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La Salle coach Leahy, Penn assistant Myers, Penn State assistant Toner named to staff for USA U19 team

Saturday, 21st March 2015

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Posted 3/21/15
From US Lacrosse

US Lacrosse today has announced the assistant coaches and support staff for the 2016 U.S. Men’s National Under-19 Team. Patrick Myers (University of Pennsylvania), Chuck Ruebling (Delbarton School) and Peter Toner (Penn State University), have been selected as assistant coaches. Jon Jez (Long Island University-Post), Bill Leahy (La Salle College High School) and Jay Bissette (Duke University) will assume the roles of manager, assistant manager, and equipment manager, respectively.

The assistant coaches and support staff will work under head coach Nick Myers (Ohio State University), who in February was announced as head coach of the U.S. Men’s Under-19 National Team. Myers will lead the team in its quest for an eighth consecutive world title at the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship, July 7-16, 2016, in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

Assistant manager Bill Leahy has been the head coach at La Salle (Pa.) College High School since 1992. In his 20-plus year career, Leahy has amassed 433 wins, the most of any high school coach in Pennsylvania history, and led La Salle to four state championships (2004, 2008, 2009, 2013) and a perennial place in national top 25 rankings. In addition to his high school experience, Leahy also runs the HEADstrong North Lacrosse Club. He was inducted to the US Lacrosse Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Hall of Fame in 2012.

Assistant coach Pat Myers is in his first year as head assistant coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Penn, Myers worked as the associate head coach at the University of North Carolina from 2008-14, and helped lead the Tar Heels to NCAA Tournament appearances in all six seasons, as well as the 2013 ACC Tournament championship. His previous roles include head assistant at Bucknell University (2005-08), assistant coach at Cornell University (2004-05) and volunteer assistant at the Ohio State University (2003-04).

Assistant coach Peter Toner has been the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Penn State University since 2010, working under 2014 U.S. men’s senior team assistant Jeff Tambroni. Toner has led the Nittany Lions to top-16 marks in scoring defense each of the past four seasons (2011-14). Prior to Penn State, Toner was the associate head coach at Bryant (R.I.) University (2007-10)—where he worked under 2010 U.S. men’s senior team head coach Mike Pressler—head coach at Wheaton (Mass.) College (2005-07) and assistant coach at Springfield (Mass.) College (2003-05).

Assistant coach Chuck Ruebling is the head coach at Delbarton (N.J.) School, where he has racked up 459 wins since 1987 and won a record 13 New Jersey state championships. Ruebling has worked in a leadership role on numerous US Lacrosse volunteer committees and sub-committees since 2000, served as a tryout evaluator for the 2008 and 2012 U.S. men’s U19 teams, and is a charter member of the Positive Coaching Alliance. He was inducted to the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2001 and the New Jersey State Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005.

Team manager John Jez is the head coach at LIU-Post (N.Y.), a role he has held since 2006. Under Jez’s leadership, the Pioneers have won two national titles (2009, 2010), and made five national semifinal appearances. Prior to LIU-Post, where he began as an assistant coach from 2004-06, Jez was the head (2002-04) and assistant (1994-97, 1997-2002) at Pace (N.Y.) University, and assistance coach at Sacred Heart (Conn.) University. He brings extensive experience with the U.S. national teams program, having worked as both assistant general manager and equipment manager roles with the U19 and senior squads from 2005-12.

Equipment manager Jay Bissette is the head equipment manager for the Duke University men’s lacrosse team, as well as the school’s men’s and women’s soccer programs. He has been part of Duke’s 2010, 2013 and 2014 national championship teams. Bissette served in the same capacity for the world champion 2012 U.S. men’s U19 team.

“The staff that has been assembled around Coach Myers brings an outstanding mixture of experiences that will best lead our young men over the next 16 months,” said Tony Leko, US Lacrosse director of national teams. “The talent in the applicant pool for each of these positions was impressive, and we were honored by the desire shown by so many to be a part of this team.”

The assistant coaches and support staff, as well as the head coach, were vetted and selected through a volunteer-based search committee. Led by Skip Lichtfuss, Men’s National Team Subcommittee Chair, the committee consisted largely of highly respected non-US Lacrosse staff, including Anne Phillips (Women’s National Team Subcommittee Chair), Joe Alberici (past National Team coach), Vinnie Sombrotto (past National Team player), Billy Rebman (past National Team manager), Tim Flynn (previous Men’s National U19 Team head coach), Ryan Boyle (MLL representative), Paul Wehrum (IMLCA representative), Steve Stenersen (US Lacrosse President and CEO), Ann Carpenetti (US Lacrosse VP of Lacrosse Operations), and Tony Leko (US Lacrosse Director of National Teams).

The U.S. Men’s U19 team has amassed a 41-2 all-time record in international play, claiming gold in each of the seven U19 World Championship events to date (1988, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2012). Team USA defeated Canada 10-8 in the gold medal game to capture the 2012 World Championship in Turku, Finland.

Tryouts for the 2016 U.S. Men’s U19 team will be held June 29-July 1, 2015, at Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Md. For more information on applying to be considered for tryouts, click here.

The world champion U.S. men’s national U19 team trains and plays using best-in-class products provided by Nike (apparel and footwear), STX (equipment) and Cascade (helmets). Nationwide and Marriott International are official sponsors of Team USA.

Follow the U.S. men’s national U19 team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and YouTube at @USLacrosse and using hashtag #USAMLAX.

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