The St. Bonaventure Bonnies have made their first move since announcing the formation of their men’s lacrosse program.
Via Inside Lacrosse and another source close to the program, the Bonnies are set to hire Randy Mearns as their first ever head coach. Mearns had been the head coach at nearby Canisius College for 19 years before today’s announcement.
While at Canisius, Mearns, an alumni of the school, won to MAAC Championships in 2008 and 2012, and appeared in the NCAA Tournament both years. He also led the Canadian National Team to a gold medal in the 2014 FIL World Championship.
Mearns had exactly 100 wins at the school, 74 of them coming in conference play, and led the Canisius Golden Griffins to their first-ever win against a ranked school in 2014, when they defeated the Albany Great Danes.
Mearns has been a huge part of the Canisius program since their inception in 1989. He was part of their first recruiting class under former head coach Ed Van Tine. Mearns was an offensive weapon when he played, and to this day, he holds the single-season records for points and assists. He also tops the school’s career assists mark with 95.
Mearns led the Golden Griffins to a 6-9 record this season, 4-2 in MAAC regular season play, before falling to Monmouth in the MAAC semifinals.
Mearns was drafted by the Buffalo Bandits of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League in 1992 and later played with the Rochester Knighthawks. He won Champions Cups in 1993 with the Bandits and in 1997 with the Knighthawks.
This is an excellent move for AD Tim Kenney. Not only did the Bonnies get an experienced lacrosse coach in Mearns, but they also got someone that knows the Buffalo, Rochester, and Central New York area very well. Before becoming the AD at St. Bonaventure, Kenney was also the sport administrator for lacrosse at UMass and was very eager to add lacrosse to the school’s varsity sports programs.
The next question for St. Bonaventure to answer is if they decide to go to a conference. They’re still a year away from beginning play, but that doesn’t mean they have to start as an independent. As Safe mentioned yesterday in his article about conference realignment, he thinks the Bonnies and the MAAC “are a match made in heaven.” I think the hiring of Mearns makes it even more likely for the Bonnies to go to the MAAC. But if more Atlantic 10 teams decide to add men’s lacrosse, such as George Washington, La Salle, and VCU, the Bonnies should jump there, along with current programs Richmond, St. Joe’s, and UMass.
I would not be surprised that they might make some noise in the next four or five years, similar to what teams like Monmouth and Boston University have done in a small period of time.
Updates Coaching Carousel is below:
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)|