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Siena softball coach Lajeunesse retires

Siena softball coach Lajeunesse retires

Won 200 games with the Saints
Siena softball coach Lajeunesse retires
Bill Lajeunesse has retired as Siena College's softball coach.
Photographer: Siena Athletics photo

LOUDONVILLE – Bill Lajeunesse has retired as Siena College's softball coach after a 10-year run that included 200 wins and the program's first MAAC regular season championship.

The winningest coach in Siena's 45-year softball history, Lajeunesse first joined the program in 2007 and served as an assistant under Deanna Parks for each of her four seasons at the helm. He guided the Saints to nine of their 10 most successful seasons.

“I really enjoyed my time at Siena, and am thankful for the opportunity that [athletic director] John D’Argenio gave me to be a Division I head coach,” Lajeunesse said in a press release. “I think we did a good job of building Siena softball into one of the top-tier programs in the MAAC, and I’m proud of all that we accomplished. It’s a reflection of the commitment and all the hard work that our student-athletes put in. They bought into what we were trying to do, while setting and achieving goals for themselves which in turn led to team success. We were fortunate to have some great student-athletes help us change the mindset and lead by example when we took over, which laid the foundation and set a standard for our success. I really appreciate all of our student-athletes both past and present, and thank them as well as my assistant coaches over the years Abby Arceneaux and Casey Bump for what they all gave to this program to get it where it is today.”

Lajeunesse led Siena to eight of the program’s nine 20-win seasons, and retires as one of only seven MAAC softball coaches in conference history to eclipse 200 career overall victories. The 2013 Anaconda Sports MAAC Coach of the Year, he recruited and developed MAAC Player of the Year honorees Shannon Jones (2012) and Madysen Cossack (2017, 2019), and coached 13 first team All-MAAC selections during his tenure including Jessika-Jo Sandrini, who earned acclaim as both a pitcher and a hitter.

“I’d like to thank Bill for helping us elevate our softball program and taking it to new heights over the last decade,” D’Argenio said. “Bill instilled a team identity built around good people, strong values, and talented student-athletes. His approach – and the buy-in from the student-athletes – helped Siena become a perennial MAAC Tournament team. We are grateful for all that he did for Siena softball, including achieving strong graduation rates, three straight top-three league finishes, and a 2013 MAAC regular season championship. We wish Bill all the best in retirement.”

Lajeunesse led the Saints to a share of the program’s first-ever MAAC regular season title in 2013, and coached Siena to a program-record 29 wins in 2014 highlighted by the squad’s first winning season in 26 years. He guided the Saints to seven consecutive 20-win campaigns from 2011-17, after the program had eclipsed the benchmark just once in its first 35 seasons of existence.

He amassed a 104-64 (.619) MAAC record, and led Siena to .500 or better conference marks every year. He concluded his career by guiding the Saints to three consecutive top-three MAAC finishes (2017-19) for the first time in program history. Lajeunesse coached Siena to six MAAC Tournament appearances, and posted multiple postseason victories in 2015 to lead the Saints to within a game of the MAAC Championship Series for the first time ever.

Lajeunesse previously coached softball, soccer, football, wrestling and baseball at Waterford-Halfmoon, Cohoes, and Shaker high schools. He led Shaker’s varsity softball team to a No. 9 state ranking in 2006, and coached the Cohoes wrestling team to an undefeated season and Colonial Council championship in 1992. Lajeunesse retired in 2016 from the Cohoes school district after serving as an educator for more than 30 years. 

Last season, Lajeunesse suffered a heart attack and missed eight games. He returned for the MAAC tournament.

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