The men’s lacrosse team will see new faces in the huddle this year. Bill Wilson and Ben DeLuca ’98 were added to the staff on July 19 as the Red continues its quest toward an Ivy and National Title.
DeLuca is no stranger to the Red sideline. A four-year letterman and team captain, DeLuca served as an assistant in 1999 and 2000 under former head coach Dave Pietramala.
After his coaching debut he spent two years serving as the Vice President of Operations for the National Lacrosse League.
DeLuca, who explained, “It’s great to be home,” compared his experiences in the NLL office with coaching on the collegiate level.
“I liked [working at the NLL], but obviously I missed the on-field experience. I missed working with the guys and the hands-on work that comes with coaching. But more than anything, I missed the people, the people that I was working with, especially Coach Tambroni.”
Now that he is back he has a few goals in mind.
“I just hope to add to the passion and intensity that the head coach and the other assistant bring,” explained DeLuca. I hope to bring a little pride to our school; I went here, I played here and I’d like to see us win, specifically an Ivy League championship, and down the line a national championship. But I want to see us win every game on our schedule, go to the playoffs and win there too; just be successful on every level.”
Head coach Jeff Tambroni couldn’t have been more excited about DeLuca’s return.
“We are extremely fortunate to have a young man of his experience and his background back in that position,” he stated. “He is probably one of the most passionate, hardworking young coaches in the game.”
Tambroni later added, “He’ll do a wonderful job this year of giving us a little more experience on the sidelines, and certainly giving us the passion of a Cornellian that I think we need to give us a boost over the top.”
DeLuca’s return has also excited the seniors who played for him four years ago. Captain Ryan McClay summed up his feelings, stating, “It’s great that he’s back, he’s a great guy. He knows the defense, he knows the players and it’s going to be great for recruiting because he went to school here. He can speak on a firsthand basis.”
Wilson is also not a stranger to Tambroni. Both are graduates of West Genessee High School in Syracuse, and although they did not play together, Tambroni believes they share a similar coaching philosophy.
“I think more than anything, [having the same hometown] brings together a connection about our beliefs and values of lacrosse,” explained Tambroni. “We grew up in the same town, but I think more importantly we played for the same high school coach, and we both believe in the same things he believed in, in terms of discipline, in terms of the commitment and sacrifice that it takes to be successful.”
Wilson comes to Cornell from Hofstra University, where he is credited with revitalizing that team’s defense during his six-year tenure. Prior to his stint with the Pride, Wilson was an assistant at Princeton and saw that team win a national championship.
Of Cornell, Wilson stated, “I’m thrilled to be coming up here to work with the staff and the University. It’s great to come back and coach in the Ivy League.”
He later added, “I feel that I am very fortunate to be here at Cornell and I hope I can contribute as well as anyone else.”
Wilson’s defensive expertise will be put to the test immediately, but he has already won the backing of McClay.
“He seems like a great guy,” explained the senior. “He [worked at] Hofstra for six years and turned their defense around and put them back in the spotlight