Working to continue the efforts of founder and pioneer Patrick Dougherty, Turkey Lacrosse Association has announced that current New York Lizards offensive coordinator, Ryan Danehy, will join the organization as Men’s National Team Head Coach, President, and chairman of the board. The TLA, which is the governing body for lacrosse in the Republic of Turkey, appointed Danehy to lead the men’s field team in time for the 2018 FIL World Field Lacrosse Championships held in Netanya, Israel.
This is a major leap forward for the game. Turkey remains the first and only Muslim-majority nation to compete on the international lacrosse stage. It was just announced that Qatar is joining the FIL, but they’ve yet to appear at a world event. Turkish lacrosse pioneers attribute much of the program’s success to the country’s freedom of religion. Lax restrictions on its citizens, in contrast to many Islamic-dominant nations, creates a of culture of people willing to try and accept new things.
Meet the Skipper
If you aren’t familiar with Danehy through his role as co-host of the In Your Face LaxCast (which you should be), he owns up to 14 years of coaching experience at nearly every level. Before he took the role this season as a MLL offensive coordinator, Danehy coached in the NCAA for eight seasons. His time coaching college ball took him to his alma mater Dartmouth, then to Michigan, and eventually becoming the video and analytics coordinator for the UPenn program. Prior to the pro role, RD was also the director for Philly-based Big 4 Lacrosse.
In his playing days, RD was a high school All-American and Massachusetts State Champion. From there he moved onto the Ivy League, becoming a four-year starter at Dartmouth. When the dust settled, Danehy finished with 73 goals and 11 assists. This includes a hat trick against Syracuse in Dartmouth’s first-ever tournament appearance.
While in college, he also served as the long-snapper for the football team. From there, Danehy was drafted into the MLL in 2006. He went on to compete with the Boston Cannons and Chicago Machine for five seasons before hanging up the cleats.
Ryan Danehy Does It All
In the box, Danehy competed a handful of seasons in Senior B with the Vermont Voyaguers. Thanks to his experience as a player, coach, curriculum developer, and recruiter, he was brought on board as an assistant coach for the Team USA developmental squad. He led the program through the inaugural U-19 games at Six Nations in 2015.
If you know RD, you know he can’t stop himself at just coaching and playing. Danehy always has an opinion and incredible insight on the college lacrosse landscape. He joins Andy Towers through the spring to share his wisdom on a weekly podcast hosted here on LaxAllStars.com. RD’s brainchild covers the game at the Division I level, speaking with coaches, former legends of the game, or anyone with unique insight on the NCAA.
Danehy will immediately begin work on revamping the men’s programs and preparing the squad for the 2018 World Championships. At 4-4, Turkey finished in 22nd place out of 38 teams in the 2014 event.
Not a bad start for a program making their first appearance on the big stage. Danehy is eager to improve on what prior coach Thomas Moore and founder Patrick Daugherty have built. After next month’s European Box Lacrosse Championships, led by Coach Church, Danehy will be able to capture the full attention of his troops and get to work. We have to assume his passion for the game and commitment to excellence will lead Turkey to unforeseen heights.