June 15, 2012

Duke's Gabrielli Takes Providence Head Coaching Job

Duke assistant coach Chris Gabrielli has accepted the head coaching job at Providence, he wrote in an email to Duke staff Friday afternoon.
© Peyton Williams

by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | Division I Coaching Carousel

Lacrosse Magazine has learned that Duke assistant Chris Gabrielli will become the next head coach at Providence College.

A source told LM that Gabrielli emailed the Duke staff around 3:15 p.m. Friday to inform them of his move, and a Duke spokesman confirmed shortly thereafter that Gabrielli had accepted the position at Providence.

Gabrielli and Providence could not immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Chris Burdick resigned after 14 seasons at Providence in mid-May, and a search for his replacement began immediately. It took less than a month for the Friars to find their man — and less than three weeks since Duke's season ended May 26 in the NCAA tournament semifinals against Maryland.

Gabrielli, 33, spent six seasons as an assistant at Duke, and is one of the most well-respected defensive coordinators in the game.

The Blue Devils' defense — playing two sophomore starters at close, along with two underclassmen at short-stick defensive midfield — ranked 21st nationally with 9.25 goals allowed in 2012.

Under Gabrielli's guidance, Duke ranked among the top-10 scoring defenses in 2007 and 2008. During his time in Durham, Gabrielli tutored 2008 USILA National Defenseman of the Year Nick O'Hara, and All-Americans Casey Carroll, Anthony McDevitt, Parker McKee, Mike Manley and CJ Costabile, the last of whom was a 2012 Tewaaraton finalist.

Gabrielli is familiar with the New England area. Although he's a Long Island native, Gabrielli played collegiately at UMass, and he spent three years a member of the coaching staff at his alma mater. He was an assistant at Butler for one season before moving to Duke in 2007.

Players on Duke's 2012 roster from the Northeast include: Costabile (New Fairfield, Conn.), Rob Rotanz (Westport, Conn.), Dave Lawson (Westford, Mass.), Josh Dionne (Merrimack, N.H.) and Luke Duprey (Concord, N.H.).

Gabrielli also was a member of the Boston Cannons' practice squad during the 2004 season before being drafted again by the Cannons in the 2005 Major League Lacrosse supplemental draft. In 2004, he co-founded the Mid-Summer Classic, a high school lacrosse tournament currently held on the UMass campus.

Gabrielli was featured prominently in Episode Two of Lacrosse Magazine's "The Big Game" series, in which he spoke about and described Duke's defensive game plan — and the challenges of containing reigning Tewaaraton winner Steele Stanwick — ahead of an April 13 win at Virginia.

Providence finished 2-12 in 2012 and won its only Big East game in its season finale, a stunning 15-11 victory over Villanova.

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