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June 16, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, MD. (umterps.com) - John Tillman has been hired as the University of Maryland's head men's lacrosse coach, Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow announced today, becoming the ninth coach in the 85-year history of the program. Tillman comes to College Park after three years returning Harvard lacrosse to national prominence and twelve seasons as the top assistant at Navy, during which the Midshipmen experienced some of the best years in their storied history. He has signed a seven-year contract.
Widely considered one of the top young coaches in the country and a dynamic recruiter, Tillman has been the head men's lacrosse coach at Harvard the past three seasons. His last recruiting class for the Crimson was rated No. 3 in the nation, according to Inside Lacrosse.
During his three seasons at Harvard, Tillman compiled an overall record of 20-19, including an 8-5 mark in 2009, which was the Crimson's highest win total since 1999. Tillman's time at Harvard produced a number of the most memorable wins in the program's history. This past season, during which Harvard climbed as high as No. 11 in the national polls, Tillman guided the Crimson to an 11-8 victory over No. 6 Princeton, which was the first time Harvard had defeated the Tigers in 20 years. In 2009, Tillman led the Crimson to a season-opening 9-6 upset victory at No. 5 Duke.
Tillman improved his teams in every aspect over the past three seasons. Prior to his arrival in Cambridge, Mass., the Crimson ranked 40th and 42nd, respectively, in total offense and defense. Tillman's defense ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation, while his offense rose to No. 15 in the country. He also dramatically improved Harvard's extra-man offense, from the 51st-ranked unit before he arrived, to a perennial top 15 unit.
Prior to Harvard, Tillman spent 12 seasons at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. After six seasons as an assistant coach, he was promoted to head assistant coach and offensive coordinator prior to the 2002 season. From 2004 through 2007, Tillman helped lead the Midshipmen to the some of the most successful seasons in program history, including four straight NCAA tournament berths, four consecutive Patriot League tournament titles and four straight Patriot League regular season championships.
During his 12 season at the Naval Academy, Tillman was responsible for helping develop first team All-America midfielders Graham Gill and Billy Looney and second team All-America attackman Jon Birsner. In his 12 seasons in Annapolis, the Mids compiled an overall record of 104-63.
Tillman started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Ithaca College. He spent four seasons (1992-95) with the Bombers, helping lead them to the Division III national semifinals in 1992.
In addition to his extensive coaching experience, Tillman also serves as a member of the Tewaaraton Award Men's Selection Committee.
A 1991 graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, Tillman was a three-year member of the school's Dean's list. He had the opportunity to play for legendary coach Richie Moran and was a member of the 1989 squad that earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. Tillman was a goalie when he entered college, but played a number of positions for the Big Red, giving him a great appreciation and understanding for the overall game of lacrosse.
Tillman played professionally for the Baltimore Thunder and the Washington Power of the National Lacrosse League. During his final two seasons in Baltimore, he helped the Thunder reach the NLL Championship and Semifinals. Tillman also played for the Toyota Lacrosse Club, who won five-consecutive Southern Division Championships, including a world championship in 2000.
A native of Corning, N.Y., Tillman was previously commissioned into the U.S. Navy as a fleet support officer and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal.