From staff reports and press release
Former Darien HS (CT) star goaltender Matt Madalon, whose passion for the Princeton men’s lacrosse team has energized every aspect of the program, has been elevated to permanent head coach. Madalon had been the interim head coach since April 6.
Madalon took over as interim coach when head coach Chris Bates was suspended and later fired after elbowing a Brown University player in a game midway through this past season.
“After an exhaustive national search, we are thrilled to announce Coach Matt Madalon as the next head coach of Princeton Lacrosse,” said Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux. “Matt has demonstrated tremendous commitment to and passion for Princeton lacrosse for the past three years and, in particular, since taking over as interim head coach.
“His in-depth knowledge of the short-term and long-term needs of the program, the recruiting landscape, our current student-athletes, and his clear and decisive plan to bring Princeton lacrosse back to national prominence will make him highly successful in this new role. Coach Madalon has the unique personal characteristics, coaching philosophy and work ethic of our very best and most successful coaches at Princeton, and we look forward to supporting his enthusiasm and his comprehensive plan for success at the Ivy League and national level. “
Madalon, a 2001 Darien HS grad, becomes the 11th head coach in the history of the program. Princeton men’s lacrosse has won six NCAA championships, played in 10 Final Fours and won 27 Ivy League championships.
“I am honored to be the full-time head coach at Princeton, and I cannot wait to get started,” Madalon said. “We will honor the past of Princeton lacrosse and all of the great players who have come through this program in everything we do. This is one of the premiere programs in Division I college lacrosse history, and everyone associated with the program will work as hard as possible as we move forward into a new era for the Tigers.”
Madalon coached the final five games of the 2016 season as interim head coach, leading the team to three wins, including two in the Ivy League. Princeton had started the season 2-6 prior to that.
During Madalon’s time as interim head coach, the team saw its goals-against per game average drop by nearly 4.5 goals, from 13.25 to 8.80, despite playing two of the top 16 and three of the top 25 scoring offenses in Division I. The team save percentage went from .411 in the first eight games to .556 in the five for which he was interim head coach, and the team face-off winning percentage went from .433 prior to when he took over to .532 for the final five games.
“Coach Madalon is an outstanding leader who is utterly revered by his players,” says former Princeton three-time first-team All-America Tom Schreiber, who currently leads Major League Lacrosse in scoring and who played one season at Princeton for Madalon. “As someone who is close to many current players, it is clear that Coach Madalon, in his short time as interim head coach, has earned the team’s trust and respect. His passion for the program is unrivaled, and I am confident he will return Princeton lacrosse to national prominence.”
Madalon has been a member of the Princeton coaching staff for three seasons and had been in his second season as offensive coordinator before becoming interim head coach. He also served as the team’s recruiting coordinator.
“Since he became interim head coach and every day since, Coach Madalon has tirelessly distinguished himself as the right coach for the Princeton men’s lacrosse program,” said Ed Calkins, the President of the Friends of Princeton Lacrosse and a member of the 1992 NCAA championship team. “He is passionate about the program, its players and the recruiting process, and to making the necessary changes to return Princeton lacrosse to national prominence. He has our full support to execute on that mission.”
Princeton averaged 12.0 goals per game in each of his first two seasons with the program. He also coached the program’s single-season points leader (Mike MacDonald) and the program’s highest scoring midfielder ever (Kip Orban) in the 2015 season.
A former college and professional goalie, Madalon spent seven seasons on the staff at Stevens, his last three as associate head coach. Madalon helped the Ducks to the Division III top 10 and NCAA tournament each of those three seasons, ending a five-year drought with no NCAA appearances.
Madalon served as the offensive coordinator and goalie coach for Stevens, whose teams averaged 17.6 goals, 14.7 goals and 14.3 goals per game the last three seasons. He also was the recruiting coordinator, and his other administrative responsibilities included working with the admissions office, coordinating team travel, fundraising and academic oversight.
He was honored by the IMLCA as the 2012 Division III Assistant Coach of the Year, and he also earned a master’s degree in management from Stevens.
He was also a two-time Division III All-America at Roanoke College, where he earned a degree in history with a minor in education. He was the 2005 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Year and two-time first-team All-ODAC selection, and he led Roanoke to the 2005 and 2006 Division III Final Fours. He was inducted into the Roanoke athletics Hall of Fame this past spring.
Madalon played in Major League Lacrosse for the San Francisco Dragons and Long Island Lizards. He spent a year at Hampden-Sydney in his first college coaching role.
Madalon is married to the former Ashley Dubinskas, a 2007 Roanoke graduate with a master’s from American University who is a high school biology and immunology teacher.
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