President Dave Wolk likes to say that Castleton State College is “the small college with a big heart.” So it makes perfect sense that Castleton recently hired a football coach who has not only great coaching skills, but also a deep commitment to community and family.
On Feb. 28, President Wolk announced that Rich Alercio, the offensive line coach from The College of New Jersey, will be Castleton’s first head football coach. He was chosen from among 150 candidates.
Deanna Tyson, Castleton’s Assistant Dean of Athletics and Recreation, officially made the introduction of coach Alercio by praising him for his dedication, hard work, and coaching ability, calling him a “key factor to the success of the [College of New Jersey] Lions.”
Tyson explained why Alercio had been hired over the other four final candidates.
“The five candidates we interviewed on campus were all well qualified to coach at Castleton, but Rich Alercio is the best fit for our athletic program. He is going to be a tremendous role model for our male athletes-on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.”
John Castaldo, Athletic Director at The College of New Jersey, echoed Tyson’s prediction.
“Rich Alercio has been a role model for our players and our students for 15 years. His moral values are of the highest standard,” he said.
Castaldo said that Alercio is more than just a great coach, though. He said he’s a community figure and a family man.
“At TCNJ, we pride ourselves on family first. This [same quality] was evident in Rich from the beginning,” said Castaldo. “Rich also cultivated community interest. He did a great job in reaching out to the local recreational leagues, junior high schools, and high schools, both for short term and long term planning.”
Besides visiting local schools, trying to drum up interest in playing football for TCNJ, Alercio reached out to the community in other ways, as well.
One of Alercio’s favorite community activities was to sponsor a camp called O-Line for young offensive linemen.
“Rich enjoyed this part of his job. His camp brought new faces to our campus and in turn offered the community a well-functioning program. It was a win-win for all,” said Castaldo.
When Alercio relocates to Vermont from Hamilton, N.J., this summer, he will bring his wife, Kim, and their three young children: Jake (10), Shane (7), and Trey (5).
Alercio said that he chose to accept the job because he and his family will love the many opportunities that Castleton offers.
Alercio also said that he wants his family to be as much a part of the college and the community as he will be.
Castaldo’s final words about Alercio were very encouraging.
“You got a great coach, a great father, and a great man. He’ll get it done.