Spain: L’Hospitalet Pioners sign Bart Iaccarino as new HC

Six-time Spanish champions, the L’Hospitalet Pioners have signed Bart Iaccarino as their new head coach for the 2019 season.

Iaccarino spent the 2018 season as the head of football operations and head coach for the Lazio Ducks in his native Rome. The Ducks, an amalgamation of the Lazio Marines and Roma Grizzlies, finished fourth in the Italian Division I in 2018, and reached the semifinals, losing to the eventual Italian champions, the Milano Seamen. He spent the previous five years in Spain where he guided the Reus Imperials all the way from the Spanish third division to the Spanish championship final in 2017. The Rome native played and coached with the Lazio Marines before leaving for Spain and the Imperials.

The once-proud Pioners, who have won six Spanish titles, but none since 2013 when they won the last of four straight, finished winless in 2018 in the LNFA, Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano, the Spanish top league.

American Football International asked Iaccarino about the move and his expectations.

AFI: You have returned to Spain and the L’Hospitalet Pioners. Why the move back from Italy where you coached the Lazio Ducks in 2018?

Iaccarino: We’ve decided to move back to Spain first and foremost because my family wanted to move back to Spain and we felt it was a good move for our children. The second biggest factor was that the Pioners offered me a great opportunity to build the football program over the long term. I just felt that I would have had a more difficult time doing that with the Ducks organization.

AFI: You had a successful season with the Ducks. but you are taking over a team that was winless in 2018. How can you make a difference?

Iaccarino: I’m a lucky man, my passion is my profession and I’m not scared to work for years if the common goal is to lead the Pioners again to the European top 20 teams. I will work as I did for last 10 years with love and passion for this sport and I’m pretty sure the results will arrive soon. It also help a lot work with people who compete in Europe during 10 years and who saw which is the way to follow.

AFI: What was your background in coaching prior to taking the Ducks to the playoffs in 2018?

Iaccarino: Before I arrived to Ducks, I spent 5 years with Reus Imperials (Spain) leading the team from third division to #2 in the nation in only five seasons, losing the national championship at home versus Badalona in 2017. Previously I spent few months with Berlin Adler and 6 years with Lazio Marines.

AFI: You are also one of the coaches for the Europe Warriors. Tell us about that experience.

Iaccarino: Europe Warriors is a lifetime experience, we are very fortunate to have the chance to work with these young men. It’s amazing to see their faces when they live as professional players during an entire week, those guys bring back home new worldwide friends and an unforgettable experience. Finally we won the first game last week in Chihuahua beating the local university the UACH for 19-10. Now we are working to offer the chance to European young players to get scholarships in Mexico where the level of football is growing a lot and where they can study and play at highest level than Europe.

AFI: What do you foresee for the 2019 season?

Iaccarino: Let all my players have fun playing football, show a good level and make our fans happy. Everything else will come later step by step

I would also like to thank AFI for the vast work they do for the American football in Europe.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.