Morris Township, August 24 - Delbarton School Headmaster Br. Paul Diveny, OSB announced today that Chuck Ruebling is stepping down after 31 years as head coach of the varsity lacrosse program. Ruebling is a 1979 graduate of the school, a member of Delbarton's first varsity lacrosse team in 1976, and a four-year letter winner in the sport.
Ruebling will continue in his role as Delbarton Assistant Headmaster, classroom instructor and member of the lacrosse coaching staff. Matt Kovachik, who has worked side-by-side with Ruebling as his assistant lacrosse coach for many years, now moves up the position of varsity coach.
Acknowledging Chuck Ruebling's service to Delbarton, Br. Paul says, "For over 30 years, it has been a privilege to work alongside of Chuck Ruebling. I am deeply grateful for his years of service to the school, particularly to Delbarton's lacrosse program. His success on the playing field speaks for itself. What has truly impressed me about Chuck's coaching is the way he has always imparted to his players the mission and values of Delbarton School. His decision to step down as head coach at this point in his career speaks volumes about the quiet humility of this fine man. He'll probably be mad at me for saying that!"
Br. Paul also believes that Matt Kovachik is the right person for the job of leading the Delbarton lacrosse program. "While I have not known Matt Kovachik quite as long, I am extremely pleased that he has accepted the position of head coach," says Br. Paul. "I am confident that he will continue the great traditions of Delbarton lacrosse and enrich it with his own personal character and style."
Ruebling appreciates the significant role he has played for over 30 years. "I am forever grateful to have had the privilege and the honor to lead the Delbarton lacrosse program for the past thirty-one years," he says. "I have been continuously blessed with a School and an administration that have provided me with incredible student athletes, able assistant coaches and empowered me to create the culture of excellence that exists today."
Ruebling is confident that Kovachik is ready to move up to the head coaching position. "I cannot think of a more qualified and deserving individual than Matt Kovachik to succeed me as the leader of the Delbarton Lacrosse program. The transition will be seamless," he predicts.
Chuck Ruebling sets the bar high, with a storied history of lacrosse success having served as Delbarton's head lacrosse coach since 1987. His dynamic career grew from local to state and even national renown with a career record of 523 wins – 114 losses and an impressive 82% winning percentage. Ruebling has coached forty-five US Lacrosse Scholastic All-Americans and eleven US Lacrosse Academic All-Americans while leading Delbarton to a state record six NJ Tournament of Champions Championships and fifteen NJ State Championships, plus a county-record sixteen Morris County Championships and fifteen Conference Championships.
Along the way, Ruebling has been a factor in youth lacrosse on the local, state and national level. He served as President of NJ Lacrosse Coaches Association from 1988-1994. As an active member of US Lacrosse, he chaired the US Lacrosse Men's Game Coaches Sub-Committee from 2010 – 2014, served as a member of the US Lacrosse National Convention Committee from 2008-2011 and coached the FIL U-19 at the 2016 World Championships. He looks forward to his continuing association with US Lacrosse and youth lacrosse on the national scene. Ruebling has collected many honors and awards during his coaching career, from NJ Lacrosse Coach of the Year in 1994, Daily Record All-Area Coach of the Year in 1988 and 1997, NJ Lacrosse Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1999 and again in 2007, and Coach of the Year, NJ Scholastic Coaches Association in 2014. In 1998, he received the Len Roland Sportsmanship Award from NJ Lacrosse Officials and in 2007 the Frank Maguire Foundation honored him with its Mike Pressler Award. In 2001, Ruebling was inducted into the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame followed, in 2005, by his induction into the New Jersey State Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Kovachik is more than ready to accept the challenge of his new role as head coach. With a wealth of lacrosse experience as both player and coach, the former assistant coach looks forward to maintaining the quality and success of Green Wave lacrosse. "It is a great honor to take over the Delbarton lacrosse program," says Kovachik. "I am grateful to Br. Paul, Athletic Director Dan Whalen and to Chuck Ruebling for extending this amazing opportunity to be the head coach."
Matt Kovachik has served as assistant coach at Delbarton for the past seventeen years, working primarily with the defense and goalies. During this time, Delbarton has won eight NJSIAA State Championships, eleven Morris County Championships and has been recognized every year by Inside Lacrosse and Laxpower as one of the strongest teams in the nation. Kovachik has coached over eighty All-State players and thirty All-Americans. In 2009, he was recognized by his peers as the New Jersey Interscholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year and again in 2012 as the Man of the Year in the New Jersey lacrosse community. He has served for many years as the President and Vice President of the New Jersey Interscholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association as well as President and Vice President of the North New Jersey Chapter of US Lacrosse. For recognition of his service to the lacrosse community, in 2016 Kovachik received the Jimmy Carroll Spirit of the Stick award from the New Jersey North Chapter of US Lacrosse.
As a student-athlete, Kovachik earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science with a concentration in education from Hartwick College. A four year letter winner, he played midfield and helped to win three Upstate NY ECAC Tournament Championships. He was selected as a tri-captain his senior year. After graduation, Kovachik served as the head junior varsity and assistant varsity lacrosse coach at Fairfield Prep in Connecticut. He continued his coaching career as a Division I assistant coach at the University of Vermont for two years, then returned to Connecticut to serve as an assistant coach and Director of Intramurals at Sacred Heart University for three years while earning his Master's Degree in Education.
Kovachik joined the Delbarton community in 2000 where, in addition to teaching history, he also coached Middle School football and hockey. He currently serves as the Freshman Guidance Counselor and the moderator of the Deanery program.
The future looks bright for the Delbarton lacrosse program. Ruebling remains in place as the School's Assistant Headmaster and intends to enjoy his role as coach and advisor for the new wave of Green Wave lacrosse athletes. How does it feel to relinquish the lacrosse leadership reins after thirty-one years? "My goal when I came to Delbarton as a faculty member in 1983 was to teach and to coach," says Ruebling. "My intention throughout this time has never wavered. My immediate plans are to continue teaching in the classroom, to assist as coach in the lacrosse program and to put greater time and energy into the advancement of Delbarton School in my role as Assistant Headmaster."
Kovachik is eager to tackle the job ahead. "Under legendary coach Chuck Ruebling's guidance, Delbarton lacrosse has become synonymous with a high level of success both in New Jersey and nationally. I am very humbled by the opportunity to follow in his footsteps and excited for the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."
Delbarton School is a 7-12 all boys school directed by the Benedictine monks of St. Mary's Abbey. The school, which welcomes qualified young men from over 100 towns, is located in Morris Township, three miles west of the Morristown Green.