St. Mary's taps Anderson for boys lacrosse

St. Mary's officially announced the hiring of Shawn Anderson as its new boys lacrosse head coach this afternoon. Courtesy of Paul Halloran, here is the official press release:

Shawn Anderson caught the lacrosse bug five years ago when an assistant football coaching position at the collegiate level was packaged with the head lacrosse job. Though he did not have a great deal of experience with the sport, Anderson jumped in with both feet and there has been no turning back.

"As I got more involved, my excitement for the game increased," said Anderson, who became a high school head coach for the first time this week when St. Mary's named him boys varsity coach.

"Shawn has an impressive coaching resume," said St. Mary's Athletic Director Jeff Newhall. "He has been successful at both the high school and collegiate level in lacrosse and football. We are pleased to have him at St. Mary's."

Anderson led the Becker College men's lacrosse team to its first winning season in 2008 and was nominated for conference coach of the year. He served as an assistant at Belmont Hill last year, and when he saw the opening at St. Mary's he decided to apply.

"St. Mary's is a school with a tremendous athletic program and top-notch academics," Anderson said. "There has been a foundation

built in boys lacrosse that I?m looking forward to building on."

Anderson, a Tewskbury native who lives in Andover, has been coaching football off and on for almost 30 years, starting as an assistant at Bedford High in 1983. He coached at the former St. Patrick's in Watertown in 1988, succeeding John DiBiaso, who has led Everett to nine Super Bowl titles. Anderson also started the football program at Lowell Catholic in 1995, so he has plenty of experience working at Catholic high schools.

"There must be something about these Catholic schools that attracts me," he said. "I have enjoyed my pervious experiences and I am sure I am going to like coaching at St. Mary's."

Anderson has also coached football at Boston University, Curry, Merrimack, West Virginia Tech and Belmont Hill. At BU, he worked on

the same staff as Tony Sparano, former head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Coming to St. Mary's marks a homecoming of sorts for Anderson, who worked as clubhouse manager for the Lynn-based North Shore Spirit professional baseball team from 2003-07.

"I really enjoyed my time in Lynn with the Spirit," he said. "Lynn is obviously a great sports community, and I'm looking forward to

coaching here."

Sean Donahue, who served as JV coach under former coach Dan Ritchie, will remain at St. Mary?s as an assistant varsity coach. He is also an assistant football coach for the Spartans.

Though his lacrosse resume is not extensive, Anderson is confident in his ability as a coach.

"Coaching is coaching, regardless of the sport," he said. "I've been fortunate to work with professional athletes and coaches -- Tony Sparano at BU, and John Kennedy, Dick Radatz and Rich Gedman with the Spirit -- and you take away something from all of them."