July 21, 2014
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's lacrosse coach John Paul announced Monday (July 21) the hiring of assistant coach Conor Ford to the coaching staff as offensive coordinator for the 2014 season. Ford joins a staff that includes defensive coordinator Ken Broschart.
"Our program is poised to take the next step, and I believe Conor is going to help us get there," said Paul of Ford's appointment. "His success leading the Drexel offense is apparent, but more importantly, he is a great teacher. His focus on player development and teaching the game is exactly what we need. I'm thrilled to welcome him into the Michigan family."
The Drexel Dragons saw unparalleled success during Ford's five-year tenure as offensive coordinator. In 2014, the Dragons won their first Colonial Athletic Association championship and received the school's first NCAA bid in men's lacrosse. Drexel upset fourth-seeded Penn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to the Denver Pioneers, 15-6.
Overall, the Dragon offense was No. 16 in the country with 11.61 goals per contest and No. 16 in points per game (18.06). The offense was paced by trio of USILA All-Americans in Ben McIntosh, the top-scoring midfielder in the NCAA, as well as attackmen Ryan Belka and Nick Trizano.
In 2013, the Dragons' potent offense finished the year at 45 percent in extra-man opportunities, ranking fifth in the nation. The Dragons scored 12.17 goals per game, the seventh-best total in all of Division I. In addition, Drexel was third in assists per game and fifth in points per contest.
"I would like to thank Coach Paul and the rest of the staff for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Michigan athletic community," said Ford. "I am beyond excited to get things going with Team Four in the inaugural Big 10 lacrosse season. Hail to the Victors!"
Ford was an assistant for three seasons at Penn before coming to Drexel. He was the Quakers' offensive coordinator, and during his time at Penn, the Quakers had three All-Ivy selections and one player named an Honorable Mention All-American.
Additionally, Ford was an outstanding player in his own right, as he had a brilliant collegiate career at Johns Hopkins. A four-year letterwinner, Ford was a second-team All-America selection as a senior captain when he scored 44 goals, the 10th-highest single-season total in Johns Hopkins history.
The Blue Jays were 47-10 during his four seasons, advanced to the 2002 NCAA semifinals, and made a trip to the 2003 NCAA title game.
He is tied for 14th on the Hopkins career goals list with 101. Ford is also 17th in career points (160) and is tied for 22nd in career assists with 59. He graduated with a degree in sociology.
Ford went on to play professionally after his collegiate career. He played five seasons in Major League Lacrosse, two with the Philadelphia Barrage and another three with the New Jersey Pride. Ford played attack on the 2004 Barrage team that won the MLL championship. His best year came in 2007, when he scored 27 goals and led the Pride with 37 points.
Ford will guide an offense that returns the vast majority of its firepower from last season. The Wolverines, in year three as a varsity program, claimed a program-record five wins, including their first-ever back-to-back triumphs in games against Mercer (W, 20-7) and Detroit (W, 14-13). U-M went on to make its first-ever postseason appearance after a critical ECAC Conference win over Bellarmine on March 15, and finished with a 1-3 conference mark to secure the No. 4 seed in the tournament. U-M eventually fell to the No. 15 Fairfield Stags in the first round by a 12-5 count.
Additionally, Freshman Ian King (Cincinnati, Ohio/Trinity) set the single-season school record with 32 goals, while Kyle Jackson (Sarnia, Ontario/The Hill Academy) was the first player in U-M history to earn first team All-ECAC accolades.
Contact: Scott Kemps