In just a short time, Brian Brecht has brought the Siena Men's Lacrosse program to new heights. Entering his eighth season as head coach, Brecht has led the Saints to two MAAC Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament Appearances (2009, '11) and four MAAC Regular Season Championships (2007, '09, '10, '11). A three-time MAAC Coach of the Year (2005, '07, '09), Brecht sports a 65-49 (.570) overall record with the Saints including an impressive 37-17 (.685) mark in MAAC competition.
"Brian's vast coaching knowledge and strong recruiting skills have helped elevate the Siena lacrosse program to a new level," said Director of Athletics John D'Argenio. "I am confident Brian will continue to build upon the success he has already achieved here at Siena."
Over the past five years, Brecht has ushered in a new era in Siena Men's Lacrosse as the Saints have won four MAAC Regular Season Championships and two MAAC Tournament Championships, while also making the first two NCAA Tournament Appearances in program history. Siena has posted a gaudy 57-28 (.671) overall record - the sixth highest win total in the nation trailing only the likes of perennial powers Duke, Virginia, Syracuse, Cornell and Notre Dame. In MAAC games, the Saints are 32-6 (.842) in regular season action. Brecht has led the Saints to 10+ win seasons in each of those years after the program had only reached double figures in victories just twice previously since the program's inception in 1964.
Additionally over the past five seasons, the program has posted the most wins (57) over any five-year span and at one time won 22 straight MAAC games and 13 straight home games. The Saints will enter the 2012 season with a 12-game MAAC road winning streak. The Saints have had four USILA All-American Honorable Mentions over the past five seasons, three North/South All-Stars, MAAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year and two Rookies of the Year.
In 2011, the Saints set a program record with 13 wins and finished the season nationally ranked at No. 20 in both the USILA Coaches' Poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll for the first time in program history. At one point, Siena won six in a row and steamrolled through Jacksonville and Detroit in the MAAC Championships, outscoring their opponents 30-11 en route to their second conference title in three seasons.
In 2010 Siena finished 12-5 overall and won the MAAC Regular Season Championship with a perfect 8-0 record. Brecht guided the Saints to the MAAC Title game which Siena lost in to Mount St. Mary's.
The Saints made history in 2009 when they won their first MAAC Championship and earned the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament. Brecht won his third MAAC Coach of the Year award as he guided the team to a perfect 8-0 league record and the regular season MAAC Championship. The Saints went on to defeat Providence and Manhattan in the MAAC Tournament and earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Siena led the nation in scoring defense in 2008, allowing just 6.13 goals per game en route to posting a 10-6 overall record. That season saw the program also pick up its first-ever win over a nationally ranked opponent as the Saints secured a 5-4 victory at then No. 18 Loyola on Mar. 18, 2008.
The Long Island native propelled the Saints to new heights in 2007 as he secured the program's first MAAC Regular Season Championship. Siena's 10-6 finish marked its first winning season since 1983, and at the time was only the third 10+ win season in program history.
In Brecht's second season in 2006, attackman Matt Donovan '07 led the nation with 35 assists while Matt Girsh ranked fourth in all of Division I in goals per game. Matt Walsh was also named a USILA Scholar All-American and later went on to lead Ireland to a 6-1 record at the 2010 FIL World Championships, finishing second in the tournament in scoring with 40 points.
Brecht, who was named the ninth head coach in program history on July 19, 2004, has coached 40 All-MAAC selections including three MAAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year along with three MAAC Rookies of the Year. Additionally, Brecht had mentored four USILA All-American Honorable Mention selections, three North/South picks and three USILA Scholar All-Americans. Brent Herbst '10 also became the first player in program history drafted by Major League Lacrosse as he was selected in the Second Round of the 2010 Draft by the Long Island Lizards.
Prior to joining the Saints, Brecht spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with five different schools. Brecht made coaching stops at Hartwick (1996-97), Penn (1998-99), Army (2000), Rutgers (2001) and Loyola (2002-04).
Brecht served as Loyola's offensive coordinator and worked with the team's extra-man offense as well as handling the responsibilities of recruiting and scouting. During his tenure, the Greyhounds finished the season ranked in the Top-20 twice and in 2003 they won the Colonial Athletic Association Championship with an undefeated 5-0 mark in conference play. Known as an outstanding recruiter, Brecht brought a recruiting class to Loyola that was considered by Inside Lacrosse Magazine to be the second-best overall recruiting class in the nation and the top-rated class of midfielders.
During the 2001 season, Brecht worked at Rutgers and was instrumental in powering the Scarlet Knights to a No. 18 national ranking - the squad's first Top-20 ranking in six years. With Brecht's help, Rutgers had two victories over Top-15 programs that season while he was the offensive coordinator and worked with the team's extra-man offense. As a recruiter, Brecht was successful in bringing a class to Rutgers that earned two trips to the NCAA tournament during their four years.
As a defensive coordinator at Army in 2000, Brecht guided the squad to a Top-20 national ranking. While at West Point, Brecht worked under Jack Emmer, who was later inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame as the all-time winningest head coach at that time. During Brecht's one-year stay, Army finished second in the Patriot League.
Prior to Army, Brecht was an assistant coach at Penn from 1998-99. While with the Quakers, Brecht worked under Marc Van Arsdale who is regarded as one of the top offensive minds in college lacrosse. Brecht also assisted with on-field coaching, recruiting and scouting, and administrative duties and daily operations necessary of a Division I program in the Ivy League.
Brecht began his coaching career in 1996, spending two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Division III Hartwick. During his time at Hartwick, Brecht saw the Hawks reach a No. 14 national ranking in 1996 and then a No. 8 national ranking in 1997, which included the Super Six Conference title.
Brecht played collegiate lacrosse at Springfield (Mass.) College, where he graduated in 1995. He immediately jumped into the coaching profession, serving as an assistant at powerful Yorktown (N.Y.) High School. During his tenure, he helped take the team to the New York State semifinals.
BRIAN BRECHT CAREER HEAD COACHING RECORD
||MAAC Coach of the Year
||Coached nation's assist leader Matt Donovan
||MAAC Regular Season Champions; MAAC Coach of the Year
||No. 1 scoring defense in the nation (6.13 gaa); First-ever win over nationally ranked opponent (No. 18 Loyola, W, 5-4)
||NCAA Tournament; MAAC Regular Season and Tournament Champions; MAAC Coach of the Year
||MAAC Regular Season Champions
NCAA Tournament; MAAC Regular Season and Tournament Champions; Program record for wins; Finished season with first ever national ranking in both the USILA Coaches' Poll (No. 20) and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll (No. 20)