Entering his 14th year as head coach of the Keene State men's lacrosse team, Mark Theriault is looking to lead the Owls back to the Little East Conference and a berth to the NCAA Tournament. Posting a 10-6 (6-1 LEC) record last season, the Owls came up just short of their goal, losing a hard fought game against rival Eastern Conn. in last year’s LEC finals.
Under the direction of Theriault, the Owls captured their third consecutive and fourth overall LEC title in 2012, sweeping all three major conference awards, including offensive, defensive player and rookie of the year honors. Theriault’s team earned a reputation for never giving up, coming back from a eight goal deficit to defeat rival Eastern Conn. 19-17 during the regular season and posting a 14-9 win over the Warriors in the LEC finals, tying a school record with their 11th straight victory.
Playing a highly-competitive schedule which includes some of the top teams in the region, Theriault, a four-time LEC Coach of the Year, has led the Owls to a 139-62 (.691) overall record and a highly- impressive 61-8 (.897) mark in conference play since ushering KSC into the league in 2000.
Joining a two-year-old varsity program in 1999, Theriault has seen his hard work pay off. He has not only built the Owls into one of the top programs in New England, but he's also moved the team into the national spotlight, garnering a 17th place finish in the 2008 USILA poll.
Under Theriault, the team has claimed four Little East tournament titles, appeared in eight conference championship games, and produced 61 All-Little East Conference players and seven Offensive Players of the Year, four Rookies of the Year, and the Defensive Player of the Year honoree three consecutive seasons (2006-08) as well as in 2011. In 2010, Griffin Meehan followed up his Rookie of the Year honors by being tabbed the Little East Conference player of the year and being named to the USILA All-American Team. The junior was also the NCAA Division III statistical champion for points per game.
In 2011, Meehan earned LEC player of the year and USILA All-American honors for the second year in a row. In 2008, Tony Santa Fe received Offensive Player of the Year honors, and goalie Matt Johnson '08 was selected as the LEC's Defensive Player of the Year. In 2007, Johnson joined Eric Momnie '05 as Keene State's first two USILA All-Americas.
Eight players have participated in the senior East/West All-Star game, including Matt Schairer and Sean LeBlanc last year. Johnson participated in the 2008 North/South Senior All-Star game. Theriault served as a coach at the North/South All-Star game in 2009.
Prior to his tenure at Keene State, Coach Theriault was the head coach at Western New England College, where he went 14-3 and won the Pilgrim League championship in 1996.
Throughout his coaching career, Theriault has been active in the sport. He was the chair of the men's lacrosse conference, was a voting member of the national Division III poll, and served on the Regional Advisory Committee for the NCAA. Currently, Theriault sits on the All-America selection committee.
Coach Theriault is the owner/director of the Elite 180 Lacrosse Recruiting.
Theriault is a 1996 graduate of Springfield College, where he was a two-time All-American. During his junior year, when the Pride won a national championship, he was the Most Valuable Player of the championship game. At the end of his senior year, Theriault was voted Most Outstanding Midfielder in the nation. Theriault also participated in the North/South Senior All-Star game at Johns Hopkins University. He played lacrosse professionally for the Boston Blazers and in 1996 was voted the Unsung Hero of the team. He continues to play in a summer league in western Massachusetts.
Coach Theriault resides in Winchester, N.H., with his twin boys Jack and Connor, and two Siberian huskies.
|Title:||Assistant Coach, Offensive Coordinator|
Matt Griffin is entering his second season as a member of the Keene State College men’s lacrosse coaching staff. Griffin, who serves as the Owls' offensive coordinator, played a key role in team's ability to put the ball on the net. Under his direction, KSC topped the LEC in goals per game (14.19), assists per game (8.56) and points per game (22.75). The Owls offense featured Taylor Jette and Matt Schairer, two of the leading goal scorers in the conference.
Prior to joining the Owls, he spent two years as the head boys’ lacrosse coach at Keene High School.
