Although Nebraska has athletes and coaches who desire their programs to grow and compete at the highest collegiate levels, seldom do the athletes get to coach.
Santo Marasco played four years for the Nebraska lacrosse team and after graduating in 2015, he decided to come back and help out as an assistant coach.
Specializing in defense, Marasco is helping the team grow as its season begins.
“I wanted to coach because I wanted to still be involved in the game,” Marasco said.
As well as coaching at Nebraska, Marasco returned to his high school alma mater—Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha—serving as an assistant coach for the 2015 season.
When Marasco played for the Huskers, he led the team in defense in one of the best years in program history. He joined the 2015 Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference team and played long stick middle for the first team.
He began playing lacrosse his freshman year of high school, and it was only a year later when he realized his potential when he earned the starting spot on his defense during his sophomore year of high school. That is when lacrosse started to become more than just a game to him and competition became more serious.
“I became close friends with the guys on my team,” Marasco said. “We all took it seriously and wanted to become very good. It became a passion.”
He started going to the national tournament as playing collegiately became an option for his future.
“My coaches helped me pursue recruiting opportunities during the end of my junior year of high school and throughout my senior year,” Marasco said.
Ultimately, he decided he wanted to play lacrosse at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He not only enjoyed the campus and the size, but he wanted to go to a Power Five conference school.
“I believed I would be more immersed in the full college experience,” said Marasco. “UNL was perfect because I was able to attend a Power Five school and still get to play lacrosse.”
After joining the Huskers, Marasco worked hard with his teammates. They all had high expectations for their team.
“We all came from winning programs in high school,” said Marasco, “And we wanted to do the same thing here.”
They took control of the team and reorganized it. It became a team that could be competitive. New mindsets and goals grew passions for Marasco and his team.
Marasco endured several successful seasons while dominating the midfielder position on a national scale. He led the conference and entire Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) in ground balls, scooping up 114 in 13 games, averaging 8.8 ground balls per game. His efforts earned him Honorable Mention All-Conference in 2014 before graduating UNL with a major in psychology.
He has tryouts for two professional teams, the Denver Outlaws and the Ohio Machine. In the meantime, he is coaching at UNL to keep himself in the game.
“If neither team decides to take me on their roster, then I still want to be involved with the game,” Marasco said. “Coaching affords me the opportunity to be involved by helping players develop their abilities and foster their own passion for the game.”
He wants the game to continue to grow in Nebraska.
Marasco plans to start his first full-time, out of college job at Pacific Life as a Regional Sales Associate. He will gain professional credentials at Pacific Life as well as valuable, career developing experience.
He wants to continue coaching in his future and is taking his job coaching for the Nebraska lacrosse team as his first step.
“After gaining valuable experience coaching at Nebraska, I will have to see where my experience is wanted and needed.” Marasco said.
He said he hopes to develop the high school lacrosse organization in Nebraska and help develop it into a Nebraska School Activities Association sponsored sport.
“If other opportunities in other states at different levels present themselves to me, I will take interest in those too,” Marasco said. “For now though, I am taking it one step at a time and enjoying the time I spend doing it.”