October 2, 2012

Caravana announces coaching staff

Denison head men's lacrosse coach Mike Caravana has announced the hiring of three new assistant coaches at Denison University.  Those hires include 2011 Denison graduate Tanner Smith, Chris Cooper and Chip Murray.

A native of Boxford, Mass., Smith returns to Granville after a one-year stint as an assistant men's lacrosse coach at Haverford College.  While at Haverford, Smith assisted in the day-to-day functions of the program, including organizing the summer recruiting calendar, coordinating prospective student-athlete visits, planning practices, implementing game strategies and fulfilling other administrative duties.

During his four-year career at Denison, Smith was a two-time United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse All-American and a USILA Scholar All-American in 2011.  He was also a three-time first-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference selection from 2009-11, and received the NCAC Men's Lacrosse Sportsmanship Award as a senior.  A two-year captain, Smith finished his career with 69 goals and 81 assists.  Tanner graduated from Denison with a degree in history.

"It's great to have Tanner back with our team and at Denison," Caravana said.  "He wasn't only one of our best players, but he was also a top notch competitor and leader.  I am confident that his intellect, understanding of the game and outstanding work ethic will be an excellent addition to our staff.  He is personable, and an excellent communicator and that will also serve us well in recruiting."

Cooper comes to Granville fresh off a three-year stint on the Michigan State University coaching staff.  While in East Lansing, he helped the MSU lacrosse team rise from a top 25 team to a top 10 squad.  As an assistant coach and offensive coordinator, Cooper helped in all facets of the program.

The Spartans captured one Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association Championship and appeared in three Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association Championship tournaments during Cooper's tenure at Michigan State.  He coached 13 All-Americans, including three first-team players, and was part of the MCLA Coach of the Year staff in 2011.

"Chris comes to us with a great deal of coaching and teaching experience.  Having worked with him at our summer camps and seeing him as a teacher, I know we have someone with a sharp lacrosse mind and big game experience.  All that will benefit not only our team, but our players on an individual basis."

Murray recently completed a four-year career at Dickinson College.  The New Canaan, Conn. native was an honorable mention Centennial Conference pick in 2012.  During his sophomore and senior seasons, Murray led the Centennial Conference in groundballs. 

Murray left Dickinson ranked third in career faceoffs won (478) and fourth in groundballs (283).  He also set the single-season faceoff record in 2012 with 208.  Murray graduated from Dickinson in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Policy Management.  He is currently working towards a Master of Public Administration degree at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

"Chip is a great addition to our staff.  His experiences at Dickinson, one of the top academic-athletic schools in Division III lacrosse, will provide our staff with perspective on how to manage and guide our student- athletes.  In addition, his ability as face off man will certainly be a benefit to our guys.  We are excited to have him join us!"