There was a recent shift in the Division I men’s lacrosse coaching world that showed just how influential UAlbany head coach Scott Marr has been.
In late June, New Jersey Institute of Technology hired 2007 UAlbany alumnus and former Great Danes assistant coach Eric Wolf as its head coach. Wolf had been the head coach at Long Island University and transitioned the program into Division I.
Only a few days later, LIU hired Jordan Levine, a 2008 UAlbany graduate who had led Mercy to the Division II championship game this past season.
These days, it’s not hard to play six degrees of separation from Marr.
“It’s certainly awesome; humbling, too, because so many guys wanted to continue what we did here,” Marr said. “A lot of it goes back to our culture and how we talk about the game and respect the game. There are guys from the early 2000s to recent grads doing this, it’s great.”
As of Sunday, UAlbany graduates who played for Marr that are head coaches include Liam Gleason (Siena), Craig McDonald (Robert Morris), Dwayne Stewart (SUNY New Paltz), John Carroll (Nichols), Casey Kear (Birmingham Southern), Wolf and Levine.
Assistant coaches include Merrick Thomson, John Maloney and Corey Yunker (UAlbany), Tim Cox, Mike Russell and Derrick Eccles (Siena), JD Colarusso (Marist), Troy Reh (LIU), Sean Eccles (NJIT), TD Ierlan (Syracuse) and Steve Kunz (Saint Rose). Also, Marr’s son, Kyle, who graduated from and played at Johns Hopkins, was a volunteer assistant at Drexel last season.
Scott Marr, himself, finished his 22nd season at UAlbany this spring. He is the only coach the Great Danes have had in their Division I history. He is a six-time America East Coach of the Year and has led UAlbany to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances and six NCAA Tournament victories. He has a 199-141 career record and has coached 35 All-Americans and two Tewaaraton winners in 2014 and 2015, among many other honors.
Marr was influenced by the late Dick Edell, for whom he assisted at Maryland from 1995-2000, working his way up to offensive coordinator. Maryland made five NCAA Tournament appearances during that time, and was the runner-up in 1995, 1997 and 1998.
“It makes me feel good that over the years we’ve had so many go into coaching.
It is pretty funny, a lot of them have continued on with some of the things we do here. It is neat to see them put their own spin on things, too,” Marr said.
As for highlights, Marr noted how special it was to coach against Siena in a home game this past season and see the fact that seven of the eight coaches on the two staffs were UAlbany graduates that played for him.
“That was pretty special to look down the sideline and see all the coaches have that connection,” Marr said.
There will be all sorts of connections this spring, as Marr now gets to coach against Wolf and assistant Sean Eccles, since NJIT is a member of America East; and Gleason will get to coach against Levine and assistant Reh, as LIU is joining the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as an associate member for men’s lacrosse.
Wolf was in a unique position at LIU, as he was head coach at Division II LIU Post for two seasons before being named LIU’s head coach as it transitioned to Division I following the merger of LIU’s Brooklyn and Post campuses into one institution.
Levine spent 10 seasons at Mercy, producing a 110-39 overall record. He earned three straight East Coast Conference Coach of the Year awards, and five overall.
Also, McDonald led Robert Morris into the NCAA Tournament in his first season this past spring.
“For Jordan, he took a program that was at the lower level [of Division II] when he started, and to get it to a national championship game is phenomenal,” Marr said. “He was a tremendous player who had a great work ethic and who really enjoyed the game. He’s ready for it. He’s our fourth Division I coach – I’m not sure, but I don’t believe any other school has that many head coaches in Division I right now.”