The 2017 season will be the ninth as Lake Forest’s head coach and 12th at the College for Jim Catanzaro.
The Foresters were 8-2 overall and tied for third place in the Midwest Conference standings in 2016 with a 6-2 record in league play. Eight players on the team were named All-MWC, including five first-teamers, and two earned the honor at two different positions. Alex Pasiewicz, Joey Valdivia, and R.J. Pompey were named First Team All-West Region and to the D3football.com All-American Teams and Pasiewicz became the first player in program history to be named First Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Pasiewicz was also one of four seniors on the team who played in the Tazon de Estrellas (Game of the Stars) in Mexicali, Mexico.
The Foresters’ overall record in 2016 matched their mark in 2012 and 2013 when they posted the highest two-year victory total in school history. The team was undefeated on Farwell Field during that span and its 10-game home winning streak matched the school record set more than 100 years earlier. The 2012 Foresters went 8-1 in league play and earned a share of the fifth conference title in team history.
Catanzaro was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2012 and has been a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award twice in his tenure. After eight seasons as head coach, Catanzaro ranks third in program history in career victories. His players have earned 73 All-MWC honors since he took over as head coach, including 28 First Team accolades and an Offensive Player of the Year award. Seven players on the team have been named All-West Region by D3football.com and five have earned All-American distinction. The Foresters have also broken or tied 61 school records during that time.
Lake Forest has been especially successful on the defensive side of the ball during Catanzaro’s 11 years as defensive coordinator. In addition to ranking among the conference and national leaders in several statistical categories as a team, individual defensive players have tallied 54 all-conference honors during that time.
Catanzaro’s team’s improvement on the field has coincided with its increased success in the classroom. The Foresters shattered the team record with 27 Academic All-MWC honorees in 2016-17 and have amassed 114 such honors in his eight seasons as head coach. In addition, seven players on the team have been selected to the prestigious Hampshire Society of the National Football Foundation and one was named Capital One Academic All-District® in 2013.
Forester Football has also been extremely involved in the community under Catanzaro’s watch. The team’s annual Heroes Day efforts have generated more than 300 care packages to be sent to American troops overseas and the squad has raised more than $86,000 over the last eight years in Lake Forest’s Relay for Life initiative. The College has twice presented the team with the Program of the Year award for its participation in on-campus events. Catanzaro’s players have also contributed to numerous other community service projects, both individually and as a group, and have averaged more than 500 hours of community service per semester over the last five years.
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