Longtime (22 years!) Princeton Men’s Lacrosse Coach, Bill Tierney, is leaving Princeton to take over the reins at Denver. I looked at some of the lax.com comments and people seemed to be VERY confused as to why this would happen but when you look a little bit deeper, the move starts to make a lot of sense for pretty much everyone involved.
Princeton will actually be fine. I am sure that they will interview new candidates and could pretty much have their pick of the bunch but in the end, my belief is that they will end up with Dave Metzbower as their next Head Coach. Metzbower has been an assistant with Tierney for TWENTY years and is more than ready to take over the Tigers’ program. He had been promoted to Associate Head Coach well before Tierney’s departure was announced and truly knows ALL aspect of the game of lacrosse. The Princeton program will be in good hands.
Bill Tierney will now head to Denver where performance on the lacrosse team both on the field and in the classroom has been lacking at times. Munro made big strides with the program but it is this writer’s opinion that Munro was recruiting kids who were great lacrosse players but maybe had some side issues. That was possibly evident with the dismissal of three Denver players this year although the specifics of those cases are not publicly spoken about much and I will not get into conjecture here when it comes to the lives of current college students. I’ll stick to conjecture as it relates to coaches and administrators… since those are the guys actually getting paid.
Tierney is a leader and molder of men. plain and simple. He will take athletes and make them work within a system and will not rely on star players to get the job done as Munro did. This isn’t a knock on Munro at all, just a comparison of their two distinct styles. Tierney will expect greatness from his kids in the classroom and within the larger community. He is not a guy that messes around, takes his lacrosse seriously but recognizes that lax is only a small part of the overall college experience. His focus almost seems to be primarily on helping these boys become great men and THEN it comes to lacrosse. As a big believer in “academics first” this move means great things for Denver.
Finally, some will argue that Bill is getting old and will look to retire in the next 5 years and they ask why Denver would take that risk. Did they do it just to get Bill for as long as they could? maybe… but those same people seem to be forgetting that Bill has a son named Trevor, who is a top notch goalie and seems to be very interested in coaching as a career. My guess is that Trevor joins Bill at Denver as his top assistant and then takes over when Bill retires. With Trevor’s cousin, Seth Tierney, as the head coach at Hofstra the Tierneys are truly becoming lacrosse’s first coaching family and Denver has got to be very excited to get in on the action. Maybe kids will start going to lacrosse games out in Denver instead of only cheering for the Pioneers hockey team… baby steps!
For more articles on Tierney’s journey westward, check out:
- Breaking: Bill Tierney Leaves Princeton to Coach Denver (Inside Lacrosse)
- Official Press Release from Princeton