Assistant Coach Roundup: Staffs Finalized at Bryant and Providence, Vacancies Filled at Lehigh, Bellarmine, and More

(Photo Courtesy of Providence Athletics)

The biggest assistant coaching news was made official earlier this week as Jake Bernhardt was named the next offensive coordinator at Maryland following a five-year stint in the same position on Chris Feifs’ staff at Vermont.

The move is just one of multiple dominos that have fallen on the assistant coaching front this summer.

Over the past few weeks, Brad Ross and Bobby Benson have both completed their inaugural staffs at Bryant and Providence. Bellarmine and Lehigh have filled their assistant coaching openings while VMI and Binghamton have both seen assistant coaches leave for other positions.

Brad Ross Finalizes Bryant Staff

In late June, Chris Jastrzembski first reported that former Providence head coach Chris Gabrielli would be heading to Smihfield to join Brad Ross’ inaugural Bryant staff. In addition to Gabrielli coming on board, Travis Harrington has been retained from the previous staff.

Gabrielli spent the past nine seasons at the helm of the Providence Friars, leading them to an overall record of 61-81. Gabrielli guided the Friard to the Big East Tournament three times (2016, 2017, 2019). During that 2019 campaign, the Friars advanced to the title game where they fell to Marquette.

Harrington, a Bryant alum, is entering his sixth season with the program, having served as the offensive coordinator each of those years. This past season the Bulldogs’ offense averaged 12 goals per game with four-time All-NEC honoree Marc O’Rouke leading the way at attack.

Bobby Benson Completes Providence Staff

As of last week it was reported that Bobby Benson had completed his inaugural staff at Providence with the hiring of Maryland volunteer assistant Carroll Kennedy. Following Benson from College Park to the Rhode Island state capital, Kennedy will join the Friars staff along with former Bryant assistant coach Casey Broderson.

Kennedy previously served as a volunteer assistant coach at Hartford, had a stint as the head coach at Lincoln Memorial (DII) and served as an assistant coach at DII Limstone. Broderson comes to Providence after a 12-year stint on Mike Pressler’s staff at Bryant where he served as the defensive coordinator and oversaw the faceoff. He helped the Bulldogs to six NEC titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances, including Bryant’s 2014 first-round upset of Syracuse.

Bellarmine Promotes Marks, Ondrusek

Head Coach Andy Whitley announced earlier this week that defensive coordinator Nicholas Marks has had the associate head coach tag added while Mike Ondrusek has been promoted from volunteer to full-time coach.

Ondrusek fills the spot left open earlier this summer when Steve Soriano left the program due to a career change. During his first spring with the Knights in 2022, Ondrusek oversaw the program’s faceoff unit, riding and clearing games, and the substitution box. ASUN All-Freshman faceoff man Aidan Fearn was under his tutelage.

Marks has spent the past two seasons in Louisville, overseeing defenses that have allowed 10 and 11 goals per game each of the past two seasons. The Knights have also averaged 9.4 and 10 caused turnovers per game each of the past two years during the Marks era.

Lehigh Tabs Matt Francis as Assistant Coach

On Monday of last week, Lehigh officially announced the hiring on Matt Francis as an assistant. He fills the vacancy left by John Crawley who left for Johns Hopkins, his alma mater, earlier this summer.

Francis comes to Lehigh following a six-year stint at Providence, the last three of which he served as the Friars’ associate head coach. During his time with the Friars he oversaw the program’s defense and goalies. 2019 Big East Goalie of The Year Tate Boyce was under the tutelage of Francis.

Mikey Herring Heading to UMBC

After a three-year stint at VMI, Mikey Herring will be joining Ryan Moran’s staff at UMBC, sources tell Lacrosse Bucket. Herring joined the Keydets staff ahead of the 2020 season and following a playing career at Virginia that ended with a national title.

Spending the past two seasons under James Purpura, Herring guided an offense this past season that was improved from a year ago as they averaged 9.6 goals per game. The Keydets went 4-11, won a SoCon contest for the first time since joining the league, and made the postseason for the first time since 2008.

Nick Grill To Become Vermont’s Defensive Coordinator

Nick Grill is expected to fill the defensive coordinator vacancy on Chris Feifs’ Vermont staff. Chris Jastrzembski was the first to report the news on Friday morning. Grill fills the vacancy left by Brian Kavanagh’s exit.

Grill, a 2021 graduate of Maryland, oversaw the Bearcats defense last season that allowed 11.5 goals per game and featured first-team All-America East selection defensemman Max Verch.

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