Vice President/Director of Athletics Dale Howard announced the hiring of Matt Shields as the newest head coach of the women's lacrosse program on Wednesday (Dec. 19).
"I am extremely pleased that Matt Shields has agreed to become the second head coach of our women's lacrosse Team," added Howard. "He has proven himself as an assistant in the men's program, while at the same time volunteering to help the women's program. In Matt, we have hired a coach who is passionate about all of the right things. First and foremost, he cares deeply about the total development of our student athletes; in mind, body and spirit. He is also extremely passionate about the sport of lacrosse. Finally, his passion for Walsh's mission statement puts the final touches on the perfect head coach for the program at the right time in its development."
Shields, a former assistant to the men's and women's lacrosse teams here at Walsh, takes the place of Christy Mitchell, who became the head coach at University of Akron after six seasons with the Cavaliers.
"I would like to thank Vice President/Director of Athletics Dale Howard and President Richard Jusseaume for the opportunity to lead the Women's Lacrosse Program. I am truly honored and humbled in the University's belief in me to be an asset to the program. I'm very excited to get to work with the women and help build off the past success of the team."
Shields has been an assistant for the men's lacrosse program for two seasons and the women's lacrosse program for one season.
He takes over a program that is coming off their best season in program history. The Cavaliers set program-highs in overall wins and conference victories as the team went 11-7 overall and 8-4 in the G-MAC. The Cavaliers were the number three seed in the 2018 G-MAC Tournament, the second postseason appearance in program history. As an offensive coach last year, Shields assisted the team in setting a program-high with 223 goals for the season. Nine players were named All-Conference last season.
Prior to Walsh, Shields was a coach at the high school level in many capacities. He was the coach for the Mercer Island summer camp with young lacrosse players. He coached Mercer Island at the National High School Lacrosse Showcase once before as well. Along with Mercer Island, he was a coach for the club team, Team Washington, that comprised of ninth and tenth graders.
Shields was a decorated student-athlete at the University of Mount Olive. Shields was an integral part of the first NCAA Tournament appearance that the Trojans made in 2016. Shields is all over the Mount Olive record books as he is the career leader in goals (147), assists (83) and points (230) as well as the season leader for goals (47).
He earned two First Team All-Conference honors and one Second Team All-Conference nod for the Conference Carolinas. He was the Trojans' Most Valuable Player on Offense in 2014 and 2015 and followed that up with a team captain honor the following season. Due to his academic and athletic accomplishments, Shields was named a DII Scholar All-American by the USILA (United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association in 2016.
"I am confident that Matt will build upon the recent success of the program and be an excellent mentor to our student-athletes," said Howard.