COACHING ROUNDUP: Utica University new men’s lacrosse coach, Utica alum takes over softball program


UTICA — A veteran in the lacrosse realm is the new Utica University men’s lacrosse coach.

Lelan Rogers is the new coach, Utica Athletic Director Dave Fontaine announced Thursday.

Rogers replaces interim coach Justin Patterson, who took over the team after Mike Parnell died in Dec. 2021. Parnell was the program’s second coach and led the team for more than 15 years.

Patterson is no longer listed as being part of the Utica staff, according to the school’s website. Shawn George, who was hired this past spring, remains as an assistant, according to the school website.

Rogers joins Utica with more than 30 years of coaching experience. He spent 14 years as the defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Division I Syracuse University from 2007 until last year.

While at Syracuse, the Orange won back-to-back national championships in 2008 and 2009 and made 14 NCAA tournament appearances. Rogers led the Syracuse defense to a top-five national ranking in goals against in three straight seasons, including the Division I’s top defense allowing 7.4 goals against in 2010.

Most recently, the Fulton native was boys lacrosse coach at SPIRE Institute & Academy in Ohio.

Rogers will be in charge of all facets of Utica’s program including scouting, recruiting, game and practice preparation, as well as day-to-day operations in the office, according to a release from Utica.

“We are extremely excited to have Lelan at the helm of our men’s lacrosse program, “ Fontaine said in a release. “He knows what it takes to win at both the Division I and Division III levels and his résumé speaks for itself. I’m confident that his knowledge and over 30 years of lacrosse coaching experience will help our program make a postseason run year after year.”

Rogers was also head coach at SUNY Cortland, guiding the program to five straight NCAA tournaments berths including a national semifinal appearance in 2003. Cortland won five straight SUNYAC regular season and four SUNYAC

Tournament championships with Rogers as coach. He led the Red Dragons to a program-record 17 wins in both 2003 and 2005 and 23 of his players were named All-Americans during his tenure. 

He also spent nine seasons at the helm at Ohio Wesleyan, where he led the men’s lacrosse team to seven NCAA Division III playoff appearances. Rogers also coached one season in Major League Lacrosse in 2007.

Utica alum takes over softball program

Rinae Olsen is the new head coach of the Utica University softball team.

Olsen is a 2009 Utica grad and was a four-year starter under Pat Mineo, who retired after 17 seasons this past spring.

Olsen will be in charge of all facets of the program including scouting, recruiting, game and practice preparation, as well as day-to-day operations in the office, the school said in a release.

“We are thrilled to have Rinae back at Utica to take over our softball program,” Fontaine said in a release. “With her track record of success at Utica as well as in the Liberty League, we have no doubts that she will take the program to new heights.”

Olsen ranks sixth on Utica’s program list with 147 games played, is eighth in the school’s record book with a .981 career fielding percentage and is ninth in career RBIs (71).
Olsen also was assistant coach for Utica from 2010 to 2013.

She spent six years as an assistant coach at Ithaca College, helping the Bombers to four conference championships and five NCAA Tournament appearances including a third-place finish in 2018. Most recently, Olsen spent the last three seasons as head coach at Skidmore College. During her first full year of coaching at the school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Olsen guided the team to a 24-14 overall record and an appearance in the Liberty League Tournament. 


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