Dartmouth's quest for a new head men's lacrosse coach -- started after Andy Towers left the program in late-June -- is over. The Big Green, despite authority that decidedly favored the program elevating Keggy the Keg from mascot to head men's lacrosse coach, decided to hire an actual human for its vacancy, running down and ensnaring Lehigh assistant coach Brendan Callahan.
Inside Lacrosse -- Terry Foy is basically wire tapping the country to get these scoops -- broke the news yesterday:
Brendan Callahan is set to become Dartmouth’s next head coach, sources are telling Inside Lacrosse. Callahan has been an assistant at Lehigh since finishing his goalie career at Stony Brook, and he was promoted to the Mountain Hawks’ defensive coordinator in 2012. He’s also acted as coach Kevin Cassese’s recruiting coordinator.
It's pretty ridiculous that an anthropomorphic keg can't get a fair interview for a head men's lacrosse coach job in 2014. We're really no better than the damn terrorists.
What Callahan lacks in decades of coaching experience -- Callahan graduated from Stony Brook in 2007 and immediately started working for Kevin Cassese at Lehigh -- he makes up for in first-hand program-building: In his seven seasons in Bethlehem, Callahan has helped Cassese establish the Mountain Hawks as a legitimate lacrosse concern, going 64-49 with Lehigh -- 46-22 in the last four seasons -- while winning two Patriot League Tournament crowns and making consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013 (the only appearances the program has made in the history of The Big Barbeque). And Callahan wasn't just a cog in the overall Mountain Hawks machine during the program's bloom: Callahan has run the team's defense the last three seasons -- one of the best units in the nation over that period -- and has served as Lehigh's recruiting coordinator.
Callahan is young, but there is some pop in his resume. The question, then, is whether he has the touch to turn around Dartmouth's particular situation.
The Big Green haven't experienced a winning season since 2006 when Bill Wilson led the program to an 8-7 record and have not participated in a single Ivy League Tournament since the conference implemented the adopted its postseason format in the 2010 season. In more recent seasons, Dartmouth has been among the weaker programs in the nation in terms of relative strength, highlighted in one study as residing right around the top of the bottom third of the nation over the last three years. Callahan has work ahead of him in Hanover to try and create some momentum for the Green, and a lost summer of recruiting is expected to make his job that much more difficult.
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