Early Look at Potential Coaching Candidates at Navy and Harvard

Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics                                                                                                             

Conference tournaments have’t even concluded yet but the coaching carousel is up and running. In a surprise Navy fired Rick Sowell on Thursday while Harvard and Chris Wojcik have also parted ways.

While no candidates have been named for either job, here are just a few names that you may hear being mentioned in each other these coaching searches.


Nave is a tricky one because while they have a rich history it’s more of a rebuilding job than other schools because of the service requirement aspect of the school. I would fully expect them to hire a coach who has made a stop there in a past, is a “Maryland guy”, or is a graduate of Navy.

Ryan Moran – Head Coach, UMBC

While just in his third season as the head coach at UMBC, Moran has already made strides towards taking that program back to national prominence. The Retrievers will be playing in the America East tournament tonight.

Moran started his coaching career at Navy coaching the Naval Academy Prep School (NAPS) in 2005. He would then move up in the ranks, becoming an assistant at Navy in 2006. Moran stayed in that position until 2008. Moran was also an assistant at Maryland and most recently Loyola in 2016 before coming to UMBC.

Coming from a family with lacrosse coaching lineage, a knowledge of how the Naval Academy works, and the success he has had both an assistant and head coach I would expect Moran to be one of the top names in the board during this coaching search.

J.L. Reppert, Offensive Coordinator, Maryland

Reppert might make the most sense for Navy as he marks every box that was mentioned above. He played at Navy from 1996-99 and was a four-year starter at the attack position. He then returned as an assistant coach at Navy in 2012 after stops at DIII Washington College and Harvard.

At Maryland Reppert has done wonders for that program while running the Terrapins offense and grooming some of the best players in the country. He also did much of the same when he was an assistant at Navy and Harvard as well, increasing overall team shooting percentage and more.

If nobody else if, Reppert might be the top name to look out for with this Navy opening. He has literally every box checked, including knowing how to win, and how to win at Navy.

Other Possibilities: 

Jon Torpey, Head Coach – High Point

Dave Metzbower, Offensive Coordinator – North Carolina


Honestly, would they go with anyone that doesn’t have Ivy League experience as either a coach or a player? While, I can see Harvard trying to go after the best guy I can also see them sticking to that Ivy League persona and going after primarily coaches with an Ivy League background. Either way, Harvard is a tougher hire and it’s very unclear right now as to what direction they will go.

Ben DeLuca, Head Coach – Delaware

While DeLuca has only has two seasons as the head coach at Delaware under his belt he has had much success and knows what it takes to win at Harvard and in the Ivy League.

DeLuca just wrapped up his second season at Delaware as his Blue Hen’s lost to Towson in the CAA semifinals. He has started to make strides at Delaware already and has done so elsewhere. Prior to Delaware, DeLuca was an assistant at Harvard and Duke. DeLuca was the head coach at his alma mater, Cornell from 2011-2014. During that period DeLuca took Cornell 2013. He started his coaching career as an assistant at Cornell in 2002.

He helped lead Harvard to the Ivy League Championship game in 2015 and had plenty of success at Cornell. DeLuca seems to fit the bill perfectly, but would he leave Delaware after just two seasons is the question.

Rick Sowell, Firedas Head Coach at Navy 

While it may not always be the best thing to hire a coach who was just fired, Sowell might just be the best fit at Harvard. While his stint at Navy wasn’t the best he has had success elsewhere.

Prior to his stint at Navy he helped rebuild programs such as Stony Brook, St. John’s, Georgetown, and Dartmouth as either a head or assistant coach. Sowell took Dartmouth to the NCAA tournament in 2003 and that’s a tougher place to coach than Harvard. He also had success as a head coach at Stony Brook and St. John’s as well.

Sowell can be successful at a program in the Ivy League knows how to rebuild programs that have been down. If Harvard really wants to revamp their lacrosse program, Sowell might be their best option at the moment.

Sean Kirwan, Offensive Coordinator – Virginia

Having played at the DIII level for Tufts in the NESCAC and coached for two years at Brown, Kirwan knows how Ivy League and those types of school operate. While he is younger, he could be a good fit.

Kirwan played at Tufts and started his coaching career there before joining Brown’s staff under Lars Tiffany. He helped the Bears make it to the NCAA semifinals in 2016 before heading to Virginia with Tiffany.

He knows how to run an offense and knows the style he likes to play. Kirwan also has the know with how to operate a program like Harvard. The only knock would be his age as he just graduated from Tufts in 2012.

Other Possibilities: 

Ryan Polley, Head Coach – Boston U.

John Svec, Assistant Coach – Brown (Former Siena Head Coach)

Jon Thompson, Head Coach – Amherst (DIII)



One thought on “Early Look at Potential Coaching Candidates at Navy and Harvard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s