Doug DiSesa, Tufts University
Doug DiSesa is a true NESCAC success story. Not recruited to play lacrosse at Tufts, he walked on to the team as a freshman in 2006. With persistence and hard work, he became a tri-captain for the 2010 Jumbo squad that won the NCAA National Championship.
DiSesa had been a stand-out and team captain in squash at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, one of the top high school squash programs in the nation. Though he also played lacrosse at Lawrenceville, he was not recruited to Tufts to play the sport. He showed up at Daly's office expressing an interest in playing for the lacrosse team.
"I spoke to his lacrosse coach at Lawrenceville at one point this year, and he didn't even know that Doug was playing for us," Tufts coach Mike Daly said. "We knew nothing about him until that fall of his freshman year. He developed into a leader and key contributor to our championship team."
DiSesa was on the 2007 Tufts team that earned the program's first NCAA berth. He emerged as a three-year starter for the Jumbos, switching between offensive and defensive midfield roles. The Jumbos missed the postseason in 2008. They returned to the NCAA field in 2009, but lost to Western New England College in the second round.
"Last season was a huge building block," DiSesa said to Lacrosse Magazine after the NCAA title win. "We lost a little focus in the NCAA tournament, so this year, we really focused on mental toughness. That was something we lacked in the past."
DiSesa, who scored two goals in the first quarter of Tufts' 9-6 NCAA Championship win over five-time champion Salisbury University, is currently working at a middle school outside of San Francisco as part of Citizen Schools. The program extends the learning day of at-risk and low income middle schoolers by providing them with classroom-like experiences outside of the traditional school day.
"I am really looking forward to being able to make a real change in the lives of these kids by giving them the skills, access, and self-belief to make it on a pathway to college," he said. "Middle school is such a formative age as well, which makes it truly important to reach these kids. The experience itself gives me an opportunity to share what I have learned at Tufts and from Coach Daly and the Tufts men's lacrosse team."