Bellarmine is the latest DI head coach opening after the shocking news that Jim Mitchell was stepping down after just one season. Mitchell went 3-10 in his only season at the helm of the Knights, but changed the culture of the program and set them up for future success.
While not candidates are known at this time, sources have indicated that Bellarmine already has some exciting candidates lined up. While it isn’t the most attractive job success can be attained, but there is a lot of building to do that is still left from the staff prior to the Mitchell era.
The favorite for this job has to be Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown. He was an assistant coach at Bellarmine until leaving for Binghamton, his alma mater, following the 2016 season. McKeown took Binghamton to the America East championship game in 2017, but the Bearcats haven’t done much after that.
During McKeown’s tenure as the defensive coordinator at Bellarmine he was loved by players, fans, athletics staff, and the local community. McKeown was also one of three finalist for the job last summer when Mitchell was hired.
Another possibly candidate for Bellarmine is Ohio State assistant Brad Ross. His name has been linked to multiple other coaching searchers this offseason and in the past few years as well.
Ross has been able to build successful Ohio State offenses with top Canadian talent like Jesse King, Logan Schuss, and Austin Shanks. That Canadian connection looks very attractive and he could help re-establish and strengthen that pipeline at Bellarmine that they had for many years. Ross also helped lead Ohio State to a national championship appearance in 2016.
Former Ohio Machine head coach Bear Davis could possibly be a candidate for the opening at Bellarmine as well. He has reportedly had interest in Bellarmine in the past and has had success in the MLL, winning a championship with the now defunct Ohio Machine. Davis coached at Robert Morris prior to becoming the head coach of the Machine.
Loyola assistant coaches Matt Dwan and Marc Van Arsdale are both big stretches, but possible candidates. Bellarmine’s president Susan Donovan came from Loyola and has been very supportive of the lacrosse program since she arrived in Louisville. Both were mentioned early on in the Knights coaching search last summer.
It is also a very big stretch that Bellarmine assistant coach Kyle Bernlohr gets promoted to head coach or wants the head coaching position. He just graduated from Maryland in 2016 and plays goalie for the Whipsnakes LC in the PLL.
Bellarmine is one of five current DI head coaching positions open along with Harvard, Hampton, Stony Brook, and Marquette.