Author’s note: I’m putting this up because Mercer has become the Division 1 NCAA program with the biggest roster impact from our state and I didn’t even hear this covered.
Last year’s Mercer Floridians:
|Parker||Junod||Orlando, FL||Winter Park||6||Midfield||FR|
|Jackson||Kennedy||Boca Raton, FL||St. Andrew’s||9||Defense||SO|
|Clay||Welch||Ponte Vedra, FL||Ponte Vedra||14||Midfield||SO-R|
|Drew||Mayts||Tampa, FL||H.B. Plant||15||Defense||FR|
|Carl||Klepper||Boca Raton, FL||Lawrenceville School/SA||17||Attack||FR|
|Ryan||Katchen||Bradenton, FL||Cardinal Mooney||18||Midfield||FR|
|Dionee||Cortez||Clermont, FL||Lake Minneola||20||Defense||FR|
|Connor||Purcell||Oviedo, FL||Paul J. Hagerty||31||Defense||SO|
|Kyle||Cox||Gainesville, FL||Oak Hall School||32||Attack||FR|
|Colin||Hayek||Jupiter, FL||Oxbridge Academy||71||Defense||JR|
|Ashton||Wood||Saint Augustine, FL||Allen D. Nease||88||Face Off||SO|
|Danny||Walsh||Vero Beach, FL||Saint Edwards||99||Defense||SO-R|
Mercer started 6-1 last year.
Hannan Resigns, Surman Named Interim Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach
MACON, Ga. – Mercer Director of Athletics Jim Cole announced Thursday that head men’s lacrosse coach Kyle Hannan has resigned from his position. Chad Surman, who has been with the program since Sept. 2015 will serve as the interim head coach.
Hannan resigned in order to pursue a business opportunity.
“I have been coaching collegiate athletics for the past 34 years,” said Hannan. “The time has come for me to begin an exciting new chapter of my life in the business sector of lacrosse. This is an amazing opportunity for my wife and two children.”
In his 34 years at the collegiate level, Hannan compiled 287 wins. He had 35 players earn All-American honors, nine scholar All-Americans, appeared in six national tournaments, won three national championships, and received three Coach of the Year Awards.
“We hate to lose a coach like Kyle Hannan,” remarked Director of Athletics Jim Cole. “He has been a great asset to the athletic department and the university. We are going to miss Kyle, Angie and the whole Hannan family. They are just fine people.”
“First and foremost, I would like to thank Jim Cole, Sybil Blalock and Bill Underwood for the opportunity to lead the men’s lacrosse program for the past eight years,” remarked Hannan. “They provided me with an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally.”
Hannan took over the Bears for the 2013 season and led the program over the last eight seasons. After inheriting a program that had just two wins in its first two years of existence, Hannan engineered a remarkable turnaround with 11 victories in his first two seasons as head coach. Hannan leaves Mercer as the winningest coach in program history.
His second season was highlighted by the team’s share of the 2014 ASUN Regular Season Championship. Hannan’s squad notched a program record seven victories and went 4-1 against ASUN opponents in its first season of conference affiliation. The Bears were duly rewarded for their landmark season, as six players earned ASUN All-Conference recognition while Hannan was named the league’s Coach of the Year.
“I would like to thank all of my players, both current and former, for their commitment, belief and drive. This group of student-athletes have created an incredibly strong brotherhood that remains the foundation of the Mercer lacrosse program,” said Hannan. “The assistant coaches during my tenure at Mercer have been highly devoted and professional in helping build the program into what it is today.”
In 2015, Hannan led the Bears to the Southern Conference tournament in their first season in the league, finishing the year with a 5-8 overall record and an impressive 5-1 mark in league play en route to the No. 2 seed. Mercer was honored for that success, as four players – Chris Baxa, Tim Geran, Colin Massa and Mike Nugent – received All-SoCon recognition while Jackson Kleintz and Matt Quinn were named to the all-freshman team.
