The Patriots field both youth and high school teams and all are led by Chris Swanenburg. A former All-Ivy League goaltender at Yale University, Swanenburg brings 20 years of NCAA college coaching experience to the Patriots. The all-time winningest coach at Division I Radford University, Swanenburg has 15 years of head coaching experience at the Division I and III levels. He is widely regarded as one of the top teachers in the sport and has helped produce college All-Americans and professional lacrosse players alike.
Over the course of his career, Swanenburg has helped take programs to their highest levels. In 1986, as a high school senior, he led Dulaney High School to the Maryland state championship. Then, as a collegiate athlete, Swanenburg was a member of three Ivy League Championship squads and led the Bulldogs to their first modern-day NCAA Tournament appearance in 1988. The 1990 team, on which he was a senior, advanced to the NCAA Division I Final Four.
Swanenburg had a similarly positive effect as a Division I coach, significantly impacting the programs at both Radford and Stony Brook. While at Stony Brook, Swanenburg helped coach the Seawolves to their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance in 2002. Under his tutelage, the team was ranked among the nation's top defensive units and recorded upset wins over the likes of UMBC and Albany. At Radford, where he held his first head coaching job, the Highlanders became one of the most improved programs in the country and recorded unlikely wins over programs such as Ohio State, Stony Brook, Lehigh and Villanova. Swanenburg also successfully developed four future professional lacrosse players, including NLL Rookie of The Year Blaine Manning and perennial NLL All-Pro Lewis Ratcliff.
In addition to his time spent at the Division I level, Swanenburg helped start two Division III programs. His first coaching position was as an assistant at Goucher College while the team underwent the transition from club to varsity status. Most recently, he founded the program at nearby Christopher Newport University. While with the Captains, Swanenburg led CNU to a winning season in only its second year of play. He also directed the team to wins over numerous established programs, including Hampton Roads' rival Virginia Wesleyan. Finally, he cemented his reputation for being an excellent in-game coach, as his young CNU squads recorded an incredible 8-2 record in one goal games.
Joining Swanenburg in leading the Patriots are some of the area's top coaches. Their combination of playing and coaching experience is unrivaled in all of Hampton Roads and ensures that the program's mission of providing elite instruction is fulfilled.
John Dehm hails from Connecticut and the Middlesex School. Dehm played collegiately at St. Mary's College of Maryland, graduating in 2012. An attackman for the Seahawks, he was an All Scholastic Capital Athletic Conference Member and team captain. Dehm works at the Christchurch School, where he serves as the Director of Athletic Recruitment, Assistant Director of Admissions and the Head Boys Lacrosse Coach.
Roland Richardson attended Norfolk Collegiate before enrolling at VMI, where he played attack for the Keydets. A 2011 graduate of VMI, Richardson has an extensive coaching background. In addition to having coached locally at both Great Bridge High School and with the Chesapeake Juice travel program, Richardson served as both a high school and club team coach in Jacksonville, Florida. Richardson also served as the Head Boys Lacrosse Coach at Hampton Roads Academy, where he also served as the Assistant Director for Admission.
New York native Mike Burke has been coaching, officiating and playing in Hampton Roads for over three decades. A former commissioner of the Hampton Roads Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse, Burke has coached numerous youth and high school programs since the early 80's. At the high school level, he served as the head coach at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School from 2004-2010, leading the program to three state tournaments. Presently, Burke is the Head Boys Lacrosse Coach at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach.
Sean Murphy starred locally at Grassfield High School in Chesapeake before attending Hood College in Frederick, MD. While a member of the Blazer's program, Murphy was a MAC All-Conference Honor Roll honoree in both 2016 and 2017. He was also very active as a coach while in Maryland. As both a collegiate player and graduate, Murphy coached for several travel teams, including Team Maryland and Lax Factory. He also served as the offensive coordinator for Walkersville High School's varsity lacrosse team after graduating in 2017 from Hood. Since returning to Hampton Roads, Murphy has rejoined the Grassfield program, now serving as the program's head coach.
Originally from the Annapolis area in Maryland, Shane McKenzie joined the Patriots program shortly after moving to Williamsburg. While at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia, McKenize was a four-year starter and prolific scorer for the Eagles, amassing 181 points over the course of his playing career. He graduated in 2019 as one of the program's all-time points scorers and the program's all-time leader in assists.
Campbell Pozin began playing lacrosse on the Peninsula before moving to Virginia Beach, where he starred at Norfolk Academy. A former Patriots youth player, Pozin is having continued success as a senior midfielder at nearby Christopher Newport University.
Finally, Will Mercado has recently joined the Patriots program. A teammate of Coach Pozin's at CNU, Mercado began his collegiate playing career at Division I Mount St. Mary's before transferring to Christopher Newport. A junior attackman, Mercado is originally from Mount Laurel, New Jersey.
All Patriot coaches work together and most help with all teams. This ensures that all players are taught the same concepts and terminology and allows for a smooth transition as players advance through the program.
In addition to receiving on-the-field coaching, all Patriots benefit from the relationships that the Patriot coaching staff has with countless college, high school and club teams across the nation. High School Patriots, in particular, benefit from Coach Swanenburg's vast knowledge of the college game and recruiting process, and his personal relationship with Division I, II and III coaches. All Patriots receive sound advice on how to best prepare for the college game and are assisted in their pursuit and selection of college options.
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