SCHENECTADY — Union College announced Tuesday that 2011 alumnus Derek Witheford will become the school’s new men’s lacrosse head coach.
Witheford started with the Union coaching staff for the 2013 season as an assistant to then-head coach Paul Wehrum, and Witheford later became the program’s assistant head coach and then its associate head coach.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the next head coach at Union College,” Witheford said in a press release from the school announcing his hire. “I would like to thank Jim McLaughlin, Joanne Little, Beth Tiffany and the search committee for their efforts and placing their trust in me to lead the Union men’s lacrosse program. I would also like to thank Paul Wehrum for his guidance and mentorship over the last 12 years. He will be missed not only by this program and school, but by the sport as a whole.”
In total, Witheford coached with Wehrum for the last seven seasons. Wehrum’s retirement was announced last month after a decades-long college coaching career that included more than 500 wins and eight NJCAA championships. Wehrum’s final 13 seasons were spent coaching at Union, a span of time in which he became the program’s winningest head coach.
“I could not be more proud to have Derek taking over this program,” Wehrum said. “Derek has played a big role in the success of the team as a player and coach during his time here, and I look forward to watching such a prepared and dedicated individual leave his mark on the program.”
Witheford played for Wehrum from 2008 through 2011. A two-time captain, Witheford earned USILA honorable mention All-America recognition as a senior.
“Derek has been a part of the Union family for more than a decade and his commitment to this program is unparalleled,” said McLaughlin, the school's athletic director. “His knowledge of the game and our campus make him the perfect fit to take on this new role as head coach and we are delighted that he will be the one to guide this program into the future. I look forward to seeing Derek lead our student-athletes to continued success both on and off the field.”
Union is coming off a 14-4 season.