For the first time since 1995, there will be a new coach in the Sheehan baseball dugout next spring.
Dom Lombardozzi was named as the new Titans coach on Monday, replacing longtime coach Matt Altieri, first reported by the Record-Journal.
Altieri announced that he would retire at the end of last season. He finished his career with a record of 362-211, leading the team to four state titles and five title game appearances.
“I don’t think there are shoes that can get any bigger than his,” Lombardozzi said. “He’s a great coach, he’s a hall of famer. I can never thank him enough for all he has done for me.”
Lombardozzi played for Altieri and has been an assistant with him for 11 seasons. As a Sheehan player, he recorded the final out in the 2004 Class M title victory.
“A nice three-hopper, I couldn’t mess it up,” he said with a laugh. “Being in that program (since 2001) and being successful in the program, it’s something I thought I wanted to do as a player. Then as a coach, it was something I definitely wanted.”
Sheehan athletic director Chris Dailey said in a statement that he is excited for Lombardozzi to take over.
“We are really excited to promote Dom to head coach,” the statement said. “He served his time as a loyal assistant coach and learned a lot working under a hall of famer in Matt Altieri. He’s proved himself in that role and is without a doubt ready to make the leap to head coach and to put his own stamp on this baseball program.
“I’m excited about the direction that Sheehan baseball is heading under his leadership. I don’t know anyone who has more ‘Titan Pride’ than Dom. He has bled burgundy and gold from the time he won his first ring as a player back in ’04. He’s had the great opportunity to be able to give back to the Sheehan community as a teacher and assistant coach for the past 11 years and will certainly continue to do so as a head coach.”
Lombardozzi was also an assistant coach on Sheehan’s state championship teams of 2010 and 2015.
“I think that’s an invaluable experience,” he said. “There are a lot of ways to get kids to buy into the system. One of coach Altieri’s famous lines is, you are entering a championship environment.
“Everything he set forth is building that championship mentality and getting the kids to buy in.”
The championship environment is something that Lombardozzi will be tasked with continuing.
After the 2015 championship season, the Titans reached the M semifinals in 2016. The program has yet to win a state tournament game since.
“What can we do? What’s the step moving forward?” Lombardozzi said. “How can we get our players better prepared for next season?”