LOUDONVILLE, NY – The winningest coach in Siena Softball history, Bill Lajeunesse has retired following 14 years with the program including the past 10 seasons as head coach. Lajeunesse won exactly 200 games during his decorated decade-long tenure at the helm of the Saints, and guided the Green and Gold to nine of the 10 winningest seasons in the program’s 45-year history.
“I really enjoyed my time at Siena, and am thankful for the opportunity that John D’Argenio gave me to be a Division I head coach,” reflected Lajeunesse. “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 Softball 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,” said Siena College Vice President and Director of Athletics John D’Argenio. “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 piloted the Saints to a share of the program’s first-ever MAAC Regular Season Championship 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.
Lajeunesse 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’s teams excelled not only on the field, but also in the classroom. Last spring, Siena boasted a program record nine MAAC All-Academic Team selections, and in 2017 Siena Softball was honored with its first-ever NCAA Public Recognition Award for achieving an Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top-10 percent of all Division I softball programs nationally.
Lajeunesse first joined the Siena Softball program in 2007, serving as an assistant coach under Deanna Parks for each of her four seasons at the helm (2007-10). Lajeunesse previously enjoyed a long and successful high school coaching career at nearby Waterford, Cohoes, and Shaker High Schools, where he coached softball, soccer, football, wrestling, and baseball. He led Shaker’s varsity softball team to a No. 9 ranking in New York State 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.