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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rick Sowell to coach United States Naval Academy lacrosse

Stony Brook, N.Y. - Stony Brook University Head Men's Lacrosse Coach Rick Sowell, who led the Seawolves to 23 wins over the past two seasons and a spot in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals, has resigned to accept the head coaching position at the United States Naval Academy. A national search for his successor will begin immediately.

"I would like to thank Coach Sowell for his contributions to Stony Brook University and the men's lacrosse program," Stony Brook Director of Athletics Jim Fiore said. "With America East Conference championships, All-American student-athletes that he recruited and an incredible run to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2010, Coach Sowell has helped raise the men's lacrosse profile to national prominence. Despite his departure, our goals and expectations do not change. We expect to find a head coach who will guide our program toward our goals of annually competing for the America East Conference Championship, a berth in the NCAA Tournament and competing for a national championship."
The 2010 and 2011 America East Coach of the Year, Sowell was instrumental in leading the Seawolves into the national spotlight. Under his guidance, Stony Brook advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 for the first time since 2002. The Seawolves defeated Denver in a nationally televised ESPNU first round game before falling one goal short of the final four by losing to top seed Virginia before more than 10,000 fans at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium in the quarterfinals in another nationally televised ESPNU contest.

The momentum of 2010 carried over to 2011 as Stony Brook earned a top-10 preseason ranking from every major lacrosse poll. The Seawolves, who were ranked as high as fifth, went undefeated in the America East regular season for the second consecutive season and then advanced to the America East Championship game before falling short against Hartford. Stony Brook was the first America East school since Hofstra in 1995-98 to go undefeated in back-to-back conference seasons.

"My wife, Cathy, and I want to thank Jim Fiore, my assistant coaches, my student-athletes and the entire Stony Brook University community for their support in helping make Seawolves men's lacrosse the great program it has become," Sowell said. "We accomplished great success here, and I have no doubt that Stony Brook will continue to build its reputation as a national lacrosse power."
In 12 seasons as a head coach, Sowell is 86-81 (.515), including a 47-26 record (.644) in five seasons with Stony Brook.