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  • Chris Jastrzembski

Robert Morris hires UMass assistant Craig McDonald as head coach

Courtesy: UMass Athletics

Less than a month after Andrew McMinn left Moon Township for Utah, the Robert Morris Colonials have tabbed UMass associate head coach Craig McDonald as their third head coach in program history.

"My family and I are very humbled and thankful for the opportunity to join the Robert Morris University family," McDonald said in a press release. "I'm excited to get started and look forward to building on the foundation and tradition that was established by Bear Davis and Andrew McMinn, as well as all the student-athletes that have come through this great program. I'm extremely honored with this great opportunity and can't wait to meet with the current players and alumni and get to work."

McDonald comes over from Amherst after seven years as an assistant under Greg Cannella. McDonald worked with the Minutemen defense and goaltenders during his tenure, mentoring players such as Sean Sconone, Isaac Paparo, and Ryan Izzo. He was promoted to associate head coach after the 2018 season.

Prior to UMass, McDonald spent three years at Rutgers under Brian Brecht coaching the defense. He was also the team's recruiting coordinator. McDonald was also with Brecht at Siena during the 2011 season, when the Saints were MAAC Champions.

After his four-year playing career as a close defenseman at UAlbany, McDonald got his coaching start at Division III Union for two seasons under National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee Paul Wherum.

"Searching for a head coach can be a long and difficult process, but we were able to accomplish our goals in three weeks," said Robert Morris Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris King. "That would not have been possible without the tireless efforts, counsel and leadership of our lacrosse sport administrator Marty Galosi, deputy athletic director Kim Graham and head women's lacrosse coach Katrina Silva during this national search.

"I would also like to give a shout out to our men's lacrosse student-athletes and their role during campus interviews. Their involvement, dedication and commitment to the process was extremely impressive, and their transparent and honest feedback was greatly appreciated and is reflected directly in today's hire of Coach McDonald."

Other finalists were High Point associate head coach Ken Broschart and Division II Seton Hill head coach Brian Novotny.

UMass has lost both of their assistants, both associate head coaches, in a span of less than two months. Doc Schneider left earlier in the summer for a career change and was replaced by former Merrimack assistant and Minutemen attackman Kyle Smith.

There are also assistant vacancies at Cleveland State, Hampton, Hartford, Marist, Mercer, Robert Morris, UMass, and Utah.

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