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Penn State’s Van Arsdale, who recruited numerous Philly players, gets top job at Colorado College

Friday, 24th July 2009

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 7/24/09
From Press Releases

Guy Van Arsdale – who recruited numerous Philly standouts to Penn State the past six years as the school’s No. 1 assistant – has been named head coach at Colorado College, Director of Athletics Ken Ralph announced today.

“What an exciting day for CC lacrosse,” Ralph said. “Guy Van Arsdale has the experience, talent, work ethic, and recruiting ability to elevate our program at Colorado College. His passion for education and his understanding of the liberal arts college setting make him the perfect choice to lead the program for many years to come.”

Van Arsdale adds more than 20 years of coaching experience to a program that is on the verge of earning a spot in the upper echelon of Division III.

“I am very honored and excited to pursue the opportunity so graciously offered to me by Colorado College and am extremely anxious to take the lead of such an exciting and promising program,” he said.

Van Arsdale served as an assistant coach at Penn State University for six years (2004-09) after spending one season in the same capacity at the University of Notre Dame. From 2001-03, he was head coach and assistant general manager of the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse as well as an assistant coach with the Rochester Knighthawks professional indoor lacrosse franchise.

Van Arsdale was the main recruiter for veteran coach Glenn Thiel at Penn State. This year’s class of Penn State recruits includes La Salle attackman and Second-Team pick Randy Forster, the third Forster brother (including 2009 grad Rob and rising sophomore Jack) to choose Penn State. Also headed to Penn State from this year’s senior class is midfielder Eric Davidheiser of The Hill School.

Last year, Van Arsdale brought in All-Americans Matt Mackrides (Malvern Prep, attackman/midfielder) and Conrad Ridgway (La Salle, midfielder), as well as Mike Vandegrift (Abington, midfielder, Second-Team pick), Ryan McGarvey (Penn Charter, defenseman, Honorable Mention pick) and Alex Gannett (Downingtown East, defenseman).

Mackrides played a key role this year for the 9-5 Nittany Lions and Ridgway and Gannett were regulars off the bench. Another Philly product, Conestoga grad and defenseman Billy Davis, transferred in to Penn State for his first year of lacrosse and ended up being a starter.

A number of other Philly products dot the Penn State roster; the most notable the past four years was Springfield-Delco grad and 2009 PSU grad Drew Adams, who was a three-time All-American and three-time ECAC Goalie of the Year.

This year’s Philly rising senior class features no less than five Penn State commitments, including attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown East, First-Team, goalie Austin Kaut (Springfield-Delco, Second Team), attackmen Stephen Aitken (Haverford School, Honorable Mention), Tim Golder (Avon Grove, Honorable Mention) and defenseman Brendan Nave (Springfield-Delco, Honorable Mention).

“This was a difficult decision only because Penn State is such a tremendous place and the student-athletes there are great people and very talented athletes,” Van Arsdale said. “The relationships we have built there will be cherished always.”

During his 12 seasons as head coach at Rochester Institute of Technology, Van Arsdale’s teams posted a combined record of 112-54 and made five NCAA tournament appearances, including a berth in the national semifinals in 1999. He has coached more than 50 All-Americans and continues to be sought after as a featured speaker at regional and national coaching clinics.

“I am excited for Guy Van Arsdale and I am excited for Colorado College,” said Bill Tierney, who won six national championships at Princeton University and was recently named head coach at the University of Denver. “It is tremendous that a coach whom I hold in such high regard is coming to CC. It will be great fun to work with Guy to grow the game of lacrosse in the Western United States. This is a great move for Guy and an excellent hire for Colorado College.”

Van Arsdale enjoyed a highly decorated career as a goaltender at Hobart College, where he led the Statesmen to four consecutive national championships (1980-83) while playing for current Georgetown University head coach Dave Urick. Van Arsdale was named the C. Markland Kelly Goalie of the Year three times, the Division III Player of the Year in 1983 and participated in the North-South All-Star Game following his senior season. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1984.

“We, my wife Julia and I, are very grateful to President Dick Celeste, Athletic Director Ken Ralph and Associate Athletic Director Greg Capell for the opportunity to become very engaged members of the Colorado College community,” Van Arsdale said. “Everyone we met and came in contact with showed the creative and adventurous spirit that just permeates the whole campus and is truly infectious.

“We are excited to work with young men who are looking for the unique challenges that can be found at Colorado College and are very confident that we will be able to build on the already great history that Tiger Lacrosse boasts. I can’t imagine a greater place to be challenged and grow than in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Julia and I look forward to this happening with us, just as it does with the students at Colorado College.”

Van Arsdale succeeds David Zazzaro, who resigned on July 8 after eight seasons as head coach of the Tigers.


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