MOUNT VERNON – Cornell College has named Andrew Bonasera to lead its first men's varsity lacrosse team in 2014-15.
Bonasera, a 2003 graduate of Roanoke College (Salem, Va.) and four-time All-American player there, successfully started two Division III men's programs in the past eight years as head coach. He jump-started the program at Birmingham-Southern (Ala.) College which in just its fourth season won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) championship and qualified for the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament.
"I would first like to thank Athletics Director John Cochrane, President Jonathan Brand, and all of the personnel at the college who were a part of this process allowing me to become the first head men's lacrosse coach at Cornell College. This is a great honor," Bonasera said. "Cornell has an outstanding academic reputation for attracting and graduating great student-athletes from all over the country. I look forward to showing prospective student-athletes around this great campus and community of Cornell College and sharing in the excitement with them all."
Bonasera, originally from Columbus, Ohio, will assume his new role in July. He'll have the 2013-14 season to build his initial roster before the Rams take the field for the first time in Spring 2015.
Cornell will play its home lacrosse games at historic Ash Park Field, which is undergoing current installation of a synthetic grass playing surface.
"The development of the new Ash Park turf field allows the lacrosse teams to be a part of a new era of competition on that field," Bonasera said. "The growth of the game of lacrosse at the high school and youth levels in the surrounding Midwest regions, including Illinois and Minnesota, is immense. Cornell College can be a great fit for anyone in the nation looking for a top liberal arts education and an opportunity to compete on an NCAA Division III lacrosse team."
Bonasera compiled a 43-39 record in five seasons at Birmingham-Southern, including a 7-10 mark in 2013 which saw the Panthers reach the conference semifinals and land nine players on the All-Southern Athletic Association Team. Bonasera led the 2012 team to a 14-5 record and the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament. That season, the Panthers ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense (15.3 goals per game) and fielded the fourth-best goal scorer (62 goals) in the country.
Bonasera's 2011 squad finished 9-7, took second in the conference and sported the SCAC Player of the Year in Matt Ivie, who led the nation in goals per game (4.3). In 2010, Bonasera guided the 7-8 Panthers to a win over Keene State, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Birmingham-Southern went 6-9 in Bonasera's initial 2009 season.
Bonasera was head coach at The College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, from August 2005 to May 2007. The program recorded its first NCAA win during the inaugural 2007 season.
Bonasera served two seasons as an assistant at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., where he was offensive coordinator. In 2004, he coached the program's first All-American midfielder in 15 years.
Bonasera was a four-year starting attackman at Roanoke, ending a distinguished playing career as a 2003 First Team All-American and the program's all-time leading scorer with 264 points. He was Player of the Year in the conference his senior season, and also named Roanoke's Male Athlete of the Year in 2002 and 2003.
A 1999 graduate of Upper Arlington (Ohio) High School, Bonasera led the Golden Bears to a three-year record of 60-1 with three Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association tournament titles and two state championships. The team was No. 7 in the nation in 1998.
|(25) Cornell at||7:00pm|
|(3) Luther College||CST|
|(16) St. Norbert College at||1:00pm|
|(RV) St. Norbert College at||3:00pm|
|(15) Cornell at||9:00am|
|Dick Walker Invitational|
|Rockford College at||7:00pm|