UMBC's Stephenson Named UMass Lowell Head Coach
|Ed Stephenson will be named the
first coach at UMass Lowell.
© John Strohsacker
updated 07.27.2013 at 1.41 p.m.
UMBC assistant coach Ed Stephenson has been named the head coach at UMass Lowell, the school announced Saturday afternoon, confirming the news first reported by LaxMagazine.com on Friday.
Stephenson has been at UMBC the last two seasons after resigning in protest from the head coaching job at Binghamton in 2011 after he felt Bearcat players were unjustly suspended after allegedly getting in a fight.
Stephenson was Binghamton's first-ever coach and in 2004 was America East coach of the year. He'll once again have the reins of a start-up program in UMass Lowell, which is joining Division I in all sports this fall and adding men's and women's lacrosse for the 2014-15 academic year. UMass Lowell had a men's lacrosse program in the past that was discontinued in 1989.
UMass Lowell will compete in the America East, meaning Stephenson will annually coach against both Binghamton and UMBC, where he was also an assistant to head coach Don Zimmerman in a prior stint from 2001-2005.
"I really love the New England area and this is such a great opportunity," Stephenson said in a press release Saturday. "I'm real excited. Athletics are very strong and have a great tradition at UMass Lowell. It's exciting to see the progress and momentum through the leadership of the Chancellor [Marty] Meehan. You can't find enough accolades for all the things that are going on."
UMass Lowell, nicknamed the River Hawks, won't be eligible for postseason play while it completes the four-year reclassification from Division II to Division I. They will be full America East members in 2017-18.
"Ed brings great energy, and his love for the sport is contagious," UMass Lowell athletic director Dana Skinner said. "We are excited to have someone with significant head coaching and recruiting experience to anchor the return of lacrosse as we head into Division I and the America East Conference."
Stephenson has served on the NCAA men's lacrosse rules committee (2008-11), the USILA men's lacrosse weekly ranking committee from (2006-11) and the NCAA men's lacrosse All-America voting committee (2008-11), and he was an NCAA site representative for the 2010 NCAA Division I first-round games in Ithaca, N.Y.
There are now no more Division I men's lacrosse head coaching openings in what was a relatively quiet summer coaching carousel.
Stephenson, who plans to relocate to the greater Lowell area, starts Aug. 1.
"Recruiting is paramount, so we'll begin that process immediately," Stephenson said. "We will focus on hardworking student-athletes who will be ready to play good lacrosse and receive a good education at an affordable cost. The first year is quite a challenge for that first group of recruits, but with that challenge comes a great reward."