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Shawn Nadelen

Shawn Nadelen Selected as U.S. Men's U20 National Team Head Coach

April 8, 2024
Brian Logue

USA Lacrosse has announced that former gold-medal defenseman Shawn Nadelen has been selected as the U.S. Men’s U20 National Team head coach. Nadelen’s on-field duties will begin with tryouts this summer and will run through the 2025 World Lacrosse Men’s U20 Championship in Seogwipo, South Korea.

Nadelen, the head men’s lacrosse coach at Towson University, played on the 2010 U.S. men’s team that beat Canada 12-10 for the gold medal in Manchester, England.

“In addition to his playing experience with the national team, Shawn has shown tremendous ability as a teacher,” said USA Lacrosse CEO Marc Riccio. “At this stage of our U20 players’ development, that’s an important skill and we look forward to him working with these outstanding players.”

“It’s just a great honor and something I’m extremely excited about and humbled to be able to serve USA Lacrosse in this capacity,” Nadelen said. “Being able to achieve the opportunity to represent your country as a player was something I was fortunate to have. There’s no better honor and now as a coach to be able to do it is just surreal.”

Nadelen took over as Towson’s head coach for the 2012 season and has led the Tigers to five CAA championships and NCAA tournament berths. He was the USILA National Coach of the Year in 2017 when he guided Towson to the NCAA Division I semifinal round for just the second time in school history. His 2016 team won a school record 16 games and his 2019 squad was ranked as the No. 1 team in the country for a portion of the season, the first time in school history at the Division I level.

Nadelen entered the 2024 season with 102 career victories to rank second all-time in Towson history, surpassing his former boss Tony Seaman during the 2023 season. Nadelen worked with Seaman, a former U.S. national team head coach, as an assistant coach at Towson from the 2004 season through 2011.

His coaching career began under another former U.S. men’s team coach, Bill Tierney. Nadelen was an assistant coach at Princeton for three seasons, helping the Tigers win three consecutive Ivy League championships from 2002 through 2004.

As a player, Nadelen was a four-year starter at Johns Hopkins playing as both a midfielder and close defenseman. He helped the Blue Jays reach the NCAA semifinals twice and earned All-America honors in 2001. He went on to play professionally in both Major League Lacrosse (11 seasons) and the National Lacrosse League (10 seasons), winning three championships with the MLL’s Chesapeake Bayhawks.

Nadelen will guide a team that has known nothing but success. Traditionally a U19 team, World Lacrosse recently increased the age limit to U20 (with a one-year exception to U21 in 2022 due COVID). Since the first world championship at this level in 1988, the U.S. has won all nine championships while compiling an astonishing record of 54-2.

Current Tewaaraton Award candidates C.J. Kirst (5 goals), Pat Kavanagh (2 goals, 1 assist) and Brennan O’Neill (2 goals, 1 assist) carried the U.S. to a 12-10 victory rival Canada at the most recent championship in 2022 in Limerick, Ireland.

Tryouts for the 2025 team will be held June 28-30, 2024 at USA Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md. Applications for individuals interested in being considered for inclusion in this summer’s tryouts will be accepted through April 22.

The U.S. Men’s U20 National Team trains and plays using game-changing, high-performance equipment from Cascade Maverik and Warrior and best-in-class products from Enovis (sports bracing).

In addition to these partners, Gatorade, MedStar Health and Stryker are official sponsors of the U.S. National Team Program. Team training is also aided by products from Athletic Republic.

Funding for the national teams also comes from generous donors to the USA Lacrosse Foundation. Help support the team.

About USA Lacrosse

USA Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is a Recognized Sports Organization of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. As the governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse in the United States, USA Lacrosse leads the U.S. National Teams Program and establishes universal standards. With more than 400,000 members across the country, USA Lacrosse unites the community of players, coaches, officials, parents, and program leaders. Working together, we inspire participation, enrich the athlete experience, and support the growth of the sport.