Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/23/15
From Press Release
The problem with constantly producing head coaches is that you are also constantly having to replace them.
Chris Bates, who has seen two defensive coordinators in three years become Division I head coaches, has turned to the leader of one of the top scoring defensive units in the country the last few years, someone who just happens to be a former player of his as well.
Steve Grossi, who played for Bates at Drexel and who has led St. Joe’s to back-to-back top six finishes in Division I in scoring defense, has joined the Princeton staff as defensive coordinator. Grossi replaces Dylan Sheridan, who left Princeton to become the first head coach at Cleveland State.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to join the Princeton community and a program with such great tradition,” Grossi says. “I look forward to the privilege of coaching the student-athletes at Princeton and I am thrilled to get started with Coach Bates and the team. I look forward to assisting in the programs commitment to success. Also, I would like to thank Coach Taylor Wray, Coach Dan Keating, and the Saint Joseph’s University staff for everything they have done for me as well as the remarkable young men I’ve worked with over the past few years.”
Grossi will be Princeton’s fourth defensive coordinator in four years, after Sheridan and Greg Raymond (Hobart) left to be head coaches and John Walker left due to a back injury that prevented him from coaching.
Grossi spent three seasons at St. Joe’s and two years as an assistant coach at Division III Hampton-Sydney in Virginia.
“It is a distinct pleasure to welcome Steve to the our Princeton community, as well as the Tiger Lacrosse family,” Bates says. “Having recruited and coached Steve at Drexel, I’ve known him for many years, and it has been a pleasure to watch him grow into a very fine young coach. Steve has worked exceptionally hard and learned under two coaches for whom I have a ton of respect, Ray Rostan [Hamden Sydney] and Taylor Wray [St. Joe’s / Canadian National Team Defensive Coordinator]. I have followed his career closely and can’t help but be impressed with all the success that he’s been a part of, especially at St. Joe’s over the last few years. As a player, Steve was as tough, hard working and competitive as anyone I’ve ever coached, and I expect lots of his personality to rub off on our guys. He is certainly a welcome addition to our staff, and we are all excited to work with him.”
Grossi has spent the last three years as the defensive coordinator at St. Joe’s, which went 6-0 in the Northeast Conference regular season each of the last two years. Grossi’s defense ranked fifth in scoring defense in 2015 and sixth in 2014, and the Hawks allowed just 7.65 goals per game this past year.
In addition, St. Joe’s led all of Division I in man down defense in both 2014 and 2015 and was 10th in Division I in caused turnovers in 2015.
Grossi, a business major, graduated from Drexel in 2009 after playing for Bates for four seasons, all of which ended when Grossi earned All-CAA honors as a longstick midfielder, including first-team honors as a junior and senior. He was also a two-time captain, a Tewaaraton watch list nominee and the team MVP his senior year.
Grossi also played professionally with the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League. He is completing his master’s degree in organization, development and leadership.
The defense that he inherits will have more returnees than spots available in 2016. In fact, Princeton returns six players who have started at least seven games on defense, with four players who did so a year ago and then the return of Will Reynolds and Mark Strabo, both of whom missed the final 14 games of 2015 due to injury after starting all of 2014, and in Strabo’s case, all of 2013 as well.
Princeton also returns its top longstick midfielder and top three shortstick defensive midfielders, as well as the goalie who started the last six games a year ago.