The newest member of the cross country and track and field coaching staff is none other than Phil Panebianco. After taking a seven-year hiatus from coaching, Panebianco developed an itch to return to the track. Originally from a small town just outside of Syracuse, N.Y., Panebianco found his way to Lasell this past year.
Panebianco has also dabbled in the world of footwear, specifically with Hey Dude. Helping to create shoes was a great change of pace for him when it came to his other career in coaching. Balancing the two has been a challenge for quite some time for Panebianco, and it looks like he has found the equilibrium.
Head Coach Ben Biello described Panebianco joining the staff as “A miracle, it became clear early on that he was a perfect match for the team and myself.” Biello only needed to hear a few words from Panebianco to determine he was the guy for the job. From this point on, Panebianco’s journey at Lasell began.
Although Panebianco has only been here since the beginning of the cross-country season, his coaching philosophy has rubbed off on not only the athletes in the building but Biello himself. When asked about the impact that Panebianco has had on him so far, Biello cited the “people aspect” as one of them. Managing and developing relationships with the athletes is something that Biello worked on this past cross-country season. Panebianco’s unique and fun coaching style has rubbed off on Biello, and it pushed him to be a better coach.
Panebianco has had a great effect on the team, partially because of his patience and the way he instills confidence in those around him.
When asked about building confidence in the athletes, Panebianco said “So the first step is, figuring out the why, what motivates them, and what they want to accomplish, and then it’s really just how can I get them there?”
Panebianco sees himself as a guide for the athletes here, advising them on where they should go and what needs to happen in order to get there. Everyone on the team has their personal goal, something they want to get from their experience in the sport. Whether that goal is winning races, feeling better about oneself, or simply becoming faster, Panebianco will be there to support you.
Panebianco said his biggest inspiration was his track coach in high school who believed in him, that he could compete in certain events and be successful. His coach helped him instill confidence and excitement within himself, which has spread to the entire team here years later. Motivation is a big topic with Panebianco, the ability to keep his head down and push through the tough times has been a vital piece to his illustrious coaching career.