Dec. 7, 2004
Dave Cornell has been hired as an assistant coach for the University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team, it was announced recently by head coach Kevin Corrigan. Cornell, formerly a two-time All-America midfielder for Gettysburg College (Pa.) who then founded and served as the first head coach of the Muhlenberg College (Pa.) program, replaced the departed Guy Van Arsdale, who took an assistant coaching position at Penn State University, where his son is a freshman and member of its lacrosse team.
“We really took our time with this search,” said Corrigan. “We wanted to find the right person. Dave has great experience. He has great passion and enthusiasm not just for the game, but also for teaching the game and coaching at a high level. As someone who has started a new program, Dave has been involved in every facet of running a program. It shows he is a very smart and committed guy, because it takes somebody like that to do the job that he did in building a solid and well-respected program at Muhlenberg, one which I think will just keep getting better over the next few years with the young guys he brought in there. I think he will make a huge impact on recruiting for us. He is a hard worker, and I am very thrilled to have him as part of our staff.”
“This is an awesome opportunity,” said Cornell. “There have been other Division I coaching jobs that I have had a chance to pursue, but none intrigued me as much as this one. Notre Dame is an awesome place and a great school. I think this is a great chance for me to get back involved in the national-championship hunt, and I think it is a great move for my family.”
After the school had not fielded a varsity men’s lacrosse team since 1980, Cornell was selected to rebuild the Muhlenberg program from the ground up in 2001. He was involved in all facets of the program – including serving as head coach – during the Mules’ transition to varsity status. In its first two seasons of varsity competition, Muhlenberg posted five wins in both 2003 and ’04.
Prior to his Muhlenberg endeavor, Cornell coached at the United States national team tryouts during the summer of 2001 after serving as an assistant at his alma mater for the 1998-2001 seasons. Gettysburg won Centennial Conference titles and qualified for the NCAA tournament during all four of those campaigns, reaching the national title game in ’01. Cornell was the Bullets’ offensive coordinator during his first three years before switching to defensive coordinator for Gettysburg’s NCAA runner-up year. That squad allowed just 7.17 goals per game – a mark that was among the best in Division III – en route to a school-record 16 victories. The 2000 team, the last with Cornell guiding the offense, put up just under 16.00 goals per game.
Cornell has twice been a featured speaker at the US Lacrosse National Coaches Convention (2001 and ’04) and also served as a USILA Division III Top 20 Poll committee member from 2002-04.
As a player, Cornell was tabbed a third-team United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-American in 1995 before moving up to the second team in his final season. He finished his career with 38 goals and 40 assists, playing for four top-10 teams. All of his Gettysburg squads earned invitations to the NCAA Championship, with the ’95 edition reaching the semifinals. Cornell, the team captain in ’96, was twice an all-conference honoree, while the Bullets won three Centennial Conference championships. He also was tabbed the team’s S.T.A.R. Leader, serving as a liaison for players with alcohol, drug, and/or emotional problems. At the conclusion of his career, Cornell participated in the 1996 USILA North/South Game.
Cornell graduated from Gettysburg in 1996 with a degree in business management and entrepreneurship. He then earned a master’s degree in health and exercise science and athletic administration from McDaniel College (Md.).
His other work experience includes serving as a sales representative for Gallo Sales Company, representing the world’s leading winery in the San Francisco area. Cornell also worked as an assistant director of admission at Muhlenberg from 2001-04.
Cornell joins a program which returns six starters and 17 monogram winners from last year’s squad that finished the season 7-5 (4-1 GWLL) and just missed the 16-team NCAA Championship despite being ranked 11th in the Inside Lacrosse media poll and 12th by the USILA. Notre Dame will open its 2005 season on Feb. 27 at Penn State at 1 p.m. (EST) before beginning its home slate on March 19 vs. Butler at 1 p.m. in a Great Western Lacrosse League contest.