Yale Assistant Polley Named First Boston University Men's Coach
updated 06.21.2012 at 11.00 a.m.
from staff reports | Division I Coaching Carousel
BOSTON - Ryan Polley, an 11-year coaching veteran in New England and the defensive coordinator for this year's Ivy League tournament champion, has been named the inaugural head men's lacrosse coach at Boston University, it was announced Thursday by Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Mike Lynch.
Polley (POLE-ee) has spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Yale University, heading up the defense for the past four. This spring, he helped the Bulldogs claim the Ivy League tournament title with convincing wins over perennial powers Cornell and Princeton, earning the program's first NCAA bid since 1992 in the process. Yale finished the year ranked 11th in the final USILA Division I poll.
Prior to his time at Yale, Polley was the head coach at Merrimack College - his alma mater - for three seasons (2004-06). He capped his tenure with the Warriors by being named the New England Division II Coach of the Year for the second time in three years after his squad finished with a record of 11-5 and a national ranking of eighth at season's end.
"It is with great pleasure that I welcome Ryan Polley to Boston University as our first varsity men's lacrosse coach," said Lynch. "His head-coaching experience along with his efforts in pushing Yale to the top of the Ivy League made him a fantastic candidate. After learning more and more about him, it was easy to recognize that he's the right choice to get our program off and running."
Ever since Polley took over the reins of the Yale defense, the results have been remarkable. The Bulldogs have recorded three straight 10-win seasons, beginning with a 2010 campaign that saw them earn a share of the Ivy title for the first time since 1990 and become the top-ranked team in New England. Five players received All-Ivy recognition this past season with three earning All-America honors as the Bulldogs strung together their longest win streak in over two decades.
Under Polley's charge, the 2011 Yale squad ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense (7.57) and third in caused turnovers (10.2) a year after being ranked 10th and sixth, respectively, in those categories.
“Every kid that played for Ryan, and their parents, loved him,” said Jon Reese, a 2011 National Lacrosse Hall of Famer and Yale’s all-time leading scorer whose last name is on Yale’s soccer and lacrosse stadium. “He’s a guy who commanded respect and admiration. We’ll miss him, but we’re also excited for him.”
As one of the youngest head coaches in the country, Polley guided Merrimack to back-to-back top-10 finishes in Division II (2005, 2006) while having his players sweep the New England player and rookie of the year awards in both of those seasons. His defense ranked fifth in the country in 2005 while his offense averaged 13.3 goals per game in 2006, good for eighth nationally. He also produced a pair of All-Americans, including the 2006 NCAA all-divisions point leader.
Prior to taking over the Merrimack post, Polley was the first-ever head coach for the girls' lacrosse program at Andover High School. His 2003 team went undefeated in the regular season and he compiled a record of 44-12-3 over the course of three seasons.
An All-American and a two-time All-Northeast-10 selection at Merrimack, Polley was a three-sport athlete for the Warriors, as he also played football and basketball in North Andover before focusing on lacrosse. He served as captain of the lacrosse team for three seasons and was a two-year captain in football as the squad's starting quarterback. A native of Downingtown, Pa., Polley attended Malvern Prep and was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame last fall.
Polley, who graduated magna cum laude from Merrimack in 1999 with a bachelor's in business administration, will now head up Boston University's transition from club to varsity lacrosse, as the Terriers will begin Division I competition in the 2013-14 season as a member of the Patriot League.
"I'm ecstatic to join the Terrier family," said Polley. "From the moment I walked on campus, I was impressed by the energy and the love that everyone had for BU. I know it's going to be a big challenge, especially in the Patriot League, but BU is well-positioned to attract the highest caliber student-athletes with its resources, its stellar academic reputation and its location. I'm very appreciative of Mike [Lynch] and [Deputy Director of Athletics] Drew [Marrochello] and am grateful for this amazing opportunity."
This past season, the Patriot League boasted three ranked squads in the final USILA national poll (Lehigh, 4th; Colgate, 9th; Bucknell, 20th) in addition to perennial powers Army and Navy. Lehigh and Colgate reached the NCAA tournament and the Raiders advanced to the quarterfinals after upsetting previously undefeated Massachusetts.
The athletic department will officially introduce Polley and his wife, Carolyn, to the Boston University community at a reception on a later date.
original story 06.20.2012
Yale assistant coach Ryan Polley has accepted an offer to be Boston University's first men's varsity lacrosse coach, sources have told Lacrosse Magazine. An official announcement is expected Wednesday.
A source told LM on Tuesday morning that Polley became Boston's top choice once Loyola assistant Dan Chemotti turned down the school's offer on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch wrote on Twitter: "BU Men's Lax........Red alert. Stay tuned for more tomorrow."
Polley could not immediately be reached for comment.
Polley, 35, has risen quickly in the coaching ranks in the past few seasons and been highly sought after. Before accepting the Yale position, Polley was offered but turned down the Lafayette vacancy last week. In 2009, he was a finalist at Haverford College, a position that went to Colin Bathory.
He spent the last six years at Yale, and he was named defensive coordinator after the 2010 season, during which four Yale defensive players earned All-Ivy League honors. The Bulldogs went 11-5 in 2012, allowing an average of 9.19 goals per game (18th nationally), and lost 13-7 to Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament first round.
Polley previously was head coach for three seasons at his alma mater, Merrimack College. He also spent three years coaching girls lacrosse at Andover (Mass.) High.
Boston University in mid-February announced it would elevate men's lacrosse from club to varsity status beginning with the 2013-14 season. Last week the school formally accepted an invitation to join the Patriot League for the same season.
Polley's hiring adds clarity to the ever-spinning coaching carousel.
On Friday, LM reported Duke assistant Chris Gabrielli will become the next head coach at Providence College. An introductory press conference is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.
In late May, U.S. men's national senior team and long-time Navy coach Richie Meade was hired as the first head coach at Furman, which on Tuesday announced it will begin varsity competition for the 2013-14 season — one year ahead of schedule.
The remaining Division I men's lacrosse coaching openings are at Manhattan, Lafayette and Monmouth, the latter of which begins varsity competition in the spring of 2014.
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