MIT Announces Coaching Changes for Sailing and Men's Lacrosse

Matt Cohen and Walter Alessi
Matt Cohen and Walter Alessi

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – At the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year, MIT sailing head coach Matt Cohen will step down from his post after eight seasons of service. In addition, men's lacrosse head coach Walter Alessi will remain at the helm of the program as he transitions to part-time status after leading the Engineers in a full-time capacity for 40 years.

Under Cohen's tutelage, the sailing program has garnered 18 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) All-Academic honors, eight All-New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association awards, and one All-American selection. This past season, the women's team recorded numerous top-five finishes and maintained a steady presence in the national rankings. The Engineers also saw their first qualifier in almost 20 years participate in the ICSA Women's Singlehanded National Championship last fall. Cohen helped lead MIT to a pair of ICSA Coed National Championship appearances as it captured sixth place in 2008 and finished 14th last year.

"We have been very fortunate to have Matt as a member of the MIT sailing coaching staff for the last eight seasons," said Barb Bolich, MIT Assistant Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator. "His knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm for the sport of sailing is rock-solid. We will miss his leadership and we wish him well in all of his future endeavors."

Alessi is the all-time winningest coach in men's lacrosse history at MIT and has received numerous conference, regional, and national accolades during his tenure. Most recently he was named the Howdy Myers Man of the Year by the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association, which recognizes a person who has contributed to the game of lacrosse in a capacity over and above the normal efforts and in so doing, has shown unselfish and untiring devotion to the game.

"Walter has touched and influenced the lives of so many young men who played for him," reflected Julie Soriero, MIT Director of Athletics. "He has always been, and continues to be a respected coach and colleague. As Walter enters his 40th year of coaching at MIT and he transitions to part-time status, his enthusiasm and dedication to the program and his student-athletes remains unwavering."