NEWBERRY – Director of Athletics Ralph Patterson has announced the addition of men’s lacrosse as Newberry’s 20th NCAA Division II sport and the hiring of Nick Cotter to lead the program into its first season of competition in the spring of 2018.
Lacrosse has been a mainstay on campus since 2012, when the women’s game first came to Newberry. Home games will be played at Setzler Field, with the men’s lacrosse program joining football, field hockey, and women’s lacrosse at the facility that first hosted Newberry contests in 1922.
Cotter will serve as the program’s inaugural head coach. Cotter had a remarkable collegiate playing career as a three-time All-American at Dowling College that led the Golden Lions to their first-ever Division II national title game appearance in 2006. He has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Saint Leo University in Florida, where he helped the 2016 Lions to a 9-5 overall record and a final ranking just outside the top 20 in the coaches’ poll.
“I’m thankful that Newberry has given me the opportunity to come in and start the program from scratch,” said Cotter. “I look forward to contributing to the winning culture here and joining the Newberry family.”
“We had an outstanding pool of applicants,” said Patterson, “and Nick's name kept coming up from people we had conversations with in our search. We're excited that he's joining the Newberry College family. We look forward to watching him build a great lacrosse program.”
Cotter has also made a collegiate coaching stop at Mercyhurst North East and served as a player/coach with the Charlotte Copperheads of the Professional Lacrosse League. His playing career came to an end following the 2015 season and included stints with three National Lacrosse League franchises as well as teams in two other leagues.
The Ontario native enjoyed his best professional seasons in the NLL, which is an indoor league that includes five American and four Canadian franchises. In a career spanning five NLL seasons, Cotter scored 48 goals and recorded 43 assists in 48 professional games. Cotter recorded his best season in 2010, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 14 assists in 13 games in helping the Boston Blazers advance to the NLL’s Eastern Division Semifinal.
Cotter spent three seasons learning under the tutelage of Brad Jorgensen, who is the only head coach in Saint Leo history and ushered the program into varsity competition prior to the 2006 campaign.
“Nick has a ton of offensive knowledge,” said Jorgensen. “He led the best man-up unit in Division II Lacrosse last season, bringing his unique playing and coaching experience to the field. He’s a tireless recruiter with deep ties in Canadian and Junior College lacrosse as well. He is uniquely prepared to start Newberry's lacrosse program from scratch.”
The Wolves will become the ninth South Atlantic Conference school to sponsor men’s lacrosse of the 11 teams that will make up the league next season, joining Catawba, Coker, Lenoir-Rhyne, Lincoln Memorial, Mars Hill, Queens, Tusculum, and Wingate in SAC competition.