Former Rutgers assistant coach, Albany defenseman joins Greg Cannella’s staff at UMass
AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team and head coach Greg Cannella announced the addition of Craig McDonald as an assistant coach on Wednesday. McDonald spent the previous three seasons at Rutgers, where he coached the defense and served as the team’s recruiting coordinator.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work under Greg Cannella as a member of the UMass lacrosse staff,” McDonald said. “I have great respect for Coach Cannella and the program that he has built here and I am thrilled to be part of the UMass lacrosse family. I look forward to working alongside assistant coach Brian Jacovina and with the great men in this program and I could not be more excited to get started.”
In 2013, McDonald mentored Big East Goalie of the Year Kris Alleyne while the squad pulled in four all-conference selections following the 2014 campaign. Prior to working with the Rutgers men’s lacrosse program, McDonald was on-staff at Siena to help the team win the Mid-American Athletic Conference and advance to the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
McDonald joined the collegiate coaching ranks in 2008 when he was named an assistant at Union College under 1999 National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee Paul Wehrum. While at Union College, McDonald filled roles as the defensive and recruiting coordinator. In 2010, under McDonald’s tutelage, the Dutchmen ranked second among all NCAA Division III programs for scoring defense and fifth for man-down defense while goalie Sean Aaron earned the lowest goals-against average nationally with only 5.69 given up per game.
“We are thrilled to have Craig McDonald join our staff,” Cannella said. “His experience as a player, coach and mentor will serve our players and program extremely well. Having known Craig for over 12 years now, I have had the opportunity to watch him excel in aspect of his life. Playing for Scott Marr, then working for coaches Paul Wehrum and Brian Brecht has provided Craig with great role models and teachers to emulate. I know his transition here at UMass will be seamless as he becomes the defensive coordinator of our program.”
McDonald played four seasons at Albany from 2005-08, totaling three all-conference selections as a starter on close defense for the Great Danes. The native of Geneva, N.Y., helped the squad make NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005 and 2007 while the program won 41 games during his playing tenure, an average of more than 10 victories per season.