TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE
Massachusetts earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament in 19 of its seasons and owns nearly 550 wins in program history.
The Gorillas reached the NCAA Quarterfinal Round in 11 of those 19 tournament appearances, including 1976, '77, '79, '81, '86, '89, '97, '02, '03, '05 and 2006.
UMass advanced to the NCAA Division I Championship Game in 2006 and was the first of only two New England-based programs to ever earn the right to play for the NCAA Division I National Championship.
One of the most consistently lauded programs in the nation, UMass men's lacrosse student-athletes earned 139 USILA All-America awards and 273 All-New England honors since the team's founding in 1954.
The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse program embraced the unofficial nickname of the "Gorillas" more than 50 years ago.
In 1965, UMass fielded its first high-profile recruit, soon-to-be All-American Kevin O'Connor. His girlfriend, poking a bit of fun at the relatively diminutive size of the Minutemen players at the time, drew a picture of a gorilla donning a lacrosse helmet with a stick in its hand.
Members of the team made stickers of the newly-adopted moniker and put them everywhere, including on their helmets.
25th Season • Massachusetts '88
Greg Cannella is in his 25th season as the program's head coach and 29th year overall at the University of Massachusetts including two spent as an assistant coach (1993-94) and two more as a student-athlete (1986-87).
Cannella is one of only 10 active coaches with 200 or more head coaching wins, including one of only two who earned his 200 or more wins at one school. He has witnessed nearly half of the program's all-time wins during his 29 years with the program.
Fearless in facing teams from all corners of NCAA Division I, Cannella guided Massachusetts to nine NCAA Tournaments, including five NCAA Quarterfinals, and 63 wins over ranked teams during his 24 completed seasons as head coach.
Associate Head Coach
10th Season • Massachusetts '09 (BA), '14 (MA)
Doc Schneider enters his 14th overall season as a member of the UMass lacrosse family in 2018-19 and his 10th on the coaching staff.
A developer of talent on offense alongside Cannella, Schneider helped the 2018 team earn No. 1 or No. 2 across all offensive statistical rankings in the CAA, the only team in the league to accomplish this level of success.
Associate Head Coach
Fifth Season • Albany '08
Craig McDonald enters his fifth season as the defensive coordinator for the Gorillas and 11th season as a full-time coach in the Northeast in 2018-19.
With McDonald's guidance in 2018, Massachusetts produced a pair of All-CAA First Team close defensemen (Isaac Paparo, Luc Valenza). It marked the lone instance where two players from the same close defense earning All-CAA First Team since 2006.
The Home of Massachusetts Lacrosse
Consistently ranked among the most recognizable lacrosse venues in NCAA Division I, the history of success for Massachusetts lacrosse can be traced through the program's iconic, long-time home.
Featuring a 5,000-seat grandstand and the infamous Garber Hill, the field provides a distinct advantage for the Gorillas on game day. As a result, the men's lacrosse program has won more than 80 percent of all contests the team ever played at Garber Field.
Postseason success on Garber Field abounds for the program as well. Massachusetts won NCAA Tournament games on Garber in 1986, '89, '03 and '05 and captured CAA titles at home in 2012 and 2018.
Through generous fundraising efforts completed by the UMass Laxbackers, the program's dedicated support group, Garber Field received a state-of-the-art FieldTurf surface in 2015.
The athletics department and UMass Laxbackers continually invest in the maintainment of Garber Field's reputation as one of the top lacrosse venues in the country and will add a high-definition videoboard in place of the current model in 2018.
Academic Success and Professional Development
A pillar in the UMass lacrosse mantra for success is the academic and professional preparedness the young men of the program develop during their time studying and competing for the University of Massachusetts.
In the team's history, 11 Gorillas earned USILA Academic All-America honors, including most recently Dan Muller (pictured) in 2017.
Muller is also one of 42 seniors who collected New England Scholar-Athlete honors since 1999, an average of more than two per graduating class.
The current team combines with its dedicated support group to create the annual UMass Laxbackers Career Day.
It offers the junior and senior classes a business networking opportunity each year where they meet with chief executive officers and human resource representatives. The group discusses what traits are emphasized in a job applicant, how to prepare for an interview, what to expect during the first year on the job and a general overview of their respective industries
In keeping with its goal to provide the best academic experience possible, the athletics department announced the forthcoming Bob ('62) and Marianne ('77) Foote Academic Success Center in June, 2018.
The 6,000-plus square foot learning space reserved for UMass varsity student-athletes will debut ahead of the Fall, 2018 semester.
The University of Massachusetts
Nestled in the Pioneer Valley, the University of Massachusetts offers the rare combination of a world-class, "flagship campus" education in a traditional Small Town America setting with easy access to noteworthy regional, national and international metropolitan areas, including Albany, Boston, Hartford, Montreal, New York City and Providence.
The University of Massachusetts ranks in the top-30 among all public higher-education campuses in the United States. It offers 112 bachelor's degree programs, 77 master’s and 48 doctoral programs across nine schools and colleges.
The approximately 23,000 undergraduate students are well-supported by a faculty of more than 1,300 full-time educators. It equates to an 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio.
With a multitude of nationally recognized schools and programs, the University of Massachusetts holds a spot on the 100 “Best College Values” list compiled by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in 2018 for the ninth consecutive year.
The University of Massachusetts features the No. 1 ranked public business school in the Northeast, the Isenberg School of Management.
The men's lacrosse program has a particularly strong relationship with Isenberg, including approximately 200 graduates and 12 current student-athletes enrolled in the school's coursework.
UMass is home to a diverse student-body representative of all 50 states and more than 70 countries. Campus life embraces the university's overarching array of backgrounds and interests through nearly 600 student life initiatives and organizations available to join.
Nationally-rank, with the diversity to serve all members of the University of Massachusetts' flagship campus
UMass recognizes the importance of the quality of fuel provided to the entire student body and constantly invests in the school's dining services, resulting in the No. 1 ranked campus dining in the country according to the Princeton Review.
Alongside being the best-ranked campus food in the nation, UMass Dining is the largest college dining services operation in the country and serves 45,000 meals daily, or 5.5 million meals per year.
In addition to the more-than two dozen dining locations around campus, UMass Dining sponsors a pair of food trucks, Baby Berk I and Baby Berk II, which traverse campus throughout the day and provide a quick-stop meal options for students on-the-go.
Hiking, biking, museums, theater, history, food and farms. It's all in Amherst, which balances a rich multi-cultural environment with the traditional New England town aesthetic.
Downtown Amherst revolves around the needs and wants of college students. It abounds with affordable restaurants, coffee shops, store fronts, farmer's markets and live music venues. Down the street, the Amherst Town Common is the site of festivals, political rallies, art shows, yard sales and other community events.
The Town of Amherst is the perfect complement to the University of Massachusetts, fostering intellectual development with its open-mindedness to the unique backstories of all the school's 23,000 undergraduates.
Athletics at the University of Massachusetts
UMass Athletics is a comprehensive and nationally-recognized 21-sport Division I organization that positively reflects the interests and values of the institution’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends who support its many endeavors.
Attending games on campus is a staple in the student experience at the University of Massachusetts and a favorite past-time for the region's more-than-800,000 residents.
In particular, the school's dedicated student section, The Militia, enhances home-field advantage with its membership's consistent presence at varsity athletics events.
Varsity programs receive considerable support from the larger university community, including official student organizations such as the UMass Band, cheerleaders and dance team.