Men's Lacrosse


  Greg Cannella
Greg  Cannella

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Massachusetts ('88)

Overall Record:
183-120 (.604)


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Garber Field Renovations Update (July 29, 2015)

The process of laying out and fastening the turf surface is underway


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Four-year standout goalie coached, competed for Minutemen over previous decade


Garber Field Renovations Update (June 30, 2015)

Work continues on turf surface replacement, stadium upgrades


3/11: Men's Lacrosse Postgame Interviews

UMass men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella and senior midfielder Connor Mooney discuss the 16-11 win over Providence at Garber Field on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.



MLAX VS. BROWN Photos by Thom Kendall '93



MLAX vs. TOWSON Photos by Thom Kendall '93



MLAX vs. HARVARD Photos by Thom Kendall '93



MLAX vs. HOFSTRA Photos by Thom Kendall '93

Recognized as one of the nation's top lacrosse coaches, Greg Cannella enters his 22nd year at the helm of the University of Massachusetts program in 2015-16. Cannella has coached his Minutemen to eight NCAA Tournaments, claimed seven New England Championships, won five conference titles and guided the Minutemen to a No. 1 national ranking. Cannella was named the CAA Coach of the Year in 2012, his sixth conference coach of the year honor with the Minutemen, has been named the ECAC Coach of the Year on four occasions and earned the New England Coach of the Year five times. In 2006, Cannella was chosen as the USILA National Coach of the Year after he led UMass to its first-ever lacrosse NCAA Championship Game appearance.

A 1988 University of Massachusetts graduate, Cannella took the reigns of the UMass lacrosse program in the fall of 1994 with a great understanding of the program's storied history. He was a two-time letterwinner for legendary program leader Dick Garber in the mid-to-late 1980s and an assistant coach for two seasons with the Minutemen prior to taking over as the head coach.

Under Cannella's tutelage, UMass has enjoyed some of the program's highest levels of success on and off the field. With a history as one of the top teams in New England, the reputation of UMass lacrosse has spread out across the country thanks in part to his leadership. Since taking over as head coach, the team has enjoyed success as a whole and among individual players. Cannella has produced three Tewaaraton finalists, 45 USILA All-America selections, 100 All-New England picks, 68 all-conference honorees and nine positional league players of the year. For the work accomplished by Minutemen in the classroom, the program has earned 14 Academic All-Americans, 38 New England Scholar-Athletes and 31 academic all-conference picks.

Since 2001, UMass has been one of the most successful programs in the country thanks in part to the friendly confines of Garber Field. During that span, Cannella has led UMass to a 77-27 record at Garber while the Minutemen are 143-82 since 2001, with six seasons featuring 12 or more wins.

With only 12 upperclassmen on the 2015 roster, the inexperienced Minutemen struggled during the regular season before the squad compiled a strong close to the campaign. Cannella guided the team to its third CAA Championship Game appearance over five seasons in the league as the squad fell one game shy of earning an NCAA Tournament bid. Following the season, Ryan Izzo tallied USILA All-America for the second consecutive campaign and became the 11th Minuteman under Cannella's tutelage to earn multiple all-America laurels from the USILA.

Cannella led a young Minuteman squad featuring 24 underclassmen among 37 total players to a 7-6 record during 2014. UMass earned wins over a pair of nationally ranked programs in No. 5 Penn State and No. 14 Ohio State during the year, before it ended the season receiving votes in the national polls. Following the end of the campaign, freshman Nick Mariano took in the CAA Rookie of the Year Award while he was honored on the All-CAA listing alongside teammates Kyle Karaska and Connor Mooney. Cannella was also inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame for his accomplishments within the game of lacrosse spanning nearly 30 years as a competitor and coach.

Two of the most historic campaigns in the program's history have occurred under Cannella's watch. The 2006 squad became the first-ever New England-based team to reach the NCAA Championship Game, while the 2012 squad went undefeated during the regular-season with a program-best 15 wins and a No. 1 national ranking.

The 2006 season will go down as one of the best for any athletic program at UMass. As an unseeded team, the Minutemen had the most difficult path to a lacrosse championship game in history, beating the second, third and fourth-ranked teams in the nation. UMass topped No. 2 seed Maryland, 8-5 in the semifinals after advancing to its first Final Four with a stunning 11-10 overtime win against Hofstra on May 20, 2006. The difficult comeback saw the Minutemen rally from a 10-5 deficit with 8:03 left in the fourth quarter as UMass won its quarterfinal game at Stony Brook.

During the 2006 campaign, Cannella also had a personal milestone as he recorded his 100th career win after a 12-7 victory at Harvard on March 11.

Individually, that season saw UMass produce two First-Team USILA All-Americans for the first time in school history with Sean Morris on attack and Jack Reid being honored on defense. Jake Deane was also named an honorable mention All-American. For the second year in a row, Morris was named a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy as the top player in all of NCAA Division I college lacrosse.

During the 2012 regular season, week-by-week, UMass continued to win games - some in dramatic fashion and others through a relentless fury of goal scoring and a stifling defense. As each week of the regular-season went on, the Minutemen continued to climb higher and higher in the national polls. On April 16, 2012 it became official, the Minutemen were the No. 1 team in the country, marking the first time a UMass athletic program held the top spot in the country since the 1995-96 NCAA Final Four men's basketball team. Cannella led the Minutemen to an undefeated regular-season, the program's first-ever CAA Tournament Title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the 19th time in the history of the Minutemen.

