Western Reserve Academy welcomes new Field Hockey Coach, Lucas Piccioli

We are proud to announce that Lucas Piccioli, former Associate Head Coach of the University of Louisville Cardinals, will join Western Reserve Academy as the new Head Field Hockey Coach.

"WRA is thrilled to welcome Lucas Piccioli to Hudson," said Director of Athletics Pete Hutchins. "Lucas is an elite field hockey coach. Most importantly, he has a passion for teaching the game and developing student-athletes on and off the field. He will bring a high level of energy and excitement to the program. Our community is fortunate to have another experienced and successful coach joining WRA."

A love and passion for field hockey is a fundamental part of Piccioli, practically entwined into his own DNA. A Caracas, Venezuela native, he grew up oscillating between the field hockey and soccer fields, playing with his brothers and friends, and his own parents played professionally. Both his mother and father hail originally from Argentina; his dad was a two-time Olympian, and when the family immigrated to Venezuela, he remembers his mother played a role in the development and coaching of the national team.

Piccioli is, in fact, a 2nd generation field hockey player and played professionally from 1996-2004. His athletic career began in Italy for the Sicily Division A1Club Team Giardini Naxos Hockey Club, before he headed to South Africa with the University of Durban Varsity Team in the Premiership League Club. Piccioli also played for the Honigvogel Hockey Club in Zaragoza Spain in 2004. He completed his playing career in the Corinthian Hockey Club in Leinster, Ireland.

The transition from athlete to coach was a natural one, and over the years Piccioli has served as the assistant coach for the Irish Women's National Team (which reached its first Olympic Qualifier final in 2011), he was a selector and specialist coach for the U-21 Men's Irish National Team, the head coach for the Venezuelan National Men's and Women's Team, and most recently helped lead the University of Louisville Cardinals through several successful seasons. Under his guidance and support, the 2013 Cardinals registered a 15-5 record, the most wins since 2001.

Piccioli is excited to begin a chapter in his coaching career at Reserve, and he described his coaching style as straightforward and honest. He prides his best players on their strength of character, something he looks for both on and off the field, and he believes the greatest field hockey athlete — like any team-sport player – is one who understands their role, puts their team first and embraces being a part of something bigger than themselves.

"I think about how I was coached by very, very brilliant people, and learned a lot from them," he shared. "My coaching style has developed from that. Essentially, what I tell my players is that I will always place a problem in front of you, and I will try to make sure that what we do on the field will help you solve that problem. I will help you find the solution, but I'm not going to tell you the solution — you will have to find it within yourself."

We feel confident that our field hockey athletes are more than up for the challenge. Welcome, Coach Piccioli. We look forward to a great season ahead. Go Pios!