The 2021-2022 school year was one for the athletic program’s history books. As a whole, SNHU athletes, teams, and coaches earned countless awards that stood out in comparison to rival NE10 schools. Collectively, SNHU had four teams earn NE10 regular season championships, two teams earn NE10 conference championships, multiple teams earn national recognition, and six coaches who earned NE10 Coach of the Year honors.
Success across all sports earned athletics their first Presidents’ Cup in SNHU history. The Presidents’ Cup is a coveted prize in the NE10 that recognizes program success as opposed to individual team success.
“The Presidents’ Cup is presented annually to signify overall athletic excellence in the NE10. It is awarded to the institution that compiles the most cumulative points based on finishes in the regular-season standings from all of its programs competing in league championships,” according to SNHU Athletics.
Anthony Fallacaro, Director of Athletics, noted the importance of this achievement and how it took every team in the program.
“It’s an incredible achievement,” said Fallacaro. “It’s one of those [moments] that is extra meaningful because it [encompasses] the entire program; every single team that we have got points on how well they did this year. It’s that collective effort amongst all the teams, so I think it’s really special.”
SNHU won the Presidents’ Cup with a 10-point lead, despite having less sports than other NE10 schools.
“We don’t have men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, we don’t have men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and we don’t have football; we’re missing five points that other schools are getting points in. We’re kind of at a disadvantage, so to close it and come in first is just incredible,” said Fallacaro.
SNHU athletics had two league champions, but the overall success in the regular season from all teams gave them the edge in the Cup standings.
“[The President’s Cup is based on the] regular season,” said Fallacaro. “Years ago, we won [around] six NE10 championships, and we came in fifth or sixth place [for the President’s Cup]. Collectively, it’s how well [every team] did during the whole year.”
Compared to other schools, Fallacaro pointed out that it was the preparation and desire to play that gave SNHU the advantage.
“We learned to be flexible and we learned to adapt. Coming out of COVID, it was one of those things where the NCAA gave athletes a year of eligibility back. Many schools had to deal with the roster and knowing that [athletes] could’ve graduated, but the NCAA is giving you a year back. We dealt with that incredibly well. Our coaches did a great job of managing their rosters, figuring out who wanted to come back,” said Fallacaro.
The extra year of eligibility due to COVID allowed for veteran athletes to return to their teams for one more year.
“Some other schools may not have done it as well. I feel as though most schools lost more kids than we did,” said Fallacaro. “For us, we got a lot of kids that wanted to return, which helped us because it made us more veteran heavy.”
When SNHU athletes lost the opportunity to compete because of COVID, other schools still played. Fallacaro believes the lost season resulted in athletes coming back with a vengeance.
“When [athletics] were taken away from us, many schools were still playing during COVID. When that happens, you feel that it gets taken away from you. Now, when you get it back, you’re happy to be doing this.”
After a year of many awards and accolades, SNHU looks to repeat that success.
“My [message] to our coaches this year is going to be pretty similar; COVID is still going to be in our world, it may be different, but it’s still going to be there,” said Fallacaro. “…we need to do what we did last year, which was not get caught up in the little things.”