Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/1/11
From Press Releases
Taylor Wray, the top assistant at Lehigh and captain of the Philadelphia Wings, has been named head men’s lacrosse coach at St. Joseph’s University.
The announcement was made today by St. Joe’s athletic director Don DiJulia.
“We are thrilled and honored to have Taylor join the Saint Joseph’s athletic community,” said DiJulia. “He has achieved great things as both a player and a coach. His passion, leadership and vision will advance the Saint Joseph’s lacrosse program to become a contender in the Colonial Athletic Association.”
Wray replaces Pat Cullinan, who resigned after an 0-12 season, the Hawks’ first as a member of the CAA.
“I can’t thank Don DiJulia and the search committee enough for giving me the opportunity to be the next head coach of the Saint Joseph’s men’s lacrosse team,” Wray said. “It is an honor and a privilege to lead this program and I am excited to get started.
“I know we have a tremendous amount of hard work in front of us, but I am confident we can rebuild a winning tradition. This is an exciting time for me and my wife as we are thrilled to be joining the Hawks’ lacrosse family, and we can’t wait to get to know the team, parents and alumni.”
Wray joined the Lehigh staff in September 2007 and served as the defensive coach and recruiting coordinator. The Mountain Hawks made great strides during his tenure and in 2011, registered the nation’s eighth biggest improvement according to LaxPower’s computer ratings. Lehigh qualified for the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2006, while the defense lowered its goals against average by almost one goal.
“It has been an honor to have my good friend Taylor Wray on staff here at Lehigh for the last four years,” said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. “He has been a key component to the overall growth of the program and I have no doubt that he will make a terrific head coach at the Division I level. I wish him all the best as he gets set to take over the lacrosse program at Saint Joseph’s University.”
From 2003 to 2006 Wray was an assistant coach at Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.) and then served as the lacrosse coach, academic coordinator and strength and conditioning specialist at the National Sport Academy for one year in 2007.
He enjoyed a successful playing career at Duke, helping the Blue Devils to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and winning ACC Tournament titles in 2001 and 2002. Serving as the team captain in 2003, he earned the Eric Tyler Hardy Defensive Player of the Year award and was a four-time selection to the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
“For the people who know Taylor like I do, it is understood that he is going to be a star in this profession,” said Mike Pressler, Wray’s coach at Duke and the current head coach at Bryant University. “In my 29 years of college coaching, I’ve never come across a better leader.
“He is a young man of impeccable character and high moral fiber and just one of the true gentlemen in our game today. It’s going to be very exciting for me to follow Taylor’s coaching career from afar as he very quickly takes the Saint Joseph’s program to the next level, as we know he will.”
Upon graduating from Duke in 2003 with a bachelor’s of science degree, Wray was drafted second overall by the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League. He made an immediate impact, being named the 2004 Rookie of the Year, the Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-Star while helping Calgary to the NLL Championship.
A three-time NLL All-Star, he currently plays for the Wings, and served as team captain in 2011.
A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Wray has also excelled internationally. He is currently an assistant coach for the Canadian National Team, and is the defensive coordinator for the 2012 U-19 Team and the 2014 Men’s National Team. He served in the same role for the 2010 National Team, which finished second at the 2010 World Championships.
As a player, he was a member of the National Team which captured the International Lacrosse Federation World Championship for field lacrosse in 2006 and for indoor lacrosse in 2007. He was named to the All-World Team in 2007.