Today: Jun 17, 2024

Southern’s athletic fields in good hands

Aaron Johnson – General Assignment Reporter

NEW HAVEN – During the last 17 years, Tony Aceto has been the coordinator of all athletic facilities on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University. His great longevity is not a coincidence after seeing the job that he and his staff do to keep the athletic fields together.

“We’re very proud of the facilities,” said Athletic Director Patricia Nicol. “It gives our student-athletes a great experience while they are here.”

Aceto, along with his long-time assistant Joe Hines, is responsible for all facilities and event management for the athletic department. His staff oversees all operational aspects which include hosting of all University, NCAA, Northeast-10 and outside events.

“I think over 17 years I have learned a lot,” said Aceto.

His duties also entail contracting and rental agreements, game scheduling, oversight of supervisory personnel and facility maintenance. Aceto said the hardest part of his job is the time managing aspect.

“It’s difficult trying to budget my hours. The job entails a lot of hours,” said Aceto.

As the fall season is fast approaching, Aceto and his staff feverishly begin for the many sports seasons that are soon to start at Southern.

“Fall is without a doubt the busiest season,” said Aceto.

Despite the workload — which includes maintaining all outdoor fields, Pelz gymnasium, practice fields and James W. Moore Field House — Nicol said Aceto and his staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“I am very pleased with the job that Mr. Aceto and Mr. Hines do for us,” said Nicol. “They both do an outstanding job.”

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Aceto and his staff handle the many fields on campus, but various outside companies are contracted to handle the maintenance of the SCSU baseball and softball fields.

“A lot of outside companies do the work of the baseball and softball fields,” said Aceto. “We are all very pleased with the people we are dealing with.”

Keeping the many fields of SCSU up to par during the constant disarray of New England weather is something that Nicol said she gives great applause to the work of Aceto, Hines, and their staff.

“The maintenance is on-going. You have to stay on top of it,” said Nicol. “With the weather it presents constant challenges, yet they are able to keep the facilities sound.”

The budget that Aceto has to work with is through the university and helps with the funding of outside contracting for the baseball and softball fields.

“It [the budget] is from the university. It is really for bringing outside compensation to do baseball and softball,” said Nicol.

Club sports — such as men’s lacrosse and men and women’s rugby — also use the fields around campus for both games and practices.

“Men’s and women’s rugby and boys lacrosse all practiced on the field,” said SCSU senior Angela Paniccia.

Paniccia — a political science major from Bridgeport — played on the women’s rugby team her freshman year. She said the difficulty of playing for a club sports team as opposed to varsity sports is the backing from the school.

“We didn’t play on the football field so the conditions of the other field were OK,” said Paniccia.

Similar to the club sports, Aceto said that the facilities do not dress the fields for the SCSU intramural sports.

“All intramural sports are handled by the Department of Student Affairs,” said Aceto.

Nicol said she give Aceto’s background in construction much praise during his tenure at Southern.

“Mr. Aceto’s background in construction has been invaluable,” said Nicol.

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