Amherst College names Rashad Devoe men’s lacrosse coach


Published: 5/26/2020 4:13:51 PM

Rashad Devoe has been named the head coach of the Amherst College men’s lacrosse program, Director of Athletics Don Faulstick announced on Tuesday.

Devoe coached Hampton University this past season. He coached at the Naval Academy Preparatory School from 2018-2019.

“I want to thank Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein and Athletic Director Faulstick for giving me and my family an opportunity to be a part of the Amherst community,” Devoe said in a statement. “I am thoroughly excited to be able to coach and mentor the young men in this program and help them reach their goals off the field, as well as on the field. This program, with its supportive alumni and dedicated and talented players, has built a national lacrosse program that strives to win championships. We will continue to strive for excellence with tenacity, character, and integrity.”

Devoe takes over a program that reached the NCAA Division III championship in 2019, but fired coach Jon Thompson this spring following a racially charged incident in March.

Devoe has more than 20 years of experience among the collegiate, professional and college-preparatory coaching ranks. During that time, he has coached and mentored three All-Americans, 29 All-Conference selections and two conference Rookies of the Year, including the 2015 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Rookie of the Year while an assistant coach (2013-2015) at Colby College.

“Besides his deep knowledge of lacrosse and passion for recruiting, the thing that struck me most about Rashad was how many people who know him well commented on his mentoring skills and how much he cares for his students off the field,” Faulstick said in a statement. “His experience working at different levels of lacrosse, including in the NESCAC, will be invaluable to our students’ success, both on and off the field. I’m thrilled to have Coach Devoe and his family join Amherst Athletics and the larger College community.”

Devoe was named the 2017 Midwest Lacrosse Conference Coach of the Year after guiding Beloit (Wisc.) College (2015-2018) to its first double digit-win season in the program’s history and winning the regular season conference title. Devoe also achieved historic firsts as an assistant at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, leading the school to a top-25 national ranking in 2011, the first-ever national ranking for a Texas high school lacrosse program.

Devoe serves on the board of the Jack Sandler Leadership Foundation and Blaxesrblog Coaches Association, and volunteers as a coach for Brady’s Bunch Lacrosse, a nonprofit organization that supports and raises awareness of children’s cancer, and the Owls Lacrosse Program, a sports-based youth development organization in Chicago.

Devoe earned a bachelor’s in health with a concentration in physiology and nutrition from Buffalo, and a master’s of public health from West Chester (Pa.) University.

In a March letter to the Amherst College community signed by President Biddy Martin, Epstein and Faulstick, the school pointed out that the incident earlier this year was just the latest in a pattern of troubling behavior surrounding the program.

In addition to firing Thompson, the school placed the program on probation for the 2021 spring season, making it ineligible for the postseason.

The school banned formal team gatherings until Nov. 1, which includes any player-run practices or other team-bonding activities. In addition, every member of the team will be required to complete an educational course selected by Epstein with input from the chief diversity and inclusion officer and Faulstick.

Thompson was in the midst of his 10th season in charge of the Mammoths, who were ranked No. 7 in the country before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thompson was 125-47 with seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

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