Corey Shaffer Takes Over Men’s Lacrosse

Chase Rondeau

Corey Shaffer was recently named the Interim Head Coach of the Ursinus College Men’s Lacrosse Team after the previous head coach, Gary Mercadante, left the college. Shaffer had been an Assistant Coach for the Bears for four years prior to being named Interim Head Coach. His competence, love for the organization, and loyalty to the program were rewarded in this recent promotion.

I had the chance to interview Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse player, All-American, and Senior Captain Tyler Neal. When I asked Tyler how he felt about the coaching change and the way things have gone this year, Tyler said, “I haven’t really felt too much of a change. Last year I felt like [Shaffer] really took on the role as a second Head Coach for us. He brings a relaxing energy to the team that has been contagious.”

Shaffer’s first fall as a head coach went smoothly. Players and parents are happy with how he has conducted himself thus far. The father of lacrosse player Drake Kasoff said, “Shaffer has been great to us parents. He communicates well, has personable conversations, and it is easy to tell that he authentically cares about the kids.”

In his debut scrimmages, Shaffer won both games against two strong local competitors. With Shaffer’s leadership and coaching, the Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse team defeated Widener and Eastern University. Following the scrimmages, Shaffer has been able to put together an effective team plan for the rest of the fall. He has voiced to the team that the work is far from over and that this is just the beginning of a year that has potential to make Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse history. Coach Shaffer’s plan for the rest of the fall includes lifting, running, basketball, captain-practices, and team community service events.

A key attribute of Shaffer’s coaching style is giving the leaders on his team the freedom to control what their offseason entails. In the interview with Tyler Neal, I asked what the difference was from being a captain last year to this year. Tyler looked at me, thought for a second, and responded with, “The freedom. I feel like it is truly our team this year. The horses run the race and Shaffer is letting that happen.” Overall, Coach Shaffer’s first fall as head coach has been successful and brought great feedback from players and parents. What the spring will bring is unknown, but what is definite is the feeling the people in the or- ganization have. Corey Shaffer has brought a new era to the Ursinus College Men’s Lacrosse program.