Story courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications
ITHACA, N.Y. – Andy Noel, the Meakem*Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education, has announced that Matt Kerwick has named the Richard M. Moran Head Coach of Men’s Lacrosse at Cornell University. Kerwick, who served in the position on an interim basis during the 2014 season, becomes the 11th head coach in the programs’ 122-year history.
“I am excited that Matt Kerwick has accepted our offer to become the Richard M. Moran Head Coach of Men’s Lacrosse,” said Noel. “His performance over the past two years has been exemplary and I could not be more pleased that he has the opportunity to continue the progress he has made with our program. I am keenly aware that Matt has the enthusiastic support of our team, staff, administration and our loyal alumni. Like them, I am most excited for the future of the program with Coach Kerwick at the helm.”
“It is truly an honor to be named the Richard M. Moran Head Coach of Men’s Lacrosse at Cornell,” said Kerwick. “To have an opportunity to coach at one of the most prestigious universities in the world with one the country’s most storied lacrosse traditions is what I’ve always aspired to do. I’m thankful to Andy Noel and Vice President Susan Murphy for their trust and confidence. I look forward to coaching the tremendous group of student-athletes and working with the alumni that make up the Cornell Lacrosse family for many years to come.”
Kerwick’s 2014 squad exceeded all expectations. Cornell was selected 17th overall in the 2014 Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason Poll, marking the first time since being tabbed 11th in 2003 that Cornell was chosen to finish outside the top 10. Once the Big Red season began on Feb. 22, the team rose in the USILA poll for four straight weeks before earning a No. 2 ranking on March 24. Altogether, the team stayed in the top 10 for five straight weeks.
The Big Red opened the season with a 9-0 record and was the last undefeated team in the nation. The 9-0 start was the best by a first-year coach in Cornell history since Ned Harkness won 22 straight. The 2014 team finished the year with an 11-5 record overall and a mark of 5-1 in the Ivy League.
The team won the Ivy League title and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, where it fell to national semifinalist Maryland on a goal scored with two seconds to play in the contest. Cornell finished in the season ranked first in the Ivy League in points per game, scoring margin, scoring offense, ground balls per game, and shot percentage, while ranking second in the Ivy League in assists per game, caused turnovers per game, face-off winning percentage, man-up offense and fewest turnovers per game.
Under Kerwick’s direction, Cornell swept the major Ivy League awards with Connor Buczek and Christian Knight earning Player and Rookie of the Year honors, respectively. The Big Red also had seven All-Ivy selections, including four first-team honorees, and five All-Americans.
Prior to his stint as interim head coach, Kerwick was
named an assistant coach for the Big Red for the 2013 season and
came to East Hill with 15 years of head coaching experience under
In his first season at Cornell, Kerwick helped the Big Red to a 14-4 record overall and an undefeated Ivy League championship with a mark of 6-0. His work with the offense helped the Big Red to rank first in the country in scoring margin (5.5), second overall in scoring offense (14.6 gpg) and fourth overall in assists per game (7.7).
Kerwick, a highly-regarded offensive coach, helped attackman Rob Pannell ’13 to become the NCAA Division I all-time career points leader (354). With 60 goals and 55 assists, respectively, Steve Mock and Pannell became the first pair of Cornell teammates to register 50 goals and 50 assists in the same season since Mike French (65 goals) and Eamon McEneaney (61 assists) in 1976.
Kerwick spent the 2012 season with Georgetown, working as an associate head coach on Dave Urick’s staff. It was his second stint with the Hoyas, as he spent three seasons there as an assistant coach and helped the program amass a 36-9 record and make an appearance in the final four in 1999 before returning to his alma mater as head coach.
Prior to his time at Georgetown, Kerwick spent two
seasons building the program at Jacksonville University after
accumulating 13 years of combined head coaching experience at
Randolph-Macon, Alfred and his alma mater, Hobart, where he spent
During his time with the Statesmen, Kerwick led Hobart to the Patriot League championship in 2002 and to two NCAA Tournament appearances (2002, 2004).
Over the years, Kerwick has been recognized as an
outstanding coach, being named the 1996 Super Six Lacrosse League
Coach of the Year, the 1997 "Babe" Kraus Division III National
Coach of the Year, the 2002 Patriot League Coach of the Year in
2002, and the 2008 ECAC Co-Coach of the Year.
Kerwick graduated from Hobart in 1990 with a degree in economics. He was a two-time All-American, won four consecutive Division III national championships, and was named the 1989 NCAA Tournament MVP. An all-around athlete, he was also a four-year letter winner on the Statesmen hockey team, serving as captain of both the lacrosse and hockey teams during his senior season. Kerwick finished his career by being named the William C. Stiles Award winner, presented to the Hobart senior student-athlete for leadership, determination and character. Following his collegiate career, he played in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1991 through 1996, earning the Baltimore Thunder's "Unsung Hero" award twice and was an all- star selection in 1992.
Kerwick resides in Skaneateles and he and his wife Mary have two sons, Thomas and Sean.