The 2020 season saw the Bears get off to its best start in program history. The Bears topped Florida Tech in the first contest of the year before suffering its lone defeat of the year to No. 8 North Carolina. After reeling off five consecutive victories to stand 6-1, the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the shortened campaign, the Bears still set several individual and team records. The program was one win away from tying a program-record for wins in a single season with seven. Sean Goldsmith twice tied the SoCon record for goals in a single game and led the nation in goals per game (4.86) while finishing fourth in the country in assists per game (6.00). Goldsmith was named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list, which is an award given annually to the nation’s top collegiate men’s and women’s lacrosse player and is the equivalent to football’s Heisman trophy. Goldsmith was also named an Honorable Mention Maverick All-American team member.
Besides the success the Bears had on the field during the 2020 season, under Hannan’s guidance Mercer had 31 conference honor roll members with six student-athletes earning a perfect 4.0 GPA. The Bears spent 450 hours last season in the community completing a variety of volunteer opportunities.
“While establishing Mercer lacrosse highs last season in both team GPA and winning percentage, I feel like I am leaving the program in a strong position for continued success,” stated Hannan. “It has always been my goal to leave a program better than when I arrived. I am confident that this has been accomplished.”
Following Hannan’s departure, longtime assistant coach Chad Surman, who was promoted to associate head coach under Hannan, will serve as the interim head coach.
“We are very appreciative of Kyle Hannan and his years of service to our men’s lacrosse program,” said Sybil Blalock, Deputy Athletics Director for Academic Affairs and Senior Woman Administrator. “We are looking forward to Chad Surman stepping into a new role. He is someone who has been at Mercer for nearly six years and knows the university and the program well and will guide the student-athletes into the 2020-21 academic year.”
Surman came to Mercer in Sept. of 2015 and recently completed his fifth season with the men’s lacrosse program.
“First and foremost, I want to thank Coach Hannan for his mentorship over the past several years and for bringing me on staff as a young assistant. I must express my gratitude to Jim Cole, Sybil Blalock and President Bill Underwood for having faith in me to lead this program. I have been around Mercer University and the men’s lacrosse program for nearly six years now. During that time, I have developed a good rapport with our players. I am thankful for the foundation that Coach Hannan established and am excited to lead these student-athletes on the field and in the classroom.”
In addition to Goldsmith this past season, Surman mentored Ashton Wood during his freshman campaign in 2019 and helped the Saint Augustine, Fla. product end his first collegiate campaign ranked seventh nationally in face-off winning percentage (.644) and 16th in ground balls per game (7.69). As a team, Mercer was featured in the top-25 in the team statistical categories three times, finishing the season 14th in face-off winning percentage (.595), 20th in saves per game (13.00) and 25th in ground balls per game (32.77).
In 2018, he was instrumental in the development of Matt Hughes who led a prolific goal scoring offense with a .564 shot percentage as a freshman, the second best mark in the country. Pascal Coombs was a defensive force as a junior, causing 2.21 turnovers per contest to rank him sixth among all Division I players.
In Surman’s second season (2017), the Bears were 5-8 with a pair of wins in Southern Conference play. Mercer. Offensively, the Bears found themselves ranked ninth in caused turnovers per game (8.85) and 11th in man-up offense (0.441).
During Surman’s first season on the sidelines, Mercer complied a 5-8 record in 2016 with four wins coming at home. The Bears were 4-2 (.666) inside Five Star Stadium. Mercer defeated a trio of Southern Conference opponents – VMI, Furman and Jacksonville – en route to a 3-4 mark in league action.
Surman arrived in Macon after spending the 2015 season at Lehigh. He began his collegiate coaching career as graduate assistant coach at Division III Salisbury University after graduating from the university.
As a player, he won the 2011 and 2012 NCAA National Championships and helped Salisbury win 30 consecutive games in 2012. Surman started his collegiate career at Division II Le Moyne, advancing to the NCAA Division II National Championship as the defense allowed just 3.9 goals per game. He also boasts a NJCAA National Title with Onondaga Community College.
FOLLOW THE BEARS
For complete coverage of Mercer Men’s Lacrosse, please follow the Bears on social media at @MercerLacrosse (Twitter), and @MercerMensLacrosse (Instagram) or visit the official home of Mercer Athletics at MercerBears.com.