Pat Cooney begins his 10th season as head men's lacrosse coach
at Salve Regina. Under Coach Cooney, the Seahawks have advanced to
post season play during six of the past seven seasons.
Cooney came to Newport with a history of helping young collegiate lacrosse programs build a strong foundation, a trend that has continued at Salve Regina. After winning just 19 games during the first nine years of existence, the Seahawk men's lacrosse program has tallied 53 wins in the last six seasons - including 10 wins in 2009, when the Seahawks advanced to conference semifinals for the third time in the last five seasons. For his efforts, he was named TCCC Coach of the Year.
Since arriving at Salve Regina, Cooney has worked tirelessly to recruit outstanding student-athletes. "These young men have spearheaded the Seahawks success in all areas at the University," Cooney said. "The success of any collegiate team is dependent upon the responsible pursuit of excellence both on and off the field."
As a coach, Cooney incorporates an aggressive, up-tempo style of play with the Seahawks. By recruiting student-athletes of superior character, he is able to foster the creativity and growth of each individual through athletics. During Cooney’s tenure, over 90% of recruited student-athletes have graduated.
By academically and athletically retaining student-athletes, the team has grown in spirit, experience and skill. In 2009, Brian Walker (3.64 GPA, accounting) received TCCC Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. The following year, graduate student Nick Clark was selected to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Scholar All-America Team. Clark was one of 70 student-athletes throughout NCAA Divisions I, II and III honored by the USILA. Cooney has also coached a pair of Salve Regina University Distinguished Senior Scholar Award recipients in brothers, Ben Kelley (SRU ’07) and Blair Kelley (SRU ’11). The award is presented annually to the male and female senior student-athlete at SRU who holds the highest cumulative GPA.
With the continued success of the program, the roster has grown to over 30 outstanding student-athletes. In addition to playing conference games in TCCC against the likes of nationally-ranked Endicott College and Western New England College, Salve Regina consistently schedules non-conference games against top programs throughout the region.
"Our goal is to win the cup - The Commonwealth Coast Conference
championship. We prepare to win by working hard with purpose:
competing to win one game at a time, one practice at a time,"
Cooney gained notice in 1996 when he became the youngest head coach (23 years old) in the country, taking over the program at his alma mater, Roger Williams University. He spent four years as the head coach, building the foundation of a strong program and posting three straight winning seasons from 1997-99. In 2000, he went to Elmira College, serving as assistant coach and admissions counselor. At Elmira, Cooney helped a talented Soaring Eagles ballclub win a share of the Empire 8 Conference title. He then joined the coaching staff at Bryant College from 2001-03, serving as assistant coach and compliance coordinator for the Bulldogs. Cooney helped both colleges achieve their highest-ever national ranking in their respective divisions.
Cooney assists other Seahawk head coaches as the recruitment coordinator for Salve Regina's athletic department. Cooney currently serves on the USILA DIII All-American selection committee. A native of Long Island, Cooney was a standout player at Chaminade High School and Roger Williams University. Cooney, and his wife Tabitha, reside in Portsmouth with their four children - Liam, Nora, Mairin, and Grace.