An exciting new era in the rich history of University of Delaware men’s lacrosse is now underway as Ben DeLuca, who has enjoyed national success as a student-athlete, assistant coach, and head coach over the last two decades, has been selected to lead the Blue Hens program. DeLuca spent the last two seasons as associate head coach at Harvard University, and is now the ninth coach in the 70-year history of the sport at Delaware.
In DeLuca’s first season on the sideline, Harvard reached the title game of the Ivy League Tournament after knocking off top-seeded and second-ranked Brown in the semifinal, 13-12. That victory was one of three for the Crimson over a nationally ranked opponent, with Harvard also defeating then No. 4 Duke, 14-9, and then No. 20 Villanova, 13-12. The win over the Wildcats came in the season opener in overtime as the Crimson became just the second team in NCAA history to win three-consecutive games in overtime. At the conclusion of the year, Bobby Duvnjak (third team), Devin Dwyer (third team), and Joe Lang (honorable mention) were named to the USILA All-America teams, with a total of six individuals garnering All-Ivy League honors.
DeLuca came to Cambridge after spending the previous two seasons as a defensive assistant under John Danowski at Duke, helping the Blue Devils to the 2014 national championship. DeLuca coached four defensive All-American’s in his first season in Durham as the Blue Devils ranked fourth in the NCAA in ground balls per game (35.05). Duke also ranked fourth in ground balls (37.00) in 2015 and earned a berth to the NCAA tournament, with short stick defensive midfielder Will Haus earning his second straight All-America honor.
A former player and coach at Cornell, DeLuca worked closely with Duke’s defensive unit in 2014. At Cornell, the native of Rochester, N.Y., led the Big Red to an overall record of 37-11, a 16-2 mark in Ivy League play and ultimately two conference titles. He guided Cornell to two NCAA Tournament appearances and to championship weekend in 2013 where it fell to the Blue Devils in the semifinals.
Over the years at Cornell, DeLuca’s players have earned nine first-team All-Ivy honors, 19 total all-league selections, including two Ivy League Player of the Year awards and one Rookie of the Year selection. He has also helped his players earn a combined 12 All-America honors, including attackman Rob Pannell ’13, who was a four-time All-America selection.