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Mercadante steps down as Ursinus men’s coach, Shaffer (La Salle) promoted to interim post

Friday, 12th August 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 8/12/22
From Press Release

Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse Associate Head Coach Corey Shaffer (La Salle) has been promoted to the role of Interim Head Coach, announced by the program on Friday morning. Shaffer will replace Gary Mercadante, who has accepted a position outside of athletics.

Corey Shaffer

“Ursinus College is extremely fortunate to have had such a talented coach in Corey Shaffer on our men’s lacrosse staff for the past four years,” said Ursinus Athletic Director Erin Stroble. “His transition to Interim Head Coach will be seamless as he has already proven his dedication to providing a positive and competitive experience for our men’s lacrosse student-athletes. Our team is in great hands to continue their success.”

Shaffer has been an integral part of the recent success of the Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse program since his arrival to Collegeville in the Fall of 2018. The Bears won their first Centennial Conference Championship in program history during his debut season on the coaching staff. The team has qualified for a pair of Centennial Conference tournaments as well, including the previous 2022 season where they advanced to the semifinal round against eventual conference champion Dickinson.

Mercadante concludes his career at Ursinus with an overall record of 32-14 and 14-8 in Centennial action. He will forever be etched in Bears Men’s Lacrosse history by winning the program’s first-ever Centennial Conference Championship in 2019. He coached 16 All-Centennial selections with two attaining All-American status during his four-year tenure as head coach.

The Bears ascended to as high as number six in the USILA National Poll, the highest in program history, during the 2020 season before it was cut short at the start of the COVID-10 pandemic.

“My family and I are so thankful and appreciative for our time at Ursinus College,” Mercadante said. “I am grateful for all of the support from our outstanding leadership in the athletics department and could not be prouder of the success our student-athletes have achieved on and off the field together. Our family will forever cherish our memories as a part of the Ursinus community and look forward to continuing to cheer on the Bears for years to come.

“I am truly excited for the future of the Men’s Lacrosse program under the leadership of Corey Shaffer. Corey brings an unwavering belief and commitment to our student-athletes that has been a pivotal part of our program’s success over the past four years. I am thrilled that the program is in his hands and look forward to this next chapter for the Bears.”

Shaffer has served as the Bears defensive coordinator under Mercadante during his four years on the staff and was promoted to his previous associate head coach title in 2021. He began his coaching career with Mercadante at Delaware Valley for two seasons, serving as the offensive coordinator and goalkeeper’s coach for the Aggies. Shaffer played goalkeeper during his four-year collegiate career at McDaniel.

“I am honored to become the fourth head coach in Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse history,” Shaffer said. “I would like to thank Erin Stroble and Laura Moliken for their guidance through this process and I am excited to take on this challenge under their mentorship.

“Lastly, I would like to thank Gary Mercadante for everything he has done for me in my career. He worked tirelessly over the past four years to build a strong foundation for this program, and I hope to continue the success he has created for men’s lacrosse at Ursinus.”

Shaffer was a first-team All-Catholic League goalie for La Salle in 2011 and 2012 and helped the Explorers reach the PIAA 3A championship game in 2012 when they fell to Conestoga.

The Bears are coming off a 2022 season where they finished 8-8 overall and 5-3 in Centennial Conference play. Ursinus qualified for the Centennial Conference Tournament for the second-straight time the tournament was held.

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