Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/18/14
From Press Release
Lehigh men’s lacrosse assistant coach Brendan Callahan has been named the head coach at Dartmouth University, as announced on Monday.
Callahan departs Lehigh after seven successful seasons on the sidelines, including the last three as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. In his tenure, Callahan helped turn the Mountain Hawks into one of the top defenses in the nation as Lehigh owns the best GAA in the country over the past three seasons.
“Brendan Callahan has been a part of the coaching staff for all seven of my years at Lehigh,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “He started as a graduate assistant and worked his way up through the chain of command. I am extremely thankful for his hard work, dedication and loyalty over the years.”
Callahan helped Lehigh reach new heights as a program. The emergence of the defense was an integral part in the Mountain Hawks winning their first-ever Patriot League Championship in 2012 then following with a second straight title in 2013. On the defensive side of the field, Callahan has coached several players to All-America recognition: Matt Poillon (3), Ty Souders (2), Mike Noone (1) and Tripp Telesco (1).
“I would like to thank Dartmouth Athletic Director Harry Sheey, Associate Athletic Director Brian Austin, and the members of the search committee for their time and effort throughout the process,” said Callahan. “We certainly have a great team of support with a clear vision, direction and the commitment to do what it takes to be successful. I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the next coach of one the best institutions in the world here at Dartmouth.”
Lehigh allowed just 6.61 goals per game in 2012 as the Mountain Hawks enjoyed a breakout 14-3 season, won their first-ever league title and advanced to their first NCAA Tournament where they hosted eventual national finalist Maryland. The Mountain Hawks allowed 7.94 goals per game in 2013, finishing undefeated in league play (regular season and postseason), hosting the league tournament for the first time and advancing to a second straight NCAA Tournament. Last season, Callahan’s defense allowed just 7.22 goals per game (second nationally and just .01 behind first). The Mountain Hawks advanced to the Patriot League Championship Game for a third straight season, finishing with 13 wins – just one from tying the school record set in 2012.
“I would like to thank Coach Cassese for all the time and support of myself and my family during my time at Lehigh. I would not be in this position or the man that I am today without him,” said Callahan.
“I am incredibly proud of Brendan and genuinely happy for him and his family,” said Cassese. “On behalf of the entire Lehigh Lacrosse Family and the Cassese Family, I wish him nothing but great success in his new position at Dartmouth.”
“Finally, thank you to the Lehigh players for all your hard work, dedication, and willingness to listen and learn over the years,” said Callahan. “I have not made one slide, scored one goal or made one save in my time at Lehigh. I am here today because of your efforts and what you all have been able to accomplish on the field and classroom.”
Callahan is Cassese’s second understudy to become a head coach in the past four years, following Taylor Wray who was named Saint Joseph’s head coach before the 2012 season. Wray has helped turn Saint Joe’s around as the Hawks were 0-12 the season before he arrived. They immediately won six games in Wray’s first season (2012), won five games in 2013 and 11 last year.
Also of note, former Lehigh volunteer assistant coach Tom Compitello (2012-13) recently accepted an assistant coaching position at Bryant as the offensive coordinator, extra-man and goalie coordinator. The Bulldogs have won two straight NEC Championships and advanced to the National Quarterfinals last season.
Cassese has already turned his attention to filling the full-time position on the Lehigh coaching staff and structuring a staff in a way that is best suited for the overall success and sustainability of the program.