Towson promotes Nadelen to head men's lacrosse coach

'This guy is world class,' Tigers AD Waddell says of former defensive coordinator

May 29, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Among the candidates whom Towson's search committee interviewed for the head men's lacrosse coaching vacancy, the best man for the job was one who was already within the Tigers' ranks.

In confirming the news that the school had promoted associate head coach and defensive coordinator Shawn Nadelen to head coach, athletic director Mike Waddell said Nadelen's background and experiences helped him emerge as the school's choice to succeed Tony Seaman, who parted ways with the university May 9.

"From the very get-go, Shawn was the standard that we were measuring things up against because when you look at his background as a prep and as a collegian and as a professional and member of our world championship team and the captain of the [the New Jersey Storm of the National Lacrosse League] back in the 2000s, he's been a leader," Waddell said Sunday. "He's been around the greats, when you talk about [former Princeton coach and current Denver coach Bill] Tierney and Seaman and [Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala]. He played for three different coaches at Hopkins. So he definitely knows what it's like to go through change. This guy is world class, and what better leader could we hope for to carry on the tradition that Carl Runk and Tony Seaman established? I think Shawn Nadelen is a great choice."

Nadelen, who was offered the job Sunday and agreed to a four-year contract, said he was grateful for the opportunity to take the reins.

"Being able to be the head coach at Towson is something that I was really passionate for, and I'm excited to pursue it after the foundation that Coach Runk and Coach Seaman have established at Towson," Nadelen said Sunday as he was driving from Long Island to his home in Baltimore. "It's an exciting opportunity."

Nadelen was a four-year starter from 1998 to 2001 at Hopkins, where he played close defense in his last two years after switching from the midfield. After three years as an assistant coach under Tierney at Princeton, Nadelen joined Towson before the 2004 season. Since then, he has been the defensive coordinator and was named the associate head coach before the 2010 season.

Waddell said Nadelen's familiarity with the players was a factor in his hiring.

"I think that's always a fundamental thing that you look for," Waddell said. "If you have that at your disposal and you're trying to make one of these hires, you'd be crazy not to look at that as a tremendous advantage. I think even if he would have been an outside candidate looking in, this is exactly the type of guy I want to be able to have as the leader of our program."

Nadelen's candidacy was endorsed by the players, according to sophomore midfielder Ian Mills, who served as the player liaison for the search committee.

"I think that's a big aspect of what's going to lead to our success," Mills said of Nadelen's relationships with the players. "His end of the field has always been at or near the top of Division I. He's always led a very, very good defense, and he knows the personnel here and he'll able to draw from that and produce a very good team next year."

Waddell has openly expressed his wish to rebuild the Tigers into Colonial Athletic Association champions on a regular basis and contend for a national title. While Waddell declined to impose a timetable on those plans, Nadelen didn't shy from his boss' comments.

"At the start of every season and with every new recruiting class that I embark on, that's my main focus," Nadelen said. "I don't think that's something that Towson cannot attain. It's going to come through a lot of hard work and effort and some luck at times, I guess. But I think every team wants to win a national championship and compete at that level. I can't see any reason why that can't be Towson."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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