Individually, UMass produced six USILA All-Americans, including Will Manny being selected to the first-team. Manny also earned CAA Player of the Year, New England Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award. Cannella was recognized as the CAA Coach of the Year and the New England Coach of the Year.

Other milestone seasons for Cannella include 2005 and 2003, where the Minutemen won 13 games and made an NCAA Tournament appearance in each campaign.

The 2005 season saw the Minutemen tie the then-school record for wins with a 13-3 overall mark. UMass advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the 10th time in program history while winning the ECAC and New England Championships. The season was historic as UMass knocked off Syracuse twice in a three-week span, including a 16-15 win in the NCAA Tournament First Round to end the Orange's 22-year run of reaching the semifinals. UMass was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter as well as in Sports Illustrated after the monumental win. Cannella continued to coach some of the nation's top players as attackman Sean Morris was selected as UMass' first-ever finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy. Morris was one of four all-Americans on the 2005 team, which also featured seven All-New England choices.

The 2003 UMass squad also tied the previous school record with 13 victories, advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for only the fifth time in school history and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the country, the then-highest ranking for the Minutemen.

Prior to returning to his alma mater, Cannella spent four years as an assistant coach at Stony Brook from 1988-92. Cannella masterminded the offense and served as the recruiting coordinator on John Espey's staff. He earned a master's degree in liberal studies while coaching at Stony Brook.

Cannella earned a bachelor's degree in physical education while playing at Massachusetts from 1986-87. He was a two-year starter for the Minutemen and a member of two NCAA Tournament teams. Cannella scored 64 points (33 goals, 31 assists) in his UMass career.

Before playing at UMass, Cannella spent one year at Nassau (N.Y.) Community College, where he was a first team All-America selection and led Nassau to the 1985 Junior College National Title.

A native of Lynbrook, N.Y., Cannella played for three years at Lynbrook High School. One of the most prolific scorers in Lynbrook history, Cannella was a high school All-America selection and still ranks among Lynbrook's all-time leading scorers.

Cannella served as the President of the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association in 1998, 1999 and 2000, and served as the Vice President in 1997. Cannella is currently the chairman of the annual NEILA Scholar Athlete Team, which he started in 1999. He has also served on the NCAA Championships Regional Advisory Committee that selected the teams for the NCAA Tournament in 1997, 1998 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Cannella was a regional voter in the USILA/STX weekly poll from 1997-2001 and has served as a USIlA regional voter for all-American selection since 2003. He now serves on the prestigious committee to help select the Tewaaraton Award, a honor given to the nation's top player.

Cannella was born on Sept. 2, 1965, in Rockville Centre, N.Y. He and his wife, Laurie, reside in Hadley with their son Vance and daughter Virginia.


Greg Cannella's Year-By-Year Head Coaching Results
Year W L Pct. Season Notes
1995 7 6 .538 NCAA First Round
1996 7 5 .583 -
1997 9 6 .600 NCAA Quarterfinals
1998 7 5 .583 -
1999 4 8 .333 -
2000 6 8 .429 -
2001 12 2 .857 ECAC Co-Champions
2002 12 4 .750 NCAA Quarterfinals; ECAC Champions
2003 13 3 .812 NCAA Quarterfinals
2004 7 7 .500 -
2005 13 3 .813 NCAA Quarterfinals; ECAC Champions
2006 13 5 .722 NCAA Finalists; 100th Career Win
2007 7 7 .500 -
2008 5 9 .357 -
2009 9 6 .600 NCAA First Round; ECAC Champions
2010 8 6 .571 Three wins over ranked teams
2011 10 5 .667 CAA Championship Game Appearance
2012 15 1 .940 NCAA First Round; CAA Champions
2013 7 8 .467 Three wins over ranked teams
2014 7 6 .538 175th head coaching win
2015 5 10 .333 CAA Championship Game Appearance
TOTALS 183 120 .604 1 NCAA Championship Game Appearance
8 NCAA Tournament Berths
8 NEILA New England Championships
4 ECAC Championships
1 CAA Championship


Greg Cannella's Head Coaching Honors
ECAC Coach of the Year 2001, 2002, 2004 & 2009
CAA Coach of the Year 2011 & 2012
NEILA Coach of the Year 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 & 2012
USILA National Coach of the Year 2006
NJCAA Hall of Fame 2014


Greg Cannella's Head Coaching Highlights
2006 USILA National Coach of the Year
2001, 2002, 2004, 2009 ECAC Coach of the Year
2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012 New England Coach of the Year
45 USILA All-America Selections
14 Academic All-Americans
99 All-New England Honorees
Three Tewaaraton Finalists


Greg Cannella's Milestone Head Coaching Wins
1st Win 13-4 over Boston College; March 25, 1995
23rd Win 6-4 over Hofstra; May 10, 1997
First NCAA Tournament
38th Win 17-5 over Boston College; March 28, 2000
Moved into second place on UMass all-time wins list
50th Win 11-5 over Harvard; April 18, 2001
75th Win 11-8 over Georgetown; April 19, 2003
100th Win 12-7 over Harvard; March 11, 2006
110th Win 8-5 over Maryland; May 27, 2006
Sends UMass to first-ever NCAA Title Game
150th Win 12-9 over Army; February 10, 2012
161st Win 14-13 over Hofstra; April 21, 2012
First-ever win as No. 1 nationally-ranked team
162nd Win 17-6 over Delaware; April 27, 2012
First undefeated regular-season since 1969
164th Win 18-12 over Drexel; May 5, 2012
First CAA Title & program-record 15th win of season
175th Win 15-2 at Brown; March 1, 2014

Last updated on June 1, 2015


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