremendous asset, but more than that, to have one of finest people and leaders I have ever coached helping to mentor and develop our current roster is what I’m looking forward to the most.”
“I am honored to join the coaching staff,” said Rastivo. “Coming back to Hawk Hill is a dream come true. I am beyond thankful to work for a university that means so much to me. I can’t wait to continue learning from Coach Wray and the rest of the staff. I have always agreed wholeheartedly with his standards, work ethic, and enthusiasm toward the game. Seeing the game through a different lens will be an awesome experience."
Following his final year of eligibility in Spring 2018, Rastivo began full-time employment as both the Director of HHH Operations, Middle School Division and as the Offensive Coordinator at Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.). He continues to work for HHH and has worked with Big 4 Lacrosse/HHH Philadelphia since Fall 2016.
The only USILA/Nike All-American in program history after earning Honorable Mention recognition in 2016, Rastivo is Saint Joseph's program recordholder in career goals, scoring 129 times over 59 career games played. He also ranks third in all-time career points (190) and 10th in all-time career assists (61) on Hawk Hill and owned a point-scoring streak of 52 games, spanning from April 5, 2014 to April 21, 2018, which ranked fifth among all active Division I players upon graduation.
A three-time All-Conference selection, Rastivo was voted the 2016 Northeast Conference Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year (35g, 22a) as well as the 2015 NEC Offensive Player of the Year (43g, 19a). He was also tabbed to the 2016 Tewarraton Award Watch List.
After falling to an injury that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season, Rastivo worked his way back to total 37 points (24g, 13a) in all 15 starts en route to 2018 All-NEC Second Team honors as a graduate student.
Rastivo was also tabbed a 2018 Senior CLASS Award All-American selection, which speaks not only to his honors on the field but to his successes in the classroom, within the community, and of his character, and was Saint Joseph's representative at the 2018 Philadelphia Sportswriters Dinner.
The three-year team captain led the Hawks to four NEC postseason appearances during his playing time on Hawk Hill.
A native of South Setauket, N.Y. and product of Choate Rosemary Hall '13 and Ward Melville '12, Rastivo graduated from Saint Joseph's University in May 2017 with a degree in business administration and also earned his M.S. in organization development and leadership from SJU.
“Saint Joseph’s will always be special because of how the program truly feels like family,” added Rastivo. “I couldn’t imagine starting my coaching career anywhere else. I want to be the coach that inspires players and makes the game fun, just as the coaches at Saint Joseph’s have always done for me. From a goal-oriented standpoint, I am excited to have the opportunity to compete for an NEC championship again.”
Rastivo replaces Charles Giunta ‘17, who served as the Hawks' volunteer assistant coach over the last two seasons and has taken a full-time position as the defensive coordinator at Fairfield University.
“Our program is going to miss Charles so much, and I’m going to miss Charles,” said Wray. “He was a part of a recruiting class that our staff put together in my first year at SJU; he arrived on campus my third season and has been here ever since. He helped to transform the program as a player and was instrumental in our success as a coach. I am incredibly grateful for everything he has given our program and thankful that we got to have him here as long as we did.
“It was the right time and opportunity for him to move on, and I am looking forward to watching his career develop as he begins a new chapter at Fairfield. I know he will make the same positive impact there as he has on Hawk Hill.”
“I have nothing but amazing things to say about the Saint Joseph’s University men’s lacrosse program," said Giunta. "My time as a player was by far the best experience of my life. I had the opportunity to build fantastic and long-lasting relationships with the guys of grad years 2014-2017. They made my experience phenomenal, and they were a huge part of the reason I wanted to come back and coach at SJU. I wanted the players to know and understand how special this place is. With that being said, the past two seasons on the sidelines were incredible. Learning from Coach Wray, [Dan] Keating, [Scott] Meehan, and [Mike] Horowitz about how to operate on a Division 1 staff was incredible. I was truly fortunate to experience such a high-quality staff on an everyday basis, and I will be sure to bring my experiences with me to Fairfield.”