GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Davenport University associate director of athletics Ronda Varnesdeel announced Tuesday that Chris Esquivel has returned to the Panthers as the new head men's lacrosse coach. Esquivel replaces Chris Gervat, who resigned at the end of the season.
Esquivel returns to Davenport after spending the previous school year at NCAA Division II Colorado State University – Pueblo for the Thunderwolves inaugural men's lacrosse season.
"We are excited to have Chris return to our staff after spending a season as an assistant coach at Colorado State University Pueblo," Varnesdeel said. "We are confident that Chris' strong coaching background along with his recruiting ties to the sport will help him in the continued development of our men's lacrosse program."
Esquivel echoed on the excitement of returning to Davenport and Grand Rapids.
"I would like to thank (athletic director) Paul Lowden and Ronda Varnesdeel for this opportunity," he said. "It's an honor and privileged to be elected head coach of Davenport men's lacrosse. I have tremendous respect and gratitude for the support given to our student athletes to insure success in the classroom and on the field. I am excited to work with such a passionate group of young men. Our program will continue to work hard every day so we can raise the program to the level we know we are capable of being."
It is not too long ago that Esquivel was with the Panthers. He spent two seasons as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's teams. With the men's squad, Esquivel coached 15 Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA) All-Conference players, four CCLA Offensive Player of the Year recipients and seven Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) All-Americans. During Esquivel's tenure at Davenport, the Panthers appeared in four CCLA Conference Tournaments.
Prior to coaching at Davenport, Esquivel spend three years as an assistant coach at Grand Valley State University from 2010-2012. At Grand Valley State, Esquivel was a part of a program that advanced to the 2011 and 2012 MCLA National Championship Tournament Final Four and finished as the 2012 MCLA national runner-up. Grand Valley State also won back-to-back CCLA Conference Tournament titles in 2011 and 2012 under Esquivel's guidance. Esquivel also coached the 2012 MCLA Player of the Year.
In addition to his collegiate coaching duties, Esquivel was also an assistant coach at East Grand Rapids High School in East Grand Rapids, Mich. from 2009-2014. While at East Grand Rapids HS, Esquivel coached 14 all-conference and nine all-state student-athletes.