NEPA Sports Nation

Macciocco retires as coach, accepts position at Riverfront

By Tom Robinson,

Tara Macciocco, one of the top women’s basketball players ever to come out of northeastern Pennsylvania and a long-time college coach, has been hired as Director of Facilities at Riverfront Sports in Scranton.

Macciocco’s hiring was announced by Jason O’Malley, one of the owners of Nineteen 9 Sports Inc., the parent company of Riverfront Sports.

The announcement of the new position comes on the day that Macciocco also announced her retirement from college coaching after 23 years, including 19 seasons as head coach at Marywood University and Wilkes University. She informed her Wilkes players of her decision during the weekend.

“I’m ready to take on a new career path, said Macciocco, who has a degree in sports/recreation management. “Managing a facility like this has always been a dream of mine.

“It just so happened that as I was thinking of retiring this opportunity presented itself. I’m a big believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ and these two things came together at the same time. It’s a great opportunity to start to change paths.”

In some ways, Macciocco will also try to change the path for Riverfront.

“We’re trying to expand beyond our original footprint of basketball and soccer into new areas,” O’Malley said.

Macciocco has been chosen to lead that effort.

“One of the goals is making Riverfront Sports the premier facility on the East Coast and bringing as many people through the building as possible through different type of events, not just sporting events,” she said. “We’re going to get creative with some things that we are going to try to do.”

Between college and her coaching career, Macciocco worked at a similar facility in Worcester, Mass.

Along with the new offerings, there will still be plenty of basketball on the three courts and soccer on the artificial turf field at Riverfront.

Macciocco plans to continue coaching basketball in her second season leading one of the NEPA Elite girls AAU teams out of Riverfront.

“Coaching with NEPA Elite brought back a little of my love of the game coaching those young ladies,” said Macciocco, who looks forward to following those players while not having to do so from a college recruiting perspective.

Macciocco played at Dunmore High School for her father, Ross Macciocco, one of the winningest coaches in District 2 history.

They reached a state championship game together and Tara graduated as the Lackawanna League’s all-time leading girls basketball scorer with 2,211 points.

After playing three seasons as a Division I player at Penn State, Macciocco completed her college career on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II level by using her final year of eligibility to play as a graduate student at Lock Haven University.

“I want to say how grateful I am for this opportunity and thankful to Riverfront Sports to trust me with running a facility like this,” she said. “I really appreciate the opportunity and look forward to getting started.”

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