Lacrosse Game Sports

Kirwan Announces Additions of Herring and Whitcher to Staff


By: Justin Lafleur

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HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth head men’s lacrosse coach Sean Kirwan announced on Wednesday the additions of Mikey Herring and Matt Whitcher to his staff as assistant coaches. Herring will serve as offensive coordinator while Whitcher will lead the defense as defensive coordinator. 

“I could not be more excited about both Mikey and Matt joining the staff here at Dartmouth,” said Kirwan. “I have surrounded myself with two of the brightest young minds the sport has to offer and I know this program is headed for great things with these two leading the charge on both sides of the ball.”

Herring, who played for Kirwan at the University of Virginia, most recently served as assistant coach and offensive coordinator at UMBC in 2022-23. The Retrievers began the season 4-0, which saw them score 49 goals over those four games. They finished the season averaging 11.85 goals per contest, their best scoring average since the 2014 season. UMBC ended the year with an 8-5 record, 3-4 in the America East. Among those Herring coached was Mateo Brown, who earned second team All-Conference honors after leading the team in goals (34) and points (39). His 2.62 goals per game were third in the America East and 27th in the nation.

Prior to UMBC, Herring was offensive coordinator at VMI for three years, and recruiting coordinator during the 2021-22 academic year. During the 2022 season, VMI improved its scoring average and scored its most goals in a season in 22 years. The Keydets’ win total went from one to four, including two in Southern Conference play. It marked their first conference wins in eight years, as they went on to qualify for the conference tournament for just the second time in program history. Under Herring’s guidance, junior midfielder Hartley Jordan was named first team All-SoCon and freshman attackman Luke Rusterucci was named to the All-Freshman team. In addition, Herring served as an assistant to head coach James Purpura at the 2022 USILA North/South Senior All-Star Game.

“I want to thank Coach Kirwan for the opportunity to join the Dartmouth men’s lacrosse program,” said Herring. “When Coach Kirwan first approached me about this opportunity, I grew more and more excited as he discussed his vision for the future of Dartmouth lacrosse. I look forward to getting up to Hanover and building great relationships with the student-athletes. Go Big Green!”

Herring enjoyed a stellar playing career at UVA, the last three seasons with Kirwan as the Cavaliers’ offensive coordinator. Herring finished his career with 80 points behind 34 goals and 46 assists. In 2018, he was second on the team in assists with 18. As a senior in 2019, Herring and the Cavaliers won the national championship over Yale, their first national title since 2011. Herring was awarded the Class of 1986 Unsung Hero Award for the 2018 season. After college, he was drafted 34th overall in the Major League Lacrosse Supplemental Draft and played professionally for the Boston Cannons in 2019. He was also selected 75th overall by the Georgia Swarm in the 2019 NLL Draft.

“I am thrilled to be reunited with Mikey here at Dartmouth,” said Kirwan. “After spending three transformative years together down in Charlottesville, I have admired his growth as a coach both at both VMI and UMBC. I am blown away by his work ethic, schematic acumen and connectivity he creates with his players. I cannot wait to see him in action here in Hanover as he helps our offensive players reach new heights.”

Whitcher comes to Dartmouth after five seasons as assistant coach and defensive coordinator for Division III York College in Pennsylvania, transitioning to coaching immediately after a standout four-year career for the Spartans. In Whitcher’s time as defensive coordinator, York posted a combined 74-16 record, reaching the national quarterfinals in 2019 and 2021, and semifinals in 2022. This past season, the Spartains advanced to the NCAA Tournament Third Round where they fell to No. 1 Tufts.

Whitcher’s defenses have impressed, allowing single-digit goals on average in all five of his seasons. In back-to-back seasons, York finished in the top 10 nationally — seventh in 2021 (6.33 goals per game) and fifth in 2022 (7.26). In his five seasons on the sidelines, Whitcher coached 19 USILA All-Americans on the defensive side of the ball.  In his time at York, the Spartans were also near the top nationally in caused turnovers and man-down percentage.

“Dartmouth Lacrosse is very fortunate to add someone like Matt to our program,” said Kirwan. “First and foremost, Matt is a tremendous teacher of the game. His ability to take complex aspects of our sport and break it down into simple, digestible pieces is something that will be of huge benefit to our defense. Matt’s ability to teach and coach is fueled by his tremendous work ethic. A true student of the game, Matt is always looking to add to his skill set as a coach to help ensure his players are given the best opportunity to succeed.”

A standout student-athlete and 2018 York graduate, Whitcher was a two-way midfielder, who filled up the box score. He ended his career with 119 points via 86 goals and 33 assists, while picking up 125 groundballs and causing 48 turnovers. As a senior captain, he was named a first team USILA All-American, a Scholar All-American and first team All-CAC selection. Whitcher finished that season with 35 goals, 13 assists, 57 groundballs and 22 caused turnovers. The year prior, Whitcher was a second team All-CAC selection, posting 23 goals, 11 assists, 12 groundballs and 12 caused turnovers. 

As a team, York advanced to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his four years as a player. During Whitcher’s sophomore season, the Spartans’ defense finished ninth nationally in allowing just 6.68 goals per game.

Whitcher’s playing career has continued post-graduation. He became the first player in York program history drafted professionally, when he was selected by the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse. Whitcher is currently playing with the Waterdogs of the Premier Lacrosse League. In 2021, he helped the Waterdogs win the regular season championship. In 10 games in 2022, Whitcher recorded 13 groundballs and six caused turnovers. So far in 2023, he has seven groundballs, three caused turnovers and a pair of goals.

“I am so excited to join Coach Kirwan’s staff and be a part of this incredible program and school,” said Whitcher. “I have been so amazed by the strong tradition of Dartmouth College and the passion that both the current students and alumni have for this special place. It is truly an honor to be a part of it. I cannot wait to get started with the coaching staff and players, and work to accomplish something great!”

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