By LJ VP LaFiura – 1851 Contributor
When Ben Biello (‘21) joined the track and field team at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School in North Dighton, Massachusetts, he never expected where this athletic adventure would take him.
After spending four years of high school playing football and three years on the school’s track and field team, Biello opted to attend Lasell to pursue the track and field team. Having now graduated, Biello has found himself in a new position as the assistant coach of the program he just left behind.
When Biello was deciding on a college, track and field was not the only thing that drew him in, but rather the campus community that this small school offers. He also cited his overnight stay with the team.
“When I came to campus and was in the environment and kind of saw the experience from the inside perspective, it really just made me want to come here,” said Biello.
Biello relished the opportunity to do under former coach Michael McGrane what he was unable to do in high school: gain leadership experience. By his junior season, Biello was named a team captain and assumed the responsibilities with the title.
“He gave me a lot of autonomy, especially my junior year as a captain. I took on a lot of leadership duties and stuff that captains wouldn’t take on,” said Biello. “It molded me into the person I am today.”
He was only a captain for one season but graduated last spring with a degree in entrepreneurship and a minor in coaching. At this point, Biello approached McGrane about an assistant coaching role. When McGrane left for Norwich University in August, Biello stayed with the new head coach, Ricky Igbani.
“The best way I can look at it is, ‘I’m Bill Parcels, he’s Bill Belichick. I’m Bill Belichick, he’s Josh McDaniels.’ And you know, both of those duos need each other in order for those teams to be successful,” said Igbani.
Biello’s job is to primarily work with the sprinters, work he began over the summer when he assembled their offseason training program. But, as he continues to grow into the role, his players say his strongest skill is communication and relatability.
“Since he just graduated, he gets it and is a lot closer to us,” said sophomore exercise science major Franklin Torres. “There isn’t that giant gap between the student and coach like it usually is when you have a coach who is like 50 years old, and they might not exactly understand and be up to date with the times.”
The indoor track and field season begins December 4 at Springfield College.