Inheriting the head coaching job at Keene High in 2010, Griffin didn’t waste any time making his mark, leading the Blackbirds to their first winning season (10-6) in six years and the programs’ first playoff appearance. Last year, the team finished 10-7 and made its second straight trip to the tournament, earning Griffin Division II Coach of the Year honors.
Griffin was excited about joining the Keene State program in 2012. “It’s been a dream of mine to move into the college coaching ranks, so it was a perfect time and a perfect opportunity” said Griffin, who will serve as the Owls’ offensive coordinator.
“Matt has great addition to our staff. He’s help to continue the process of taking the team to the next level,” said Theriault.
According to Theriault, Griffin will continue be heavily involved in the Owls’ recruiting efforts and add a different perspective to the teams’ offense. “In the past, I’ve had Keene State players on my staff. Matt has brought a different and fresh look to our offense,” Theriault said.
Griffin, who also works is a police officer and school resource officer at Keene High School, brings a diverse background to his new position. Griffin grew up playing lacrosse in New Jersey where he was a four-time All-State selection as an attackman and a preseason All-American as a senior at Morristown-Beard High School. Joining the Navy after high school, Matt played for the All-Navy West Coast Team, where he was a captain for two years.
“The transition to the college ranks has been a smooth one for me," said Griffin, who also serves as the co-director of the New England Elite Lacrosse. “The talent level is great up-and-down the roster.”
|Title:||Assistant Coach, Defensive Coordinator|
Bill Cosentino has joined the Keene State men’s lacrosse coaching staff, assuming the position of defensive coordinator with the team this spring.
“I am absolutely thrilled about being able to coach at the college level,” said Cosentino. “I’m really looking forward to working with players who are experienced, eager to learn the game, and will devote themselves to the program.”
“I’m really excited to add someone with Bill’s background to my staff,” said KSC Head Coach Mark Theriault. “During my time at Keene State I’ve had to coach both offensive and defensive groups. Last year we hired someone to coach the offense (Matt Griffin). Now I have an offensive and defensive coordinator and I will able to oversee both sides. Bill is young and energetic and exactly what I’m looking for as an assistant.”
Cosentino brings a net full of playing and coaching experience with him to his new position.
Cosentino grew up playing lacrosse at Levittown, N.Y., earning All-Conference honors as a defender at Division Ave. High School in Levittown. He went on to play at Plymouth State University where he was a four-year defensive starter. As a junior, he finished in the top10 for ground balls in the Little East Conference and helped lead his senior Panther team to the championship game of the ECAC New England tournament.
Continuing to play after graduating, Cosentino played two years for the Bay State Lacrosse club in the American Lacrosse League and in 2008 started the Warpigs Lacrosse club, one of the top men’s post-collegiate teams in New England. The Warpigs have played in the national tournament the past two years.
Cosentino began coaching after graduating from Plymouth State. He spent four year as the assistant varsity coach at Concord (N.H.) High School, receiving the 2007 assistant coach of the year award from the NHIAA and the U.S. Lacrosse Association. While at Concord, he coached former Owl Kyle Bennett.
In 2010, he was hired as the boys’ varsity coach at Merrimack (N.H.) High, leading the team to its first winning season since 2001.
“I’m big into lacrosse in New Hampshire, so I’ve been following Keene State for a long time,” said Cosentino, who is also the owner and co-director of New England Elite Lacrosse. “I’m aware of the talent they are able to bring into the program and I’m excited to help them get to the next level. Being able to step into a program that has such a winning tradition is exciting.”
As far as going from a Plymouth State Panther to a Keene State Owl? One of my teammates told me: Great career move- bad alumni move,” said a smiling Cosentino. Yes I’m from Plymouth State and Keene State dominated us all my years, but I want to show that I learned a lot while I was at Plymouth State as well.
When not on the field, Cosentino is a sixth grade teacher at the Rundlett Middle School in Concord.