MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The accolades continue to pile up for the Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team following its historic season this past spring, as Head Coach John Raba was recently named the 2017 USILA Division III Coach of the Year. Raba will be presented the award at the IMLCA/USILA Nike Awards Luncheon which will be held at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore on Dec. 8, 2017 at noon.
Raba guided the Cardinals to their best season in program history as the team finished the year with a 20-2 overall record and 9-1 mark in the NESCAC. Wesleyan reached the NCAA Semifinals and won its second NESCAC Championship ever. Additionally, the team won 20-consecutive games, which was the longest winning streak in the country at any division.
The most recent honor—and most impressive—adds to a long list of awards for Raba in 2017. He was also named the NESCAC Coach of the Year, the New England Intercollege Lacrosse Association (NEILA) Co-Coach of the Year, and he along with his staff were named the Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year by the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA).
The 2017 Cardinals set a program record in overall wins (20) and conference victories (9) while ending the season ranked No. 4 in the country in the final USILA/Nike Coaches Poll to mark their highest ranking in program history.
Raba coached two First Team All-Americans, one Second Team All-American, and four Honorable Mentions last season. Additionally, Ted Bergman '18 was named the top Division III goalie in the country as he received the Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. award.
The national coach of the year award is the first for Raba. He's also been named a six-time NEILA Coach of the Year and a three-time NESCAC Coach of the Year. In 21 seasons as a head coach—all with the Cardinals—Raba boasts an incredible 246-110 (.691) record. He only has one losing season, which happened to be his first (1996-97), and since then, the Wesleyan men's lacrosse program has excelled under his guidance.
Prior to the 2017 campaign, Raba ranked 16th among active Division III coaches in wins and 19th in winning percentage. He also ranked 28th all-time in both categories and figures to move up significantly in the ranks once the 2018 NCAA men's lacrosse record book is published.