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Reports: Delaware To Hire Ben DeLuca As Head Coach

The post-Bob Shillinglaw begins with a former Cornell head coach.

UPDATE: Delaware has made it official.

A few notable lacrosse faces had some great things to say about DeLuca in the press release:

John Danowski, Duke University Head Men's Lacrosse Coach: “I am thrilled beyond words to learn of the appointment of Ben DeLuca as head men's lacrosse coach at the University of Delaware. It was an honor for me to work alongside Ben for two years. Professionally, he checks all the boxes, well-prepared, organized, detail-oriented, open to new ideas, enthusiastic, a great communicator. But what sets him apart is his dedication to a young man's development as a student, athlete and person and his core values, specifically his faith, family and friends.”

Bob Shillinglaw, Former Delaware Men's Lacrosse Head Coach, University of Delaware (1979-2017; 310 wins; 2-time USILA National Coach of the Year): “I am extremely excited to welcome Ben DeLuca to the Blue Hen Family as the next lacrosse coach at the University of Delaware along with his wife Laurie and daughters Elizabeth and Anne. Ben's resume speaks for itself. During his coaching career he coached with some of the sport's greatest mentors. He has a long history of success coaching teams to the NCAA tournament while emphasizing academics, community service, alumni involvement and career development. The University of Delaware is extremely fortunate to have someone of Ben's character and most importantly passion to be the next head lacrosse coach.”

Rob Pannell, Cornell ‘13 (2013 Tewaaraton Trophy as National Player of the Year; No. 2 all-time in NCAA with 354 career points; 2016 MLL Offensive Player of the Year): "The University of Delaware is not only getting a great coach with great knowledge of the sport and what it takes to win at the highest level but more importantly they are getting a great person. Coach DeLuca cares about having success, but that success goes far beyond the lacrosse field. It goes into the classroom and community and having players leave campus as young men ready to take on anything that may come their way. Coach DeLuca is a passionate leader and I couldn't be more excited for the current members of the team, the University of Delaware and Coach DeLuca and his family to start a new chapter for the UD lacrosse program!"

John Grant, Jr., UD Lacrosse Alum ‘99 (UD Athletics Hall of Fame; 1999 USILA National Player of the Year; Two-time NLL Most Valuable Player; 2-time MLL Most Valuable Player): “As a proud alum of the University of Delaware Lacrosse program, I am so excited to have Ben DeLuca as the next head coach. Ben has a championship pedigree and has coached with some of the best lacrosse minds in the history of the game. Ben is a tireless recruiter and has a strong desire to mentor his student athletes on and off the field. He has developed numerous All Americans and two Tewaaraton winners in his illustrious career and helped develop some of the top Ivy League students in the country. Ben is a proven winner and I look forward to him leading our Hens back to national prominence.”


For the first time in 39 years, a furry mustache won’t graze the sidelines for the Delaware Blue Hens.

According to Terry Foy of Inside Lacrosse, as well as our good pal Ryan Danehy (aka SOURCE GAWD), who we heard it from first, former Harvard associate head coach Ben DeLuca will be named the new head coach of the Blue Hens, and will usher in a new era in Newark, Delaware.

DeLuca has been at Cambridge for two seasons after spending two seasons as an assistant and defensive coordinator at Duke, where he was also a part of their National Championship winning team in 2014.

DeLuca is in his early 40s, and has spent most of his collegiate lacrosse career with the Cornell Big Red, as a player, and as a coach. He graduated in 1998 and was a leader on the Big Red defense. A few years later, he returned to Ithaca as an assistant, before being promoted to associate head coach in 2007, followed by becoming their head coach in 2011.

From 2004-2013, DeLuca helped guide Cornell to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, including four appearances to Championship Weekend in from 2007-2009 and in 2013. Three times, the Big Red made the semifinals, while they were the runner-up in 2009.

During DeLuca’s time as head coach, the Big Red won a pair of Ivy League championships and posted a 37-11 overall record and a conference mark of 16-2. 12 players were named All-Americans, including a guy by the name of Rob Pannell.

There is a Delaware connection with DeLuca’s wife, Laurie Tortorelli. She was a former All-American goalie for the Delaware women’s team.

I really like this move and think DeLuca deserved another chance at being a head coach. He was fired from his job in the fall of 2013 after the team was suspended for alcohol-related hazing. He has a young and talented attack unit in Charlie Kitchen, Andrew Romagnoli, and Joe Eisele returning next season, as well as sophomore goaltender Matt DeLuca, who’s not related to Ben DeLuca. He did really well at Cornell, mainly because of Pannell, so we should see how he does with a team that doesn’t have a transcending superstar.

As for Harvard, that opens up a top assistant role with the team. Who knows if the Crimson will search for a new assistant or promote one of their current assistants.

2017 Coaching Carousel Big Board

School Former BOSS New BOSS
School Former BOSS New BOSS
Delaware Bob Shillinglaw Ben DeLuca
Michigan John Paul Kevin Conry
Cornell Matt Kerwick Peter Milliman (interim)
St. Bonaventure N/A Randy Mearns
Canisius Randy Mearns Brendan Murphy (interim)
Canisius (again) Brendan Murphy (interim) Mark Miyashita
Lafayette Jim Rogalski Ed Williams (interim)