UMass men’s lacrosse program leader enters 24th season as head coach in 2017-18
AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford announced a two-year contract extension for men’s lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella on Thursday. Extended through the 2019-20 season, Cannella begins his 24th campaign in 2017-18.
“Greg has created a winning culture at UMass and we are excited to support him as our head coach for the foreseeable future,” Bamford said. “Under Greg’s leadership, we are confident that with additional investments in our men’s lacrosse program, we will realize regular conference championships and increased national visibility.”
A 1988 UMass graduate, Cannella holds an all-time record of 194-137 (.586) with eight NCAA Tournament berths, eight New England Championships, three trips to the NCAA quarterfinals and one NCAA Championship Game appearance. His tenure at Massachusetts marks one of the longest active terms in NCAA Division I. He ranks second among active head coach coaches for tenure at one institution while Cannella is fifth in total years as a head coach among current Division I program leaders.
“I am thrilled to continue to serve as the head coach of the University of Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team,” Cannella said. “As my alma mater, and a program I have been a member of for nearly 30 years, I hope to continue to serve the student-athletes who give their all to this University for as long as I coach lacrosse. Thank you to Ryan Bamford, Darrice Griffin and to the UMass Laxbackers, our strong network of alumni, for continuing to support UMass men’s lacrosse and our vision of what this program is all about.”
Cannella was promoted to head coach on Nov. 9, 1994 after the Lynbrook, New York, native spent two years as an assistant coach with the program during the 1993 and 1994 seasons. He immediately continued the long-established success of the program created by legendary head coach Richard F. Garber (1955-90) and sustained by Ted Garber (1991-94) with a berth in the NCAA Tournament during Cannella’s first year at the helm.
Over the last 23 years, Cannella’s Minutemen won 10 or more games during seven seasons, including a team-record 15 victories in 2012. The program ranks among the top 15 nationally in wins since the beginning of the 2001 campaign with 154 for an average of 9.1 per season in that span.
In total, Cannella tutored 102 all-region honorees, 45 USILA All-America selections and 14 academic all-Americans. He was named the 2006 USILA Coach of the Year, won NEILA Coach of the Year on five occasions, earned ECAC Coach of the Year in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2009, and collected CAA Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012.