PISCATAWAY, N.J. (August 7, 2014) – Rutgers men’s lacrosse Head Coach Brian Brecht announced the addition of Jim Mitchell as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator Thursday. Mitchell joins the Scarlet Knights’ coaching staff after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky.
“We are very excited to have Jim join our staff this summer as we prepare to start playing in the Big Ten Conference this coming season,” head coach Brian Brecht said. “Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program. His experience at Bellarmine the past few years coaching the defense and recruiting will certainly be an asset to Rutgers. Jim does a great job developing and teaching, and it shows as his defensive units have been ranked nationally over the past few years. The experience he had coaching at Duke under Rutgers alum John Danowski and participating in the Final Four are all things the players in our current locker room will grow from under his tutelage. Jim’s energy and passion on the field will be a welcomed addition here “On The Banks” as I can’t wait to have him meet our current team, recruits and alumni.”
While at Bellarmine, Mitchell was the defensive coordinator, goalie coach, and recruiting coordinator. His defense ranked eighth and 13th in the NCAA in goals against average in each the past two seasons. Mitchell coached the first two All-Americans in Bellarmine lacrosse history: Dillon Ward and Bobby Schmitt. Under Mitchell’s tutelage, Ward led the nation in save percentage in 2013 (66%), and was named First Team All-ECAC, ECAC Goalie of the Year and a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee. In 2014, Schmitt was named First Team All-ECAC and ECAC Specialist of the Year.
“I would like to thank senior associate athletic director Kate Hickey and coach Brian Brecht for this tremendous opportunity to represent Rutgers University,” Mitchell said. “I am so impressed with the quality of the faculty, staff and students here at Rutgers, and it is an honor to be a part of this campus community. As the athletic department enters the Big Ten, the potential of Rutgers lacrosse is limitless, and I cannot wait to meet the student-athletes who will shape the future of the program. Coach Brecht has been building something special here. It is a privilege to work with Coach Brecht to help these young men reach their goals on and off the field.”
Prior to Bellarmine, Mitchell was an assistant at Duke University in 2011. Serving as goalie coach and working with the defense, Mitchell helped guide Duke to the NCAA Final Four and an ACC Regular Season championship, while coaching six All-Americans.
Mitchell also spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Roanoke College, with the Maroons compiling a 35-5 record during his tenure there. The 2010 squad featured eight All-Americans as he guided DIII USILA Defenseman of the Year Sam Love and USILA Long Stick Midfielder of the Year Steve Simmons. In 2009, he coached six All-Americans and helped lead Roanoke to an undefeated regular season and its first No. 1 national ranking in Division III play.
Mitchell earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2006, as well as a Master’s in education from Goucher College. At Goucher Mitchell was an assistant coach for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Mitchell was a midfielder for St. Mary’s, captaining the squad as a senior and helping lead the squad to the program’s highest national ranking in school history.