CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State University Director of Athletics Scott Garrett announced the hiring of Andy German as head lacrosse coach Wednesday morning.
German had served as the Vikings' top assistant coach for the past four years, playing an integral role in developing the burgeoning CSU program.
"After a careful evaluation of the options and of our impressive progress as a lacrosse program over the last three seasons, it is clear that continuity is what will deliver a sustained positive trajectory for CSU lacrosse," Garrett said. "We are incredibly fortunate to have Coach German's leadership, vision and veteran experience."
Cleveland State had its finest season yet in 2019 with German's assistance. The Vikings won seven of their final 10 games to close the year, doubling their win total from the prior season in the process. In doing so, CSU posted a winning record in just its third season of existence despite facing six teams among the top 25 in the NCAA's RPI.
Serving as defensive coordinator, German's defense finished among the top 20 nationally in scoring defense while also sitting among the top 25 in caused turnovers. German's defense also factored significantly in the Vikings' ride leading the nation in opponent clearing percentage (.707), edging out national champion Virginia. Only one CSU opponent cleared at a rate better than the national average in 2019.
The man-up unit, with which German also worked, increased its conversion rate by nearly 10 percentage points in 2019 compared with the previous season.
"I couldn't be more excited to take the reins of CSU lacrosse and continue to build on what Dylan and I started back in 2015," German said. "I'd like to thank President Harlan Sands and Athletic Director Scott Garrett for the opportunity to lead this program into its next phase. I'm honored to be the second head coach in program history and look forward to continuing to work tirelessly in bringing not just good lacrosse players, but outstanding student-athletes committed to excellence in the classroom, on the field and in the community. That is the standard of CSU lacrosse, and that will never change."
While he helped the Vikings improve from one season to the next on the field, German was heavily involved in all facets of the Viking program, from academics to community service to career development. The CSU program posted team grade point averages of at least 3.30 in each of the past two seasons. German was also instrumental in CSU's learn-to-play academy at the Urban Community School as the Vikings have taught a once-a-week class to children at a low-income Cleveland school in each of the past two fall semesters.
"The relationships he has built with our student-athletes, staff and supporters was a key factor in making this transition an easy decision," Garrett said. "I look forward to working with Andy and his staff to continuing to attract championship-caliber student-athletes to Cleveland State and to bolstering pride in Cleveland State University through his team's future accomplishments on and off the field."
German spent the 2015 season as the head coach at St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia where he led the squad to a berth in the Pennsylvania Division I state championship game along with the program's first Catholic League championship in four years. After going 8-5 in his first 13 games, German led the squad to 11 consecutive wins to reach the state final.
German was an assistant coach at Villanova for four seasons (2011-14), serving as an offensive assistant coach and recruiting coordinator before being promoted to defensive coordinator for the final two years.
In 2011, German helped the Wildcats to a No. 7 national ranking as Villanova earned its first-ever at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. The following season, he helped Villanova to new heights after the team was ranked well inside the top-20 for all 16 weeks of the regular season.
In 2013, German helped lead the Wildcats to the Big East regular season title and No. 1 overall seed for the Big East Tournament where the Wildcats fell to eventual NCAA runner-up Syracuse in the title game. Villanova advanced to the Big East Tournament final again during the 2014 season, as German's defense finished among the top five nationally in caused turnovers per game.
German helped coach standouts such as defenseman John LoCascio, a two-time USILA All-American and back-to-back BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year winner, and Kevin Cunningham, an All-American and the 2012 BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year.
German began his coaching career with a two-season stint at Susquehanna University and also served as the assistant coach of the Thailand National Team at the 2014 World Championships.
"I would be remiss if I didn't thank Coach Sheridan for bringing me and my family to Cleveland four years ago and allowing me to play a small role in what has been an incredible process of building this program into what it is today," German said. "Dylan has been an incredible mentor and leader, but more importantly a better friend, and I look forward to his continued success at OSU. Finally, to our current and future Vikings: keep working, keep setting goals that scare you and keep raising the bar. The best is yet to come. Go Vikes!"
German played at Alfred University for two years, including earning Empire 8 Rookie of the Year honors, before transferring to Villanova before the 2006 season. At Villanova, he was named a captain and was a two-year starter as a midfielder. German posted 139 career points as a collegian on 78 goals and 61 assists over 53 games played. He was selected to play in the prestigious USILA Division I-II North/South Senior All-Star game in 2007.
A native of Wayne, Pa., German graduated from Villanova in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He and his wife, Sarah, have a 3-year-old son and live in Cleveland's eastern suburbs.
What They're Saying About German
"I am so happy and excited for Andy and his family. I have had the privilege to coach Andy as a player, work with him as a coach, and now see him take over his own program. Cleveland State has hired a dedicated and talented coach who is ready for this opportunity and is going to accomplish great things. Nova Nation is proud and excited for Coach German!"
- Mike Corrado, Villanova University Head Coach
"The German family has poured into Cleveland, Cleveland State and Viking lacrosse. Andy is the perfect person to lead Viking lacrosse into the future. Having been at CSU since day one of the program, there is no question CSU lacrosse would not be nearly as far along today without Coach German. I am so incredibly happy for them and for the young men in the program. GO VIKES!"
- Dylan Sheridan, Ohio State University Assistant Coach
"I'm thrilled for Cleveland State that it has chosen to continue its young Division I lacrosse journey with Andy German as its head coach. Andy has been instrumental in not only helping the program get off the ground, but to be hugely successful in its first three years. He is well respected in our profession, a tireless recruiter and his team will compete at the highest level."
- Bill Tierney, University of Denver Head Coach
Photo courtesy of Tony Carter