After 16 years of coaching, Lehigh’s men’s lacrosse head coach Kevin Cassese stepped down, with former associate head coach Will Scudder assuming the position.
Scudder played for Lehigh lacrosse for four years, graduating in 2011. He then was an assistant coach at Lehigh for a decade before taking the head coaching job.
“I’ve had a hand in every aspect of our program, so taking on this role definitely has had more responsibilities and different time commitments, but it’s been a smooth transition,” Scudder said.
Junior midfielder Dakota Eierman said the players have always loved Scudder and are happy with his new position. He played a major hand in recruiting many of the players on the team and has developed strong relationships with them.
Though Lehigh is experiencing the first change at the helm of its lacrosse program in over 16 years, Scudder mentioned keeping the majority of the staff together was a top priority.
Two new assistants were brought in by Scudder last year and one this year, as announced by assistant coach Evan Lombardo on Sept. 6.
Lombardo was the offensive assistant at Dartmouth last season.
Scudder said they were very fortunate to add Lombardo to the staff because his college coaching experience will come in handy, especially on the offensive side.
A college coaching career has been on Lombardo’s mind since high school.
He played Division III lacrosse at the University of Lynchburg where he recorded 210 goals, 23rd most in D-III history. He became a graduate assistant and the recruiting coordinator at his alma mater and made the move to Dartmouth after.
“Just (because of) the love of the sport and the love of the game, I wanted to stay in it and give back in every way I could,” Lombardo said.
He said he didn’t know much about Lehigh but when he saw the job opening, he talked to his college coaching friends, who spoke very highly of Scudder and the new assistants.
“That was kind of the first kicking-off point,” Lombardo said. “Also knowing how strong the program is and how much they care about lacrosse and competing for championships, it was a place I was really excited about.”
So far, Lombardo said it has been great working with the players and coaches. He said he found everyone is open to new roles and positions, and learned a “ton” from them each day.
Lombardo added that the team has been focused on and cares deeply about Lehigh and the history of its lacrosse program.
“They want to make it even better and want to push this thing to another level,” Lombardo said. “They hope to achieve things that have never been done here, while also following in the footsteps of some really great people that have come before them.”
He said he is excited to contribute to the coaching staff and hold the players accountable to compete.
Scudder said the new coaching transition has been really exciting for everybody, including himself.
“All of our coaches’ values align with my terms of being hardworking, passionate and just caring at a very high level,” Scudder said.