CSI names Joseph Gravagna new coach for men's and women's tennis
Staten Island, NY | The College of Staten Island Athletics department has officially announced the hiring of Joseph Gravagna as their new Head Coach for both Men's & Women's Tennis. Gravagna, a veteran collegiate coach, will replace Arthur Kapetanakis, who left the team at the close of the 2018 campaign.
"Coach Gravagna will be a strong addition to the CSI Athletics family. With his vast collegiate experience, we are confident he will have an immediate impact on both our men's and women's programs.," said CSI Director of Athletics Charles Gomes. "We believe both programs have the potential to be highly competitive in the region and Coach Gravagna shares that vision, which makes him an ideal fit. I look forward to working with him in the coming year."
On the coaching circuit for over 15 years, Gravagna has spent time at each NCAA Division and at the Junior College level. He spent the last four years building national-championship caliber programs at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY. During his tenure with the Hawks, he led the women's program to a No. 7 national championship finish, while his men's teams finished Nos. 5-6 nationally in back-to-back seasons, recording conference and regional championships in back-to-back years for the first time in 40 years. With a keen focus on recruiting, he sent over 30 student-athletes post-graduation to senior college programs on scholarship. He is very excited to be taking over the NCAA programs at his newest stop on Staten Island.
"I'm very excited and it's going to be a lot of fun," Gravagna said. "The team is right where it needs to be and with some hard work, we can move to the next level. Both the women and the men have some good recruits coming in that can help us during the upcoming season."
Prior to his stint with RCC, Gravagna was a women's tennis assistant at NCAA Division I Fordham University and spent four years before that within the CUNY system at Division II Queens College as women's tennis assistant, helping lead the team to five-straight NCAA Regional appearances and a run into the Sweet 16 in 2009. Gravagna's first foray into the college ranks was from 2004 to 2006 as an assistant coach with Manhattan College, where he doubled as the Director of Recruiting for the program as well. Prior to his collegiate experience, Gravagna spent seven years as the Head Boys Varsity Tennis Coach at Holy Cross High School in Queens. He hopes to parlay his bed of experience to succeed with the Dolphins' program.
"My expectations for the season are to bring home the CUNYAC title for both the men and the women," he said.
Still an avid player himself, Gravagna starred for Concordia College during his playing days as captain of the Bronxville team. He feels the keys to creating a winning tennis program begins with strong recruiting and the ability to cultivate players in their window of time in college. He prides himself on working with sound students both on the court and in the classroom and knows that the potential to do both at CSI is outstanding. He hopes to build a contender quickly using that formula.
"Losing isn't a part of my DNA, I'm going to strive to bring this program back to where it used to be and bring that much deserved CUNYAC title back to the school."
CSI has had recent success on the courts and are hoping to build and move the program further along. The CSI women's team took home CUNYAC Championships in 2013 & 2014 and won the CUNYAC Regular Season Championship in 2017 before being upset in the Semifinal round of last year's tournament to eventual-champion John Jay College. The CSI men's team finished their recent 2018 campaign with a 10-5 overall record, also falling in semifinal play. They have not won a CUNYAC Championship since 2003, and are hoping to buck that trend moving forward.
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