Denver, CO – The Metropolitan State University of Denver men's lacrosse program announced the hiring of Jon Black as its new head coach for the 2018-19 season.
Black brings with him more than 18 years of lacrosse experience, with 10 years of head coaching experience, most recently at Notre Dame de Namur University -- the only NCAA Division II lacrosse program in California.
Black played for NDNU from 2004-08 and helped the lacrosse program collect an impressive 41-11 record while consistently ranking as one of the top lacrosse programs in the country during his four seasons. As a four-year starter, he ranked fifth in the NCAA Division II in total assists among midfielders during his senior season.
Black departs NDNU as the most decorated coach in program history, accumulating awards and recognition both on and off the field with accolades including the 2017 City of Belmont Leadership Award, 2016 “Ace Adams” Sportsmanship Award, 2015 Award for Excellence, 2014 Pacific West Conference Community Engagement Award and a four-time recipient of NDNU’s Athletic Department Community Engagement Award.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the MSU family as head men’s lacrosse coach," Black said. "I see phenomenal potential with this group of fine young men and top-notch coaching staff. This program is only one year removed from making the national tournament and that’s exactly where we aim to be this upcoming year.
"Our boys are getting a top-notch education in one of the most dynamic and fun places to play lacrosse in the nation right here in Denver. The upside for this program is truly limitless and if we work hard, buy in and prioritize the right things, we’re going to be a dangerous team for the foreseeable future.”
Rounding out Black’s staff will be MSU Denver alum Forrest Lambert (defensive coordinator) as well as last year's offensive coordinator Matt Johnson and special teams coach Lucas Schwartz.
Previously a two-sport athlete (soccer and lacrosse), Lambert transferred to MSU Denver as a junior, focusing on his lacrosse career. In his two year with the team, Lambert accumulated 169 ground balls, 10 goals and 20 assists. Lambert was named first team all-Conference as a short-stick defensive midfield in 2015 and 2016 as well as being named Second Team All-American in 2016. He was the 2016 RMLC Defensive Player of the Year.
Lambert joined the MSU Denver coaching staff as the defensive coordinator in 2017 before again focusing on his lacrosse career in 2018 after joining the MLL’s Denver Outlaws.
“I’m real excited to be back at Metro after taking a year off," Lambert said. "It was real difficult to be away from the program. Coach Black has everyone excited about pushing the program to the next level”.
Matt Johnson will be retained as offensive coordinator from this past season. Johnson, a graduate from the University of Oregon, also spent a season with the Denver Outlaws. At Oregon, Johnson was a two-time first team all-conference attackman, as well as a 2012 and 2013 third and second team All-American. Johnson is currently playing for the Polish national team at the 2018 FIL Championships in Netanya, Israel.
Lucas Schwartz will also be back for his third season as the face off and special teams coach for the Roadrunners. Schwartz played for Lourdes University as a midfielder where he helped jump start the program.
Black, Lambert, Johnson and Schwartz look to bring MSU Denver to their second national tournament this coming spring.