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Princeton hires Ridley grad and former Notre Dame great Podgajny as men’s assistant lacrosse coach

Tuesday, 12th July 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 7/12/11
From Press Releases

Michael Podgajny helped take one team of Tigers to the NCAA lacrosse tournament last spring.

Ridley grad Michael Podgajny, seen here at a Princeton camp, has been hired as an assistant coach at Princeton

This coming spring, he’ll try to do the same for the Princeton Tigers.

Podgajny, a former Ridley great who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Colorado College, is joining the men’s lacrosse coaching staff at Princeton University under head coach Chris Bates.

A 2008 graduate of Notre Dame, Podgajny (pronounced puh-GO-nee) takes over for Stephen Brundage, who left Princeton to become an assistant coach at Marquette.

“He’s going to be a great coach,” Bates said. “He’s got a very impressive background as a player and student at Notre Dame, where he helped to elevate the program there. He’s a very well-respected young coach.”

Podgajny comes to Princeton after three years on the Division III level, first at Ursinus in the powerful Centennial Conference and then the last two years at Colorado College. He helped the Tigers to a 15-0 regular-season record and a spot in the NCAA tournament this past spring and a two-year record of 25-3.

“I grew up playing lacrosse in suburban Philadelphia, and I’ve always been excited by the thought of being part of Princeton lacrosse family,” said Podgajny, a 2004 US Lacrosse All-American who helped Ridley win state championships from 2001-03. “Now, being able to work alongside Coach Bates and Coach [Greg] Raymond, I couldn’t think of a better opportunity for a young coach.”

While at Colorado College, Podgajny worked with the offense and the face-off specialists under head coach Guy Van Arsdale. He also served as travel coordinator for the only Division III team to play in all four time zones.

Podgajny left his first post-college job ­ in the investment business ­to become part of the staff for Ursinus head coach Jamie Steele in 2009.

“He’s worked for two outstanding head coaches,” Bates said. “We’re very happy to have him come to Princeton.”

Podgajny was a two-time All-America as a midfielder at Notre Dame, and he helped the Irish to three NCAA tournament appearances. He scored 68 goals and added 36 goals in his career, while also earning USILA Scholar All-America honors.

He was a first-round selection in the 2008 Major League Lacrosse draft. A four-year MLL veteran, he is currently a member of the Denver Outlaws.

“I’m honored to work alongside Chris and Greg,” he said. “I hope to contribute all I can to help Princeton continue being one of the most prominent programs in Division I lacrosse.”

Princeton won the Ivy League tournament in Bates’ first season as head coach before being devastated by injuries during a 2011 season that saw no fewer than 16 players miss games after getting hurt.

Princeton will return seven starters in 2012, including All-Americas Tyler Fiorito (goalie), Chad Wiedmaier (defenseman) and Thomas Schreiber (midfielder).



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