A little over a month after women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley left Temple for a position at the University of South Carolina, track and field coach Stefanie Scalessa resigned to “pursue other opportunities,” the university’s athletic department announced in a press release Wednesday.
A national search to find Scalessa’s replacement will begin immediately.
Scalessa, the first woman to coach a men’s sport in the 113-year history of Temple athletics, oversaw both the men’s and women’s track and field teams for four seasons. She also coached the cross country team – which was reinstated in 2005 after 20-year hiatus – in their last three campaigns.
“It has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with so many outstanding student-athletes at Temple for the past four years,” Scalessa said in a statement. “The administration has been very supportive of the program and it is at the point where it is ready to explode onto the regional and national scene. It was a difficult decision for me, but it is the right time to pursue other opportunities.”
The Wilmington, DE-native and 1990 Villanova graduate, who replaced George Phillips in September 2004, guided the men’s and women’s squads to some of their best finishes in Atlantic Ten Conference Championship competition, respectively.
Under Scalessa’s watch, the men’s team posted a program-best fifth place showing at the 2007 A-10 Outdoor Track Championship and a fourth place finish at this year’s A-10 Indoor Track Championship.
Scalessa coached the women to a fourth place finish in this season’s A-10 Outdoor Track Championship, their best showing in five years.
Individually, she coached 13 conference champion-athletes and seven school record holders.
“We wish Stefanie well in her future endeavors,” Temple Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw said in the press release. “She oversaw a total of six varsity teams with class and has both the cross country and track programs headed in the right direction.”
Tyson McCloud can be reached at email@example.com.
Photos courtesy of Temple Athletics.