UNC Asheville men’s soccer program welcomes Joseph LaCasto, former student-athlete, new assistant coach. – The blue banner

UNC Asheville’s men’s soccer program is bringing in a new assistant coach this spring with previous ties to the Bulldogs as a former athlete.

UNCA men’s soccer assistant coach Joseph LaCasto will join the Bulldogs as he enters the fourth year of his coaching career and will look to bring new knowledge and enthusiasm to the team.

“I decided to come back to UNC Asheville because it was the next step in my coaching career. At Mars Hill University I was the second assistant coach and now I will be the first assistant coach at the ‘UNC Asheville,” LaCasto said.

LaCasto is from Huntington Beach, California. and graduated from UNCA in 2019, playing on the men’s soccer team while at school. Now LaCasto is returning years later to the program and the school he once called home.

“UNC Asheville gave me the opportunity to play Division I college football while earning my degree at a price that I and my family could afford,” LaCasto said.

After graduating, LaCasto spent a season as a volunteer assistant coach at UNCA before moving on to Mars Hill University for the past two seasons.

LaCasto said his time coaching at Mars Hill was a key experience that built his coaching style and knowledge, and he hopes to bring those acquired skills to the UNCA table.

“My experience at Mars Hill was fantastic. It was a great learning experience and I was able to continue to develop my training skills. I am forever grateful for the opportunity (Mars Hill Head Men’s Soccer) Coach Munn gave me. Now at UNC Asheville, I will have more roles and responsibilities than I look forward to,” LaCasto said.

According to LaCasto, he is always open to different training opportunities as he seeks to progress in his coaching career. With the recent return to UNC Asheville, he said he hopes to stay longer and help guide the program to success within the Big South conference.

“I would love to see the program take the next step by becoming regular Big South contenders. We have the resources, the players and the coaching staff to compete with the Big South conference,” LaCasto said.

Many players on the men’s team have already been coached by LaCasto. With two UNCA alumni – LaCasto and UNCA men’s soccer head coach Mick Giordano – at the helm, the players said they felt committed to learning and growing as a program.

“It’s a privilege to have two graduates on the team. Their care for the program is unparalleled and will do everything to help us and this program succeed. Joe was captain of this program for two years, so he knows what it takes to be successful,” said Justin Fleer, a junior on the men’s soccer team.

According to Fleer, not only will the program incorporate new additions to the coaching staff, but it will also bring in players transferring from other schools for the spring season.

“It’s always exciting to be able to work with a new group of players. We try to help them buy into what we’re trying to do here at UNC Asheville,” LaCasto said.

Rossetti said this year will be very different from the past. The team is almost entirely new, from coaches to players.

“We are a group that wants to be here and is dedicated to learning and improving every day. Our goal this semester is to lay the foundation for a great culture to build our program on,” said Andrew Rossetti, senior men’s soccer team.

LaCasto said new coaches and potential player additions will bring new excitement to the program this spring.

“I’m really excited about the new coaching staff we have going forward. Our two coaches are old and young. I’m confident they’ll be able to train us and I know they can relate to us too as they marched in our place not so long ago,” Rossetti said.

According to the players, the arrival of a new coaching staff, transfers and 2022 signings will bring a new environment to the program.

“I only consider it exciting because it shows the appeal that UNCA still has for college football. It’s our turn to make this program another success,” Rossetti said.

UNC Asheville players said after losing seniors at graduation and other players at the transfer gate, personnel changes will bring together a new group and begin to form a new program base.

We have focused on bringing good players, and especially good people, into our program to take us forward. They’ve been wonderful in the first week and we’re happy to have them here,” LaCasto said.

The men’s soccer team will play six games this spring, including four at home at Greenwood Field.

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