Shay Now The Ryan and Forst Family Head Coach
Brother, Sister Endow Coaching Position for Men's Lacrosse at Yale
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A family contribution from two alumni has endowed the position of head coach for the Yale men's lacrosse team. Susan Ryan Forst '87 and her brother David Ryan '92 (in photo), along with their families, have established the endowment, which will support men's lacrosse in perpetuity.
Andy Shay, who has led men's lacrosse since 2003, is the inaugural Ryan and Forst Family Head Coach of Men's Lacrosse.
Yale has 30 head coaches for its 35 Division I sports; the Ryan-Forst gift gives the Bulldogs their 11th permanently funded head coaching post.
"Our goal," said Yale Athletics Director Tom Beckett, "is to endow all of our coaching positions."
The importance of coaching was highlighted by the success of Yale's 2012 varsity squad, which won just two of its first five games. "Coming off a three-game losing streak, Coach Shay brought a water jug to practice along with $20 worth of pennies," recalled defenseman Mike McCormack '13, captain of the 2013 team. "He told us he would add one penny for every smart play or tough ground ball we caught, or when we hustled and communicated well, and take one out whenever we failed to focus on the details."
The strategy worked. As the pennies added up, "we could see ourselves becoming a better team," McCormack said. Under Shay's leadership, the men's lacrosse team completed a highly successful 2012 season, claiming the Ivy League Tournament Championship. The Bulldogs went on to compete in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1992 and the fourth time overall (including 1988 and 1990).
Ryan, who was a member of the 1992 squad, followed the team's recent success from his home in Singapore. "Their achievements are a testament to the power of this sport and the importance of great coaching," Ryan said. "Lacrosse was a crucial part of my experience at Yale. Susan (former lacrosse player at Yale) and I are proud to advance a sport that has meant so much to our family."
"Yale has a proud tradition of athletic success," said Beckett. "And it is because of the loyalty and devotion of our supporters—many of whom participated in varsity sports and benefited from the experience—that we are able to add to this distinction. Putting great coaches together with talented student-athletes creates the kinds of teaching moments that not only contribute to victories, but also influence the players long after they have graduated. We are grateful for the Ryan and Forst families for their support of our men's lacrosse program."