HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University’s first head coach of men’s lacrosse will be Jon Torpey, Athletic Director Craig Keilitz announced on Wednesday. Torpey will join the Panthers in June 2011 after successful stints as associate head coach at both Dartmouth and Denver.
“Jon Torpey is an incredible coach who gives instant credibility to the High Point University men’s lacrosse program,” said Keilitz. “He has a proven record of on-field success as both a coach and player. Just as important, Jon really understands the off-field aspects of coaching, including recruiting high-character student-athletes who will excel athletically and academically and will represent HPU in a positive way on campus and in the community.
“We had a very impressive pool of candidates for this position and Jon demonstrated both the competitive drive and knowledge to make High Point University a nationally-ranked program in short order. We couldn’t be happier with his addition to the High Point University family.”
Torpey has quickly built a reputation as one of the best young lacrosse coaches in the nation. He was still playing professional lacrosse when he was named assistant coach at Denver in July 2004. In 2006 when he was 28 years old, Torpey was named associate head coach at Denver, becoming the youngest Div. I coach in that position. Now 32 years old, Torpey will be one of the youngest head coaches in NCAA Div. I.
Torpey will remain associate head coach at Dartmouth under head coach Andrew Towers for the 2011 spring season and join High Point University on a full-time basis in June.
“One word comes to mind when I think of High Point University: excellence,” said Torpey. “Every single thing they do at High Point University is for the development of the students – whether it’s academically, personally or athletically – and everything is top notch. When I met Craig Keilitz and the athletic department staff and coaches, it was obvious that it’s more than a department, it’s a family and everyone is committed to helping the student-athletes reach their maximum potential. I am extremely excited to join HPU and start building the men’s lacrosse program from the ground up.”
At Dartmouth, Torpey assists in all aspects of the program and recruits all over the United States and Canada. He monitors educational progress and has organized very successful fundraising efforts. As defensive coordinator, he coached the 2010 Big Green to the third-lowest goals against in the Ivy League and led the team to the second-best penalty-killing percentage in the league. The highlight of the season was holding No. 6 Cornell to six goals in an 8-6 win at Gillette Stadium. The Big Red eventually made it to the NCAA Final Four.
Torpey was a member of the University of Denver lacrosse staff from 2004-09, helping build the Pioneers’ program into a national contender in an area of the country that isn’t typically known for lacrosse. In Torpey’s second season of 2006, he was instrumental in helping Denver to a 12-5 overall record and 5-0 league record, its first outright Great Western Lacrosse League title and its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. Torpey was elevated to associate head coach following that season.
Denver made its second NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008 and earned a No. 11 postseason national ranking, the best in team history. While Torpey was on staff, Denver posted a 47-32 overall record and a 17-8 Great Western Lacrosse League record.
Prior to Denver, Torpey coached three seasons at Goucher College and one at Denison University, both members of NCAA Div. III. He coached Goucher’s scoring defense from being unranked to No. 13 in the country in three seasons. He helped coach the 2001 Denison squad to the NCAA Div. III Final Four.
Torpey played collegiate lacrosse at Ohio State under head coach Joe Breschi, who is now the head coach at North Carolina. A defenseman, Torpey was a three-year captain and was named Street and Smith All-American as a senior. In his junior year, Torpey helped lead the Buckeyes to a 10-3 record, the team’s highest win total in over a decade, and its first-ever Great Western Lacrosse League title. He was a three-time Big Ten All-Academic selection, a four-year Scholar-Athlete Award winner and a finalist for the Big Ten Medal of Honor and the Corwin A. Fergus Award for athletic and academic achievement.
“I think High Point University has made an outstanding choice in hiring Jon Torpey,” said Breschi. “He is the first and only player I have coached who was a captain as a sophomore. It shows his leadership and ability to rally guys around him as well as his tenacity as a player. As a coach, he has gained the respect of the lacrosse community. He will do an amazing job to bring High Point University to the national level with his ability to coach and recruit and his knowledge of the game. I’m thrilled about this hire.”
As a professional player, Torpey was part of championship teams in both the National Lacrosse League and Major League Lacrosse. He played with the NLL’s Philadelphia Wings, Colorado Mammoth and Columbus Landsharks, winning a world title with the Mammoth in 2006. In the MLL, Torpey played for the Philadelphia Barrage team that won the championship in 2004 as well as the Denver Outlaws.
Torpey earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio State in 2000 and earned a master’s degree in education and sports administration from Goucher in 2003.
Torpey is originally from Baltimore, Md. He and his wife, Tegan, have a son, Tommy, and a newborn daughter, Maggie