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Penn State hires successful Cornell mentor Tambroni as men’s coach; could be seen as boost for Philly players

Friday, 18th June 2010

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 6/18/10
From Press Releases

Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley has named Jeff Tambroni as the new head coach of the Nittany Lion men’s lacrosse team. Tambroni, who just led Cornell to its third appearance in the NCAA semifinals in the last four years, replaces Glenn Thiel, who retired in May.

Tambroni comes to Penn State after 10 superb seasons as head coach at Cornell. He picked up his eighth straight Ivy League title (either outright or shared) and led the Big Red to a second straight national semifinal appearance.

In 2009, Cornell advanced all the way to the national title game. Tambroni’s stint at Cornell saw the re-emergence of the Big Red as a national lacrosse power. The hiring of Tambroni could be seen as a major boost for Penn State, which features a number of Philly players – including returning all-league attackman Matt Mackrides (Malvern Prep) and regulars Dave Baker (Haverford High, goaltender), Matt Bernier (Malvern Prep, defenseman), Billy Davis (Conestoga, defenseman), Colton Vosburgh (Unionville, midfielder) and Ryan McGarvey (Penn Charter, defenseman).

Inside Lacrosse reported last month that Mackrides, who led the Lions in scoring this season, had received a temporary release and was exploring the possibility of transferring – depending on the hiring of the next coach.

Also this year there are six Philly recruits headed to Penn State, including All-Americans Austin Kaut (Springfield-Delco, goaltender) and Tim Golder (Avon Grove) as well as Shane Sturgis (Downingtown East, sttackman), Brendan Nave (Springfild-Delco, defenseman), Ryan Mullen (Hatboro-Horsham, defenseman) and Stephen Aitken (Haverford School, attackman).

Other Philly players on the Penn State roster include two players that missed all of 2010 due to injury: midfielder Alex Garrity (Strath Haven) and attackman Jack Forster (La Salle); as well as midfielders Greg Brown (Central Bucks West), Billy Lloyd (Unionville), Conrad Ridgway (La Salle), Greg Sampson (West Chester East) and Eric Davidheiser (Hill School), attackman Randy Forster (La Salle) and defenseman Alex Gannett (Downingtown East).

Tambroni was awarded the 2009 Morris Touchstone Award as the USILA Coach of the Year after last season’s run to the NCAA Finals and was also named the 2007 and the 2009 FieldTurf/NCAA Division I Coach of the Year. He has led Cornell to three NCAA semifinal appearances in the past four seasons (2007, 2009 and 2010) and one NCAA title game (2009).

“We are thrilled to have Jeff Tambroni join the Penn State family and take the helm of our men’s lacrosse program,” said Curley. “Jeff has established himself as one of the premier coaches in the country and his success at Cornell speaks for itself.

“He is the perfect person to take our lacrosse program to the next level and establish Penn State as a national presence in one of the country’s fastest growing sports. I look forward to watching the progress our program makes under his guidance.”

Among the nation’s most successful lacrosse coaches, Tambroni is currently ranked fifth among active Division I coaches in winning percentage (109-40 for .732) and became the 10th-fastest coach in men’s lacrosse history to reach the 100-win mark when he did it in his 134th career game in March of 2010. During his head-coaching tenure,

Tambroni’s players have earned 37 first-team All-Ivy honors, including five Ivy League Player of the Year awards and three Rookie of the Year selections. He has also helped his players to earn a combined 39 All-America honors.

“My family and I are both grateful and excited for the opportunity offered by Tim Curley to represent the Penn State men’s lacrosse program,” Tambroni said. “Penn State athletics are synonymous with success and we are hopeful that the lacrosse program will follow a similar path.

“We would also like to thank Cornell’s Director of Athletics, Andy Noel, and the Cornell lacrosse family for their support during our time in Ithaca. We have fond memories of Cornell and are honored to have been part of the Cornell lacrosse program for the past thirteen years.”

Prior to his head coaching duties at Cornell, Tambroni was an assistant at Cornell from 1997 to 2000. Before heading to Ithaca, he served as assistant coach at Loyola College during the 1997 season and at Hobart for three seasons, helping the Statesmen to the 1994 NCAA Division III championship game.

A 1992 graduate of Hobart with a bachelor of arts degree in American studies, Tambroni was named first-team All-America as a senior, after scoring 33 goals with 24 assists. He was a second-team All-America selection in 1990 and 1991, as the Statesmen won the NCAA Division III championship.

He was named most valuable player of the 1990 championship game and left Hobart tied for seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list with 202 points. He left the Statesmen ranked sixth in assists (99) and 12th in goals (103).

Before embarking upon his collegiate coaching career, Tramboni coached the Heaton Mersey Lacrosse Club of the English Lacrosse Union for one year and served as a visiting coach for the Czech-American Lacrosse Foundation in Prague in the summer of 1996. Tambroni and his wife, Michelle, have three daughters, Carissa, Madison and Ella.


Year W-L Pct. Season Notes
2001 7-6 .538
2002 11-4 .733 NCAA Quarterfinals
2003 9-4 .692 Co-Ivy Champions
2004 9-5 .643 Co-Ivy Champions, NCAA Quarterfinals
2005 11-3 .786 Ivy Champions, NCAA Quarterfinals
2006 11-3 .786 Co-Ivy Champions, NCAA First Round
2007 15-1 .938 Ivy Champions, NCAA Semifinalist
2008 11-4 .733 Co-Ivy Champions, NCAA First Round
2009 13-4 .764 Co-Ivy Champions, NCAA Runner-Up
2010 12-6 .667 Co-Ivy Champions, NCAA Semifinalist
TOTAL 109-40 .732


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