Chris Feifs, the defensive coordinator for the 2016 NCAA Division I national champion North Carolina Tar Heels, was officially named the seventh head coach of the University of Vermont men's lacrosse program on June 29, 2016.
"It's a great pleasure to welcome Chris to the University of Vermont and the Department of Athletics. Chris is a highly respected professional who has played and coached at the top level of collegiate lacrosse while remaining steadfast in his commitment to the scholar-athlete model," said Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman.
"During the search process, Chris impressed us with his passion for teaching and strong commitment to the academic, personal and athletic wellbeing of his student-athletes," Schulman noted. "His experience recruiting and coaching a national championship team at North Carolina certainly speaks to his ability to identify, attract and develop elite student-athletes who are capable of succeeding at the highest levels on and off the lacrosse field."
Feifs spent seven years at North Carolina as defensive coordinator and faceoff coach, leading the program to seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition to their national championship in May 2016, the Tar Heels were two-time ACC regular season co-champions and claimed the 2013 ACC title during his tenure. In 2012, he helped faceoff specialist R.G. Keenan become the first UNC midfielder to earn First Team All-America honors since 1996.Read More
Chris Miller comes to Burlington from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, where he served as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator since 2011. He was previously an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Connecticut for the 2010-11 season.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to work for the University of Vermont and its Athletic Department. The amount of support has been overwhelming thus far," said Miller. "I am excited for the direction of the men's lacrosse program and the future of Catamount lacrosse under the leadership of Chris Feifs."
Miller spent two seasons coaching with Feifs when the two were assistants at Virginia Military Institute from 2008-10. A 2005 graduate of Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, Miller's coaching career began at his alma mater in September of his graduation year. He also served one year as a volunteer assistant at Washington & Lee University in Virginia.
"Chris has a wealth of knowledge from coaching across a wide spectrum in both the DI and DIII ranks as an offensive coordinator and has proven to be a fantastic recruiter on the national level," noted Feifs.Read More
The 2017 season will mark Jake Bernhardt's first at Vermont as an assistant coach.
Bernhardt plays professionally for the Ohio Machine in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) following a standout career at Maryland, the alma mater of head coach Chris Feifs. He was a two-time national runner-up and team captain with the Terrapins and was drafted 12th overall by the Hamilton Nationals in the 2012 MLL Draft.
"Jake brings a winner's mentality, work ethic, and a proven track record in lacrosse with his time at the University of Maryland and currently in his professional career on the Ohio Machine," added Feifs.
Bernhardt was previously the head varsity coach and transition teacher at Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, Florida and was named 2016 Central Florida Coach of the Year. After graduation, he returned to Maryland as the Director of Lacrosse Operations for the 2014 season.
"I would like to thank the University of Vermont and Coach Feifs for the opportunity to be a part of this program," said Bernhardt. "I am looking forward to the new era of Vermont lacrosse."Read More
Brian Kavanagh, a former goalie at Princeton and native of Deer Park, New York, joined Vermont men's lacrosse as a volunteer assistant coach in September 2016.
“I am very excited by the addition of Brian Kavanagh to our staff,” said Feifs. “His character and strong lacrosse background as a former student-athlete at Princeton will add tremendous value to our program, helping to develop our goalies in and outside the cage.”
A 2014 Princeton graduate, Kavanagh made eight appearances in goal from 2012-14. As a sophomore in 2012, the Tigers reached the Ivy League Championship and ultimately punched a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. The following season, Princeton returned to the conference final before falling to Yale.
“I’m very thankful to Coach Feifs and the University of Vermont for this opportunity,” Kavanagh said. “I’ve been following UVM for several years and it is a program that is knocking on the door. I’m very excited.”Read More