Only a few months ago, Kyle Georgalas ’05 was leading the Cornell men’s lacrosse team on the field, as a co-captain and defensive stalwart for a squad which became Ivy League champions and NCAA quarterfinalists.
Now, Georgalas will continue to guide the Red — but this time, from the sideline. Last Thursday, Georgalas was named assistant men’s lacrosse coach by Cornell head coach Jeff Tambroni. Georgalas fills a slot left by former assistant coach Pat Myers, who in June accepted a coaching spot at Bucknell.
Tambroni was tasked with finding a replacement to help him organize the team’s offense — a function previously held by Myers, a former college attacker. He also wanted an individual who would be beneficial to the team and coaching staff’s chemistry. While Georgalas did not fit the first quality, his affection and familiarity for Cornell lacrosse and the people around it made him a clear choice for the spot.
“With Kyle, he didn’t fit the mold in terms of being an offensive-minded college lacrosse player, but in terms of the person that he is, the character that he possesses, and in terms of his ability to lead and his potential to coach, I think we would’ve been hard pressed to find a better candidate for this particular position at this particular time,” Tambroni said.
Georgalas, who has been admired by his previous teammates for his leadership on and off the field, was elated to return to East Hill.
“Certainly to be back here is a great privilege and honor to come back and stay with the program,” Georgalas said. “To be able to be with the teammates that I got to play with and now to be able to coach them, it should be a good experience.”
As a player, Georgalas played a key role in the Red only allowing eight goals per game last season, as he collected 37 ground balls. Georgalas will also be able to provide his personal experience not only as a former Cornell student and athlete, but as a person who has seen the game played at a professional level.
This summer, Georgalas was taken in the fifth round of Major League Lacrosse’s collegiate draft by the New Jersey Pride.
Tambroni said that while it would be a tough transition for an individual to come straight from college into a coaching role at their alma mater, he is sure Georgalas will be able to handle it.
“He’s an unbelievably hard worker, he leads by example, and he’s a face we’re all accustomed to and we know, so I think there’s going to be no adjustment period [for him],” said senior midfielder Joe Boulukos. “I think he’s going to be great for the team, he’s a great guy and we’re all really excited to have him.”
Along with Tambroni, assistant coach Ben DeLuca ’98 and Georgalas, senior Kyle Miller — a former goaltender for the Red — will now serve as a volunteer coach. And as the team already plans its defense of its Ivy League title, Georgalas is looking forward to his new challenge at Cornell.
“I think certainly on the first day when I get out there and I’m on the sideline, and I don’t have the equipment on, it’s going to be a different experience,” Georgalas said. “But, I’m looking forward to be able to go out there and compete in a different way as a coach.”
Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Assistant Sports Editor