ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Chesapeake Bayhawks are blessed to have one of the most successful head coaches in NCAA lacrosse history on staff leading the team.
Dave Cottle built a Hall of Fame résumé during his 28 years at Loyola and Maryland, amassing a tremendous career record of 279-115.
Now the Bayhawks are bringing aboard one of the few Division I head coaches that actually won more games than Cottle.
The Bayhawks are proud to announce that legendary former Delaware Head Coach Bob Shillinglaw has joined the staff as an assistant. Shillinglaw retired last spring after 42 years as a collegiate coach, including 39 at Delaware. The Elkton resident coached more games (653) than anyone in college lacrosse history while his 334 career victories ranks fourth all-time.
Cottle announced the hiring of Shillinglaw along with two other assistants for the 2018 season. Mark Goers will return for a third season with the Bayhawks while Jim Bernhardt will join Shillinglaw as a newcomer to Major League Lacrosse.
“I think the overriding theme is that we have dedicated, experienced, seasoned, mature men with proven track records,” Chesapeake President Mark Burdett said of the coaching staff as a whole. “We are thrilled to have Dave Cottle back as head coach and have him bring his commitment of winning to the organization by building an experienced and dedicated staff with Bob, Mark and Jim, all of whom bring deep and varied experience that will serve our partners, players and fans extremely well.”
Cottle was thrilled to land Shillinglaw, who directed Delaware to 16 conference championships and six NCAA Tournament appearances. The two-time USILA Coach of the Year brought the Blue Hens to the Final Four in 2007.
“Bob Shillinglaw is a great leader and a great teacher. He knows how to deal with men and understands the game of lacrosse as well as anyone I know,” Cottle said. “Bob is very enthusiastic about learning the MLL game and working with the professional players. We are getting a guy with tremendous experience.”
Shillinglaw, who grew up in Arnold, played lacrosse at Severna Park High and the University of North Carolina. He will serve as defensive coordinator for the Bayhawks and is eager to work alongside Cottle, a coaching colleague he has long admired and respected.
“I’m very excited to be part of the Bayhawks organization, which I am very impressed with from top to bottom,” Shillinglaw said. “It’s a great opportunity to coach with Dave Cottle, who I have known for a long time and have such great respect for. I can’t wait to get started.”
Shillinglaw has already reviewed the Chesapeake roster and been in touch with some of the defensemen he will be leading, such as perennial All-Star selections Michael Evans and Jesse Bernhardt.
“I am really looking forward to working with these great players. The talent level in this league is just unbelievable,” Shillinglaw said. “To coach this caliber of lacrosse player is going to be a tremendous experience for me personally.”
Goers is one of the greatest faceoff specialists in Division I history and it is that area of the game in which he has been a great asset to the Bayhawks. The former Towson University standout still holds the NCAA record for single-season winning percentage after capturing 78.8 percent of draws as a junior. A third team All-American in 1994, he set school records for faceoffs won in a game (21 vs. Villanova), ground balls in a season (127 in 1994) and ground balls in a career (274).
“I thought the improvement of our faceoff unit that Coach Goers oversaw was integral to our success last season,” Cottle said. “Mark really did an outstanding job of developing Ben Williams, whose percentage increased as the season went along.”
Goers will also run the substitution box for Chesapeake and Cottle also praised the level of organization he brought to that critical area. Goers has served as Director of Operations for Navy men’s lacrosse for the past seven seasons after previously spending 10 seasons as an assistant coach with the program.
“I‘m excited to be working with the athletes, coaches and staff of the Chesapeake Bayhawks again this year,” Goers said. “Being associated with the organization has genuinely been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my coaching career.”
Bernhardt brings a remarkable coaching background to the Bayhawks, having spent four decades in a wide variety of roles with both football and lacrosse. He most recently spent four years working with the Houston Texans of the National Football League.
Bernhardt’s three sons – Jesse, Jake and Jared – were all standout players at the University of Maryland with the older two currently playing Major League Lacrosse. Jesse Bernhardt, as previously mentioned, is a starting close defenseman for the Bayhawks and was recently selected to the United States national team.
Bernhardt played Division I lacrosse at Towson then Hofstra and initially began coaching the stick sport, restarting the varsity program at Long Beach High in New York in 1980. Many years later, following a lengthy career as a college football coach, he returned to lacrosse as defensive coordinator for Lake Brantley High in Florida, which is where his three sons played.
Bernhardt held the title of Director of Football Research with the Texans, serving as personal advisor to Head Coach Bill O’Brien and assisting with all aspects of game preparation, management and review – both on and off the field.
It is this area of expertise that has truly intrigued Cottle, who is always looking to keep the Chesapeake Bayhawks on the cutting edge of Major League Lacrosse. In addition to on-field coaching, Bernhardt will serve in an analytics role for the organization with particular emphasis on the upcoming MLL Collegiate Draft.
“Jim has extensive experience with a wide range of analytics and we would be foolish not to tap into that,” Cottle said. “Any time you can use technology to increase productivity you should absolutely do so. I think the more analytical we can be, the better we can help players.”
Bernhardt currently spends considerable time watching college lacrosse since Jesse works as defensive coordinator at Maryland and Jared is a starting attackman for that Big Ten Conference program. His résumé as a college football assistant includes stops at Hofstra, Brown, Central Florida and Penn State.
“I am very pleased and excited to join the Chesapeake Bayhawks organization. In my eyes, it has been a benchmark organization for the MLL,” Bernhardt said. “I look forward to being a part of that and contributing to help further the team’s success on the field.”
The Bayhawks home opener will be held Saturday, April 21st, when the team faces off against the Dallas Rattlers at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 7:00pm. For season ticket information, visit thebayhawks.com, call 866-99-HAWKS, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.