January 3, 2014

Defiance Tabs Whitcraft As Next Head Coach

from press release

DEFIANCE, Ohio – Defiance College Athletics Director Jenni Morrison announced the addition of Ben Whitcraft to the athletic department staff Thursday afternoon as the new head coach for the Yellow Jacket men's lacrosse program.

"Coach Whitcraft has a strong work ethic and desire to build a successful program," stated Morrison. "We are fortunate to have an individual with his experience and skill set assuming leadership of our Yellow Jacket men's lacrosse program and he will be an outstanding coach and mentor for our young men within the program."

"I would like to thank Athletic Director Jenni Morrison and President Gordon for the opportunity to lead the lacrosse program," said Whitcraft. "I look forward to creating a culture of success for our student athletes on and off the field."

Whitcraft, a native of Indian Mills, New Jersey, comes to Defiance College after two and a half years as the primary assistant coach at Hendrix College under Curt Foxx. During his time in Conway, Ark., he helped to guide the lacrosse squad to a tie of the school record for wins in his first season.

With Whitcraft coaching the defense, the Warriors also placed in the upper half of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in every defensive category in his first season and his defense led the league with a .580 save percentage and ranked seventh in the nation with 41.40 ground balls per game.

In his second year at Hendrix, Whitcraft's defense ranked seventh in the nation with 13.53 caused turnovers per game and was second in the Southern Athletic Association in total caused turnovers, as well as third in ground balls. Whitcraft helped to shape seven all-conference award winners during his time with the Warriors.

During his time at Hendrix, Whitcraft also served as an assistant volleyball coach, helping head coach Ryan Meek to guide the Warriors to a school record for wins, as well as produce three all-conference student athletes. Whitcraft also assisted in the Sports Information Department during his time with Hendrix.

Prior to arriving at Hendrix, Whitcraft served as the coach of Braveheart Lacrosse, a club team in southern New Jersey. He has served as a trainer at Rufflax, a lacrosse store that offered individual training for players and teams. Whitcraft coached the U.S. U-15 New Jersey-South team. He served as the off-season head coach at Washington Township High School in Sewell, N.J. Whitcraft led the South Jersey Black Storm seventh and eighth grade team and a was also varsity assistant at Shawnee High.

Prior to his coaching career, Whitcraft was a four-year starter at long-stick midfielder for Marymount University in Arlington, Va. He was named captain as a freshman. While at Marymount, Whitcraft captured the school career record with 275 groundballs, as well as the single-season record of 75 groundballs. He was named the team defensive MVP in 2006 and 2007 and received the Coach's Award as a freshman in 2005.

Whitcraft was a two-time first team all-conference selection and team captain as a close defenseman at Shawnee High School in Medford, N.J. He was named defensive MVP twice was a All-South Jersey selection as a senior. He helped SHS to a 32-2 record during his junior and senior seasons. A four-year letterwinner, Whitcraft was selected to play in the Garden State Games.

Whitcraft received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 2008 from Marymount. As a student, he was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He also earned Dean's List honors and was a recipient of the All-Academic Award for the 2007-08 school year.

"We look forward to the season that will help set the foundation for our program moving forward," stated Whitcraft.

Whitcraft and the Yellow Jacket lacrosse program will begin the 2014 season on February 22 when Franciscan comes to Justin F. Coressel Stadium.

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