Ryan Cavanagh has been named Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach at Western Connecticut State University, announced Director of Athletics Ed Farrington on in January.
“I’m excited about appointing Ryan as our third head men’s lacrosse coach,” stated Farrington. “He comes from a program that was very successful on the field and he has a great history as a top recruiters in the Northeast.”
Cavanagh comes to Western after four successful seasons as Head Coach at SUNY Plattsburgh in upstate New York. Through four seasons at the helm, the Cardinals went 51-23 including a program-best 14-4 record in 2013 and back-to-back 13-6 campaigns in 2014 and 2015.
“I would first like to thank Athletic Director Ed Farrington for giving me the opportunity to build something special here at Western,” said Cavanagh. “I am excited to start the process of turning our team into a nationally competitive program. We are not only going to develop great lacrosse players but great young men who want to compete at the highest level.”
Western Connecticut has some of the best athletic facilities in Division III and is in an area of the country ideal for recruiting high-quality student-athletes,” added Cavanagh.
Cavanagh began his collegiate coaching career in 2011 at Plattsburgh State. In his four seasons at the helm, the Cardinals never failed to appear in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament and advanced to the SUNYAC Tournament Finals in each of the last three seasons. The Cardinals went and impressive 21-5 mark at home and Cavanagh left the upstate institution with the most career wins and the highest winning percentage (.689) of any Plattsburgh State lacrosse coach.
In 2013, Cavanagh was named SUNYAC and Jac Coyne MagazinesCoach of the Year becoming the first coach in the 15-year history of the program to receive the league's highest coaching honor. One of the team's biggest highlights came at the Field House Lacrosse Complex when the Cardinals defeated No. 17-nationally-ranked St. Lawrence University, 16-12. It was the first win for Plattsburgh State over the Saints in program history. That same season, Cavanagh and his staff led the Cardinals to a 14-4 record and produced the best season in Plattsburgh State history. In addition to setting a new mark for single-season victories, Cavanagh and the Cardinals captured the No. 2 seed in the SUNYAC Tournament for the first time and picked up the program’s first postseason victory – a 15-7 win against Brockport in the SUNYAC Semifinals. Plattsburgh State also made its first appearance in the SUNYAC Championship game and saw seven of its players selected to the SUNYAC All-Conference Team, setting a new program record. Twenty-one Cardinal lacrosse players have received All-SUNYAC honors during Cavanagh's tenure
During his tenure the Cardinals continued to rise among the Division III ranks, culminating with Plattsburgh State’s first appearance in the USILA Top 20 Coaches Poll in March 2013. The Cardinals were ranked for eight straight weeks and listed as high as 16th in the weekly poll during the 2013 season.
Prior to his appointment as Head Coach, Cavanagh spent three seasons as the Cardinals’ top assistant after serving as a student assistant coach during the 2008 season.
Cavanagh played for the Cardinals from 2005-07 after his collegiate career began at Nassau Community College. He earned All-SUNYAC Honorable Mention honors as a senior and still holds Plattsburgh State records with a .630 single-season face-off winning percentage and a .581 career face-off efficiency. Cavanagh was named the team's Most Improved Player in his junior year and the team’s Most Valuable Player following his senior campaign.
A Northport N.Y. native and a graduate of Kings Park High School, Cavanagh received the SUNY Plattsburgh Vision Award for Community in May 2010 after spearheading the team’s involvement with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a children’s cancer research organization. With his guidance over the past five seasons, he helped raise over $38,000 for St. Baldrick’s through numerous events including four “Cardinals Clip Cancer” games.
Cavanagh, a former team captain, graduated from Plattsburgh State in May 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Administration.
The Cavanagh Coaching Record
Season School Record Pct. Conf./Place
2012 Plattsburgh 11-7 .611 4-2/3rd
2013 Plattsburgh 14-4 .778 5-1/2nd
2014 Plattsburgh 13-6 .684 4-2/3rd
2015 Plattsburgh 13-6 .684 4-2/2nd
Four years Plattsburgh totals 51-23 .689 7-7