Mary Kate Scardillo came to Castleton for school, but came out of it with a career.
Scardillo earned a Masters of Arts in Education here at Castleton and was also a graduate assistant for the women’s lacrosse team.
But now she is the head coach for the volleyball and lacrosse programs.
As a Slingerlands, N.Y. native, Scardillo played high school volleyball, basketball and lacrosse at the Academy of the Holy Names. Scardillo attended Nazareth College and was a four-year member of the lacrosse team. She graduated in 2009 and then came to Castleton to earn her Masters.
But Scardillo didn’t always know she wanted to coach.
“Coaching was a way to stay involved in lacrosse and go to school at the same time,” Scardillo said. “I have been a student-athlete for a long time, and this was a way for me to stay involved but in a different role.”
Always used to being in the student-athletes shoes, Scardillo finds it enjoyable having the roles reversed.
“It is fun to watch student-athletes grow and succeed both as players and young adults,” she said.
Scardillo enjoyed coaching the volleyball team this season, and she is eager for the lacrosse season to start. Being a former student-athlete, Scardillo feels she has a lot to contribute to both programs.
“I am excited to continue working with the current team and grow from our progress,” she said. “I am excited to work towards growing both programs by giving students the tools to achieve success both in the classroom and on the playing field.”
Scardillo has already made an impression on her volleyball players.
“Coach Scardillo is a wonderful Coach. She is very positive and pushes us to the best of our ability,” said Chi Vo a sophomore on the volleyball team. “She knows when to be serious about things and when it’s okay to connect with the athletes.”
Ruth Tomlinson, also a member of the volleyball team, enjoys Scardillo as a coach and said she finds her more relatable because she has gone through the same experiences being an athlete herself.
“I’m glad someone younger is our coach because she’s more relatable to not just in volleyball but anything else we as players may be dealing with,” Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson talked about Scardillo’s passion, which Tomlinson believes is a key ingredient in a good coach.
“She’s very competitive and has a mind of an athlete which helps us tremendously.”
Tomlinson said Scardillo doesn’t like to yell and tries to keep a positive attitude. She said she enjoys that quality in Scardillo.
“It helps me become better having someone who encourages and constructive criticizes than to have someone yell down my back about what to do and not do,” Tomlinson said.
With the lacrosse season approaching, Scardillo takes the reins from former coach Tammy Landon, who has coached the lacrosse team for the past five seasons. Scardillo said working under Landon for the past two seasons has really shaped her into a better coach.
“Coach Landon allowed me to have a voice on the field which prepared me for the position I have now,” Scardillo said. “She taught me how to be a better teacher and mentor.”
Scardillo said she has really grown to love coaching and sees herself continuing on that path in the future. Like many coaches she believes there is more to being a student-athlete than just playing the game.
“Being a part of a collegiate level team is a great opportunity where young people can create lifelong friendships, work with others and develop into leaders,” she said. “Many experiences that happen on the court or field can be translated into their real lives.”