CHICAGO, Ill. – Illinois Tech Athletics is happy to announce its first men's lacrosse coach in school history: Dan Sharbaugh. With a strong background of both coaching and playing experience, Sharbaugh will begin building the program immediately in advance of the program's inaugural season in the Spring of 2020.
"I am extremely excited and humbled for the opportunity to start the men's lacrosse program at Illinois Tech," said Sharbaugh. "The location and school environment provides a very unique opportunity for Division III men's lacrosse student-athletes that I think can make for a very successful program. It's an extremely rare chance to build something from the ground up at such a fantastic institution."
Sharbaugh comes to Chicago by way of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he has served as the Head Men's Lacrosse Coach since 2014. While at the helm for the Colonels, he coached one two-time NCAA Division III All-American, two Scholar All-Americans, and 19 All-Conference players in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). While overseeing all aspects of the program's recruiting, film breakdown, academic engagement, scouting, and travel, Sharbaugh was able to guide his team to a 2015 SAA Regular Season championship and 2016 SAA Tournament Runner-Up.
His teams also featured the 2015-16 Men's Student-Athlete of the Year at Centre, the 2016-2017 SAA Man of the Year, a 2016 selection to the USILA North/South Game, and the 2017 SAA Defensive Player of the Year. The Colonels amassed 32 wins in Sharbaugh's four seasons at the helm, totaling to a .542 win percentage.
"Dan has had success at the NCAA Division III level as a Head Coach and has shown that he knows how to work with high-level student-athletes on and off the field," said Marc Colwell, Illinois Tech's assistant athletic director. "We are excited to have Dan leading Illinois Tech Men's Lacrosse as we embark on the new program with high expectations for the future. "
Prior to his time at Centre, Sharbaugh gained valuable experience as an assistant at Gettysburg College (2012-14), York College of Pennsylvania (2011-12), and Eastern University (2010-11). Spending time on both the offensive and defensive sides at the various stops, as well as assisting in recruiting, game and practice plans, and day-to-day operations, helped develop Sharbaugh's well-rounded background.
In addition, Sharbaugh was a standout student-athlete at Eastern. A two-year captain and four-year starter at defender for the Eagles, he helped guide a new program to a Pennsylvania Athletic Conference runner-up in just its third season.
"Dan Sharbaugh comes from a line of good programs and the people involved with them," said Illinois Tech Director of Athletics Joe Hakes. "His grasp of the issues regarding a startup program is strong and he gets the Illinois Tech difference. We look forward to his impact on this program."
"As someone who was a player for a startup program, I understand the journey that is about to begin for the Illinois Tech lacrosse program," said Sharbaugh. "It's a process that you must take one day at a time to make sure you are improving in all aspects of life. The moment we stop focusing on daily self-improvement is the day we take a step back. I am excited to see this program's growth during the years of this process."
With daily self-improvement in mind, Sharbaugh has a clear image of a strong culture for Illinois Tech men's lacrosse.
"I am excited to get to work with Student-Athletes who have a vision and a passion for what they do," he explained. "We will emphasize that this experience will go far beyond the classroom over the next four years and will provide them the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful for the rest of their lives. We will put our focus on creating a holistic student-athlete that has the mindset that they want to be elite at everything they are going to participate in."
Interested in playing for the Illinois Tech Men's Lacrosse program? Fill out our recruiting questionnaire or contact Sharbaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.