Former Cornell University Men’s Lacrosse coach Jeff Tambroni has become the newest member of Penn State Athletics. In the 10 years that Tambroni was the head coach of the the Big Red, he led his team to a record of 109-40, eight Ivy League Championships, and three NCAA Final Four appearances. Under his tenure, Cornell shot to the forefront of college lacrosse and became a national powerhouse. Tambroni’s departure from Cornell was a complete shock to many, including his star player at Cornell Rob Pannell, who told the Elmira Star Gazette that he was “kind of in shock a little bit. Kind of upset, but coach Tambroni, he has his reasons for doing it. I’m behind him and support his decision.”
Tambroni replaces Glenn Thiel at the helm, who served as head coach for 33 years, before retiring in May. Thiel took the Nittany Lions to the NCAA tournament twice (2003 and 2005) but never advanced beyond the first round. Tambroni’s wife, Michelle, was an All-American field hockey player for Penn State and served as an assistant coach for the team in the late 90’s-early 2000’s, so look for her to possibly make an appearance of the sidelines for them in the near future.
Tambroni’s hire marks the 2nd major coaching hire that Tim Curley has made in the past month (with the Men’s Soccer team hiring Bob Warming), and makes it apparent that he is dedicated to success in the non-revenue sports, especially if you include the hiring of Cael Sanderson to head up the wrestling program last year. Penn State has a very strong athletic department, but the Spring sports (with the exception of the Men’s Volleyball team) have always been a weak point. With Tambroni’s hiring and the recent successes of the women’s track and field and men’s golf teams, the Spring sports just got a lot more competitive. The women’s lacrosse coaching position is currently vacant, so look for a potential big hire for that program as well.
I can’t say enough how excited I am for this hire. Look for the team to become competitive extremely quickly (I say NCAA tournament appearances within three years, and a final four appearance within five) and the program, and its following, to dramatically increase.
Now if only we can get Tim Curley to commit to the success of the men’s basketball program.