June 11, 2014

Kerwick Tabbed Full-Time Cornell Head Coach

Matt Kerwick has been tabbed Cornell's full-time head coach after leading the Big Red with interim status. (John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com)

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive

updated 06.11.2014 at 1.11 p.m.

Matt Kerwick, who led Cornell this season as the team's interim head coach, has been named the Big Red's full-time coach, the Cornell athletic department confirmed on Wednesday morning, and Kerwick later said he is "excited and humbled" to take over one the sport's traditional powers.

Kerwick took over for the dismissed Ben DeLuca in November, with the condition that a national search would be held for the head coaching spot once the season was over. Kerwick had said he wanted the full-time gig.

The search wrapped up early this week. Kerwick led the Big Red to an 11-5 record this year and an NCAA tournament appearance. Cornell lost to Maryland 8-7 in the first round.

"It was an opportunity for me to have a long interview," Kerwick said by phone Wednesday afternoon on the road to a recruiting event in Philadelphia. "I would have liked to play a couple more games at the end with this team. I thought we could have made a run. Unfortunately, we came up a little short against Maryland."

Kerwick did have a formal interview over the last two weeks and it led up to the official announcment Wednesday. His phone was buzzing with texts, emails and calls and he planned to respond to messages, including talking to current players and the 2014 assistant coaching staff of Peter Milliman and MJ Kiekebelt to make sure "everyone is on the same page," he said, adding he was excited to keep the staff in place.

"I'm very excited and humbled to be part of this program," Kerwick said. "It's one of the great traditions in the game and one of the top universities in the world. I'm very excited to get back with this team in the fall. We have an excellent group coming back. ... I want to thank [athletic director] Andy Noel and the administration for having the confidence and faith in me."

There will be a measure of consistency for the program heading into the 2015 season. The Big Red also brings back Ivy League Player of the Year, midfielder Connor Buczek, and Ivy League Rookie of the Year, goalie Christian Knight, along with first-team All-Ivy attackman Matt Donovan and honorable mention All-American defenseman Jordan Stevens.

Cornell, which began the 2014 season 18th in Lacrosse Magazine's preseason rankings, is No. 9 in our early Top 10 for 2015.

Kerwick, who has been head coach at both Hobart and a then-startup Jacksonville, had been an assistant at Georgetown during the 2012 season, after which he and the program parted ways. On June 25, 2012, Kerwick pleaded guilty to a DWI charge in a Fairfax County, Va., stemming from an incident in April of that year. Kerwick had appeared to be a likely candidate to replace Dave Urick, who retired at the end of the 2012 season.

"When I first came on board, I addressed the team [about it]," Kerwick said. "Certainly it's a constant reminder that I'm very fortunate to be in this position after my misstep. I owe a great deal to Cornell University to have given me this chance. I'm very excited to move forward and coach this team. There is such a great culture in this program. The guys are extremely proud of the tradition here and very proud to wear that jersey. To be the leader of this program is very humbling to me."

Kerwick's hire at Cornell leaves only one other NCAA Division I men's lacrosse opening, at Detroit. Matt Holtz resigned in late May.

Chris Kolon, a Detroit assistant, has been tabbed the Titans interim coach but there is no set timeline on a hire other than that a national search has begun.

Former Penn and Michigan assistant Judd Lattimore was named Holy Cross' new coach over Memorial Day weekend.

"I am excited that Matt Kerwick has accepted our offer to become the Richard M. Moran Head Coach of Men's Lacrosse," Cornell athletic director Andy Noel said in a press release. "His performance over the past two years has been exemplary and I could not be more pleased that he has the opportunity to continue the progress he has made with our program. I am keenly aware that Matt has the enthusiastic support of our team, staff, administration and our loyal alumni. Like them, I am most excited for the future of the program with Coach Kerwick at the helm."

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