WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- As a power-hitting All-New England first baseman in the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball program in the late 1990s, Glenn Lungarini hit plenty of important home runs. None, however, were as big as the one he crushed last week, when he outshone three other finalists and was appointed executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS).
One of four finalists for the position, Lungarini was selected at Cheshire-based CAS after serving 19 years in public education as a coach, teacher, department chair, athletic director, assistant principal and principal. The position combines Lungarini’s experience in educational administration and his lifelong passion for sports.
Lungarini, 42, will succeed Dr. Karissa Niehoff, who accepted a position of executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations after eight years with the association.
. “I am honored and excited to accept the position as the next executive director of CAS,” said Lungarini in the official CAS release announcing his appointment. “Throughout the selection and hiring process, my interest in the work of the association and my passion for its mission have continued to grow. I am eager to start working with fellow practitioners as I carry forward Dr. Niehoff’s commitment to improve opportunities and outcomes for all Connecticut learners. Together,” said Lungarini, “we can push the limits of success to achieve outcomes beyond our current beliefs.”
A native of Oxford and 1994 graduate of Holy Cross High School, Lungarini was a Gold Glove first baseman under Hall of Fame baseball coach Bill Holowaty at Eastern between 1994 and 1998 and a member of an NCAA qualifier each year. As a senior in 1998, Lungarini was the only player on the team to start all 51 games in helping the Warriors to a 40-11 record and their third of four NCAA Division III national championships.
At left: Glenn Lungarini (kneeling, fourth from left) joins his former teammates at the 20th Anniversary reunion of the 1998 national championship May 26 at Nuchies' Restaurant in Bristol.
Batting in the heart of the order that year, Lungarini hit .393 with 72 hits, 100 total bases, five home runs, and 56 RBI and tied program game records for home runs (3) and total bases (13). In the field, he set a New England record with 500 fielding chances and broke the Eastern career record with 454 putouts.
As a first-time, fulltime starter as a junior in 1997, Lungarini batted a career-high .421 with a .604 slugging average, 67 hits and 45 RBI en route to first-team All-ECAC and second-team All-New England recognition.
In his career, Lungarini batted .392 with 153 hits, 11 home runs and 108 RBI, and currently ranks fifth all-time in program history in fielding average (.990), eighth in fielding chances (956), ninth in putouts (878), and seventh in batting average.
Lungarini received a Bachelor of Science in physical education and health from Eastern in 1998, a Master of Science in exercise science and physiology from Southern Connecticut in 2006, intermediate administrators certification from Sacred Heart University in 2006 and is currently working toward his doctoral degree in educational leadership from Northcentral University.
“While the four final candidates were all highly qualified leaders and the decision was a difficult one, we are excited to bring Mr. Lungarini on board to continue and expand on all the great work that Karissa has undertaken and achieved,” said Dr. Rosie Vojtek, CAS President and chair of the selection committee. “Mr. Lungarini’s extensive experience as a coach and athletic director make him exceptionally well qualified to handle the challenges of running the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), our largest and most high-profile division. Additionally, having taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels, Mr. Lungarini has a deep understanding of the needs of students across the K-12 spectrum. We are thrilled to have him as CAS’ next leader!”
"It will be a challenge, but a worthwhile one," noted Lungarini.
A year after graduating from Eastern, Lungarini began his career as a health and physical educator in Naugatuck, before moving on to teach physical education in Southbury.
In 2007, Lungarini was appointed assistant principal and athletic director of Oxford High School. During his five-year tenure at Oxford, he also served as English department chair, health and physical education department chair, and facilities coordinator.
After leaving Oxford, Lungarini served a total of six years as a high school principal, first at Seymour High School, then at Pomperaug High School in Southbury.
While climbing the ladder in education and administration, Lungarini remained involved in athletics, coaching boys and girls at the middle school and high school levels and serving seven years as assistant baseball coach at Yale University under former major league pitcher John Stuper.
Lungarini has spent the last five years involved directly with CAS-CIAC on various boards and committees, among those as Class “S” and Class “L” representatives on the CIAC Board of Control and on the CIAC Eligibility Review Board.
Lungarini and wife Marcy reside in Woodbury and have two daughters, Sofia and Emily.