Siena College names Graciano Brito as men’s soccer head coach
A two-time All-American at Quinnipiac University, Brito spent the past eight seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, whom he helped guide to at least a share of four conference regular season championships, highlighted by a 2013 MAAC Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.
“We would like to welcome Graciano and his family to Siena College and into our community,” said D’Argenio. “He is an exciting young coach who has proven himself first as a student athlete and then as a top assistant who helped Quinnipiac to a high level of sustained success in the MAAC. The commitment that Graciano has exhibited as both a student athlete and coach are a testament to the type of person that he is and the kind of mentor he will be to our Saints.”
Brito, 35, played a key role in the unprecedented success of Quinnipiac, which coincided with his return to Hamden in 2012. In his eight seasons as an assistant (2012-19) on head coach Eric Da Costa’s staff, the Bobcats boasted a 71-53-29 (.559) overall record and achieved the five winningest seasons in program history. This past fall, QU won six of its final eight regular season contests while finishing with a 9-6-3 overall ledger and a 7-2-1 record in league play to earn the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Tournament.
“I am excited and honored to become a part of the Siena Athletics program,” noted Brito. “I will bring both passion and commitment to the Siena Men’s Soccer program, and set high standards for both athletic and academic success. I would like to thank John D’Argenio for giving me this opportunity, and I would also like to thank Greg Amodio (Quinnipiac Director of Athletics) and Bill Mecca (Quinnipiac Senior Associate Athletic Director) for their help and support throughout this process. I would also like to especially thank my mentor and friend Eric Da Costa for 12 amazing years at Quinnipiac.”
Quinnipiac qualified for its conference tournament in each of Brito’s eight seasons on staff, while posting a stellar 52-16-12 (.725) mark in conference regular season action. The Bobcats won at least a share of their conference’s regular season championship four times (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016), and advanced to the MAAC Championship Match on three occasions (2013, 2016, 2018). Quinnipiac captured the program’s first conference tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in its first season in the MAAC – and Brito’s second season as an assistant – in 2013.
Brito aided in the development of 15 First Team All-Conference, 15 Second Team All-Conference, and 12 All-Rookie Team selections during his tenure. He coached 2018 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year Eamon Whelan, two-time MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year Borja Angoitia (2013, 2014), and MAAC Rookies of the Year Tomas Svecula (2019) and Whelan (2016). In 2019, Rashawn Dally became the first player in Quinnipiac history to be chosen in the MLS SuperDraft, when he was selected by FC Cincinnati.
A walk-on who had never previously played organized soccer prior to his enrollment at Quinnipiac, Brito blossomed into arguably the greatest player in program history. A two-time NSCAA/Adidas All-American (2008 – Third Team, 2007 – Second Team), he was twice heralded the Northeast Conference Player of the Year (2007, 2008). A three-time team captain, Brito is the Bobcats’ all-time career Division I leader in both points (92) and goals (40).
Brito led the nation in both goals per game (0.95) and points per game (2.05) while claiming Quinnipiac’s single-season DI records for both points (39) and goals (18) during his senior season in 2008. That fall, he was also tabbed a College Soccer News Third Team All-American, an NEC All-Tournament Team selection, and was listed as the sixth best senior forward in the nation according to ESPN SoccerNet’s Top-10 rankings. Prior to the season, Brito was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List, which is awarded annually to the nation’s top collegiate soccer player.
A seven-time career NEC Player of the Week and a two-time NSCAA All-North Atlantic Region First Team selection, Brito was twice named Quinnipiac University’s Male Student Athlete of the Year (2007, 2008). He ranked eighth nationally in both points per game (1.69) and goals per game (0.75) during his junior campaign in 2007, and was featured in Sports Illustrated’s prestigious “Faces in the Crowd” section.
Brito was invited to and participated in the 2009 Major League Soccer Combine following the conclusion of his brilliant collegiate career, and signed professionally with Operario dos Acores in the Portuguese Second Division. He became the first player to sign with the expansion FC New York of the USL Professional League in 2011, before joining fellow USL PRO squad the Rochester Rhinos in 2012.
Brito graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2009 with his degree in international business, and is currently pursuing his MBA. A native of Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde, he was a member of the Cape Verde 17U National Basketball Team. Brito is married to the former Mallory Curran, who was a member of the women’s soccer team at Quinnipiac from 2004-07, and the couple are the proud parents of five-year-old son, Graciano, and four-year-old daughter, Nayomi.
Brito inherits a Siena Soccer program which posted a 5-12-1 overall record including a 2-7-1 mark in the MAAC last fall.