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Former Golden Bear Anthony Katagas '92 already has a Golden Globe and soon could add an Oscar to his impressive resume. Katagas' drama "12 Years a Slave" was nominated for a total of nine Academy Awards, including a Best Picture nomination for Katagas and his producing partners.

"12 Years a Slave" established itself as an Oscar favorite by taking home the Golden Globe for best drama during Hollywood Foreign Press Association ceremonies earlier this week. This is the first Oscar nomination for Katagas, who produced the film with Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Steve McQueen.

The critically acclaimed historical drama details the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery. Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity.

Katagas earned a bachelor of arts in government. He will have a big cheering section on the Springfield campus when the Academy Awards are handed out on March 2.

"We have been in contact with Anthony since hearing of this great news. We couldn't be more proud." says Kathy Pappas, Director of Alumni Relations for Western New England.

While on campus, Katagas played goalie and served as captain of the Golden Bears men's lacrosse team. Former Coach Joel Castleman (1986-89) remembers inserting Katagas into the lineup as an untested freshman after the original starter left the team. "Anthony's energy and skills exploded on the field and he ended up playing in most of the remaining games that year," says Castleman. "Anthony continued to play lacrosse for four years and remains a close friend of mine. He's a very creative guy."

"I am always pleased by the success of our program's alumni who continue to grow and succeed in many different career paths after graduating from the university," says Marc Dawson, Western New England Chair of History and Political Science Department.

Katagas, an independent producer having produced over 30 films in the last 12 years, was nominated in 2004 for an IFP Independent Spirit Award. The award honors filmmakers who, despite limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce high quality independent films. Most recently Katagas has produced "Killing Them Softly" starring Brad Pitt; "The Big Wedding" Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon and Diane Keaton; and "The Immigrant" starring Joaquin Phoenix. He currently has two films in production.

The New York-based Katagas compiled 484 career saves from 1989 to 1992 and earned All-Pilgrim League honors as a senior.

In addition, he has been featured in the January 2014 issue of Lacrosse Magazine in the "Crosse Culture" section.


Date: Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010
Alumni Panel: 10:30am
Game Time: Noon
BBQ: 5pm

During the second week of fall ball we are looking to start the 2011 season out right.

We would like two teams of alumni to come back to campus to play a competitive game versus the current team. This will give the players a great introduction to college lacrosse and provide a great evaluation tool for the coaching staff.

This will be my 10th fall season at WNE and the 25th anniversary of when Joel Castleman took over the program. If you don’t want to play versus the team, please come back to see the new turf and socialize at the tailgate after the games.

Alumni parents and current parents are all invited. This will be our first event as a program for the 2011 season.

-John Klepacki

If interested please contact either:

John Klepacki
CJ Annunciata '05
Nick Coppola '08

The men's lacrosse team hosted its annual Alumni Game on April 25, 2009 with yet another great turnout. There were 22 former Golden Bears, including members of the 2008 team that won The Commonwealth Coast Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Also playing in the alumni game was Coach John Klepacki.

The alumni went on to enjoy the varsity team's 11-1 victory over Wentworth, capping off a perfect conference season. The reunion was organized by former coach Joel Castleman L'87.

Stay posted for more up-to-date information about upcoming men's lacrosse alumni events throughout the 2009-2010 academic year.