The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced its 2016 NCAA Division I, II & III Coaches of the Year at the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association National Convention over the weekend in Baltimore, Maryland.
North Carolina's Joe Breschi, LeMoyne's Dan Sheehan and St. Lawrence's Mike Mahoney were each named USILA Coach of the Year for their respective division.
2016 USILA Coach of the Year - Division I
Joe Breschi, Head Men's Lacrosse Coach, University of North Carolina
Joe Breschi's coaching philosophy is summed up in three words • FAMILY • ACADEMICS • LACROSSE. Now in his eighth year as the head coach of North Carolina's men's lacrosse program, Breschi has installed that philosophy at every level of the program and its outreach to alumni, student-athletes, their families and the Chapel Hill community.
Breschi, a 1990 Tar Heel graduate and former assistant coach at his alma mater, returned to Chapel Hill in 2009 to revive the fortunes of his alma mater. He completed that feat in 2016 as the Tar Heels shared the ACC regular season title and earned the #1 seed in the ACC Tournament. Carolina was unseeded heading into the NCAA Tournament but upset four seeded teams along the way to winning the NCAA title, downing #6 Marquette, #3 Notre Dame, #7 Loyola and then downing #1 Maryland 14-13 in overtime in what is considered one of the best NCAA championship games ever played.
Breschi was one of the finest lacrosse players in the history of the ACC while playing for UNC head coach Willie Scroggs from 1987-90. He was also a member of two U.S. National Teams (1994 and 1998).
2016 USILA Coach of the Year - Division II
Dan Sheehan, Head Men's Lacrosse Coach, LeMoyne College
Dan Sheehan is in his 20th season as the men's lacrosse head coach at LeMoyne. One of the nation's most successful lacrosse coaches, Dan has posted a 269-46 (.854) overall mark, including five National Championship game victories. His 269 career victories are the 24th-most in the history of NCAA lacrosse.
Sheehan led the Dolphins to their fifth National Championship in 2016 to close out the season with a 20-0 record. The Dolphins became the fifth undefeated national champion in Division II history (three of which are Sheehan-led LeMoyne teams) and the 20 wins are the most by an undefeated team in DII history. Prior to that this year Sheehan guided the Dolphins to their 12th Northeast-10 Conference Championship. The Dolphins led the nation in scoring defense, man-down defense and winning percentage.
The Ithaca College graduate has guided LeMoyne to 14 NCAA tournament berths in the last 15 years - its only trips to the national tournament in program history.
2016 USILA Coach of the Year Division - III
Mike Mahoney, Head Men's Lacrosse Coach, St. Lawrence University
Mike Mahoney took over the head coaching duties for men's lacrosse in the fall of 1997. Under Mahoney, the Saints experienced immediate success and have continued to excel. Following the 2016 season, Mike has posted a 201-93 (.684) record in the past 19 seasons, with 16 of those teams earning post-season bids including the 2016 team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinal.
In 2016, the Saints broke several school records winning 18 games including three in the NCAA Tournament with victories over New England College, Springfield and Amherst to advance to the semifinal round as one of the top four teams in the country. The Saints won the first eight games of the year and also put together a seven-game win streak to close out the regular season.
Mahoney has been named the Liberty League Coach of the Year six times including the 2015 and 2016 seasons.