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Queens College bolsters athletics staff for season

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With the 2012-13 school year underway, Queens College Athletics announced the addition of nine new staff members.

Michael Balestra was hired as director of athletics communication in September. He comes to Queens College after spending the past two years at his alma mater, Fordham University, where he was the assistant director of athletic media relations.

Heather Barclay enters her first season as an assistant women’s soccer coach. She will help head Coach Carl Christian in running games and practices and will contribute in scouting as well. Barclay was a standout high school soccer player at St. Joseph’s by the Sea in Staten Island and then played collegiately at La Salle University.

Denee Barracato is the newest member of the Queens College family and holds the title of associate athletic director for finance and administration. She comes to Flushing after recently serving as director of marketing partnerships for Madison Square Garden.

Mark Burik joined the volleyball coaching staff prior to the 2012 season. He is a former Division I player at George Mason University, where he graduated with a degree in exercise science.

Wayne Martin took over as the head men’s tennis coach in October. He was the former head coach at Long Island University from 1998-2005. Following that, he spent a year with the USTA while simultaneously serving as the Athletic Director at Raritan Valley Community College.

Staci Passafiume, who joined the staff as an assistant lacrosse coach, is no stranger to the East Coast Conference, as she was a standout lacrosse player at LIU Post from 2007-10 and was a member of the 2007 team that won the national championship.

Tanni Scott joined the women’s basketball staff, following her graduation from Wright State University in 2011.

Carmen Smith is also a new addition to the women’s basketball staff, where she will serve as an assistant coach.

Patrick Trainor took over as the head strength and conditioning coach in September. He will oversee varsity workout programs.

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