Track coach to leave Loyola


The Loyola Wolf Pack track team is preparing to face the waves of a difficult season, with no captain at the helm.

After six seasons with the Loyola Wolf Pack, Andy Canegitta resigned as the head coach of the men’s and women’s track and cross country teams.

He has accepted a head coaching position at the University of Mobile which will begin competition in the upcoming 2015 season.

Canegitta can’t help but look back on the years of significant progress made during his time as head coach.

“The team has grown tremendously. When I took the position, track wasn’t really a focus at the university. I always felt that we should have a track program,” Canegitta said.

The track and cross country team has excelled since a rocky transition period in 2008.

The Wolf Pack set 22 program records alone during the outdoor season in 2013, along with twelve athletes earning all-conference honors for their performances at the track and field Southern States Athletics Conference championship meet.

In spite of the accolades of the program, leaving the Pack is a family-oriented decision for Canegitta.

“It was a better opportunity for me and my family. It was something that I felt would benefit me in the long run,” Canegitta said.

However, the departure of Canegitta has more than blind-sided History Junior Paul Freese.

“I was totally shocked as well as confused, and honestly a little angry. Mainly, though, I had a lot of questions,” Fresse said.

For Freese, the timing of Canegitta’s resignation is primarily what has sparked his confusion with the situation.

“Coach has always been a high character guy, who was looking to build the program from the ground up. It seemed odd that he would leave in general, but even stranger that he would leave in the middle of the season,” Freese said.

Associate Athletic Director Brett Simpson said since hearing of Canegitta’s resignation, is involved in the task of searching for an interim track and field coach.

“We are working diligently to have an interim head coach in place as soon as possible, and we are confident that we will have someone prior to Coach Canegitta’s last day,” Simpson said.

Simpson also said that the interim head coach is eligible to apply for the vacant head coaching position at the end of the season.

The sudden departure of Canegitta may have ruffled the continuity of the Pack, but Management Senior Elizabeth Gienger remains confident.

“It was definitely unexpected. I think we are fully capable of focusing on our season ahead of us regardless,” Gienger said.

Gienger said that although Coach Canegitta will be missed for his dedication to the growth of the track program, there is still a task at hand, no matter who is leading the Pack.

“Regardless of who our coach is, we strive for excellence on and off the track as a team, and we will continue breaking records and positively representing Loyola Athletics,” Gienger said.

Mark Robinson can be contacted at [email protected]