GROVE CITY, Pa. (ohioriverlax.org) – Grove City College has hired Duke University assistant lacrosse coach Alec Jernstedt to serve as the College's first head men's lacrosse coach.
The College approved lacrosse as an NCAA Division III varsity sport last year and the team's inaugural season will begin March 7, 2018 when the Wolverines host Saint Vincent College in an Ohio River Lacrosse Conference game at Robert E. Thorn Field.
"Alec is going to be a great addition to a team that's enjoyed a high level of success as a club sport program. We're excited about him joining our coaching roster and the new varsity status of the men's program, which now affords our student-athletes the opportunity to compete in 22 Division III sports," Grove City College Athletic Director Todd Gibson '02 said.
"Alec is exactly the type of strong leader we were hoping to find for our inaugural season of men's varsity lacrosse. He's an accomplished player and coach, but more importantly, he possesses the vision for building a nationally-recognized culture of excellence for God's glory," College President Paul J. McNulty '80 said.
Jernstedt joins Grove City after serving two years as volunteer assistant at Duke University where this spring he helped the Blue Devils advance to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and finish No. 7 nationally in the "Inside Lacrosse" top 25. Prior to Duke, Jernstedt worked for two seasons as volunteer assistant at the University of Delaware.
He earned three letters as a defensive and long stick midfielder at Division I Towson University from 2009 to 2012. Jernstedt helped Towson advance to the Colonial Athletic Association championship match in each of his first two seasons.
While a student at Towson, he earned Dean's List honors and was active in the Athletes In Action and P.A.W.S. (Proud Athletes Who Serve.) He graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and geography.
A native of Wilsonville, Ore., Jernstedt started his coaching career as a head coach for the Rhino Lacrosse Club in Portland, Ore., from 2009 to 2012. He worked as a coach and marketing director for Next Level Lacrosse Club in Bethesda, Md. and also has volunteered as a coach for FCA Lacrosse at the US Lacrosse Under-15 World Championships in Orlando, Fla.
"Under Coach Jernstedt, men's varsity lacrosse at Grove City College will continue in the tradition of faithful sportsmanship and servant leadership that defined it when it was a club program, due in large part to the volunteers and alumni who coached and advised the club," Gibson added. "We are grateful to Zach Jew '11 and club coach Bill Sigmund for their work in transitioning the team from club level to varsity status and for their efforts in recruiting the excellent student-athletes who remain at the heart of the program as it prepares for this new season."
Jernstedt and his wife, Kelly Cianciotta, a former softball player at Georgetown University, will be relocating to the region this summer.
Story contributed by the Grove City College sports information office