Cambridge, Mass. (July 19) -- Tyler O'Keefe has been named as the MIT men's lacrosse head coach, as announced by Julie Soriero, Director of Athletics. O'Keefe succeeds 43-year head coach Walter Alessi, who announced his retirement following the 2017 season. O'Keefe comes to MIT from Williams College (Mass.), where he has served as an assistant coach for the last two seasons.
"We are pleased that Tyler has accepted the challenge of replacing our long-time coach, Walter Alessi," said Soriero. "From his competitive experience as a student-athlete at Springfield to his experience as an up-and coming assistant coach, it is obvious that he understands the NEWMAC conference, as well as lacrosse in New England. He impressed us with his enthusiasm for the game and his dedication to the coaching profession."
At Williams, O'Keefe has been the program's defensive coordinator, head recruiting coordinator and has coached the face-off specialists. He has also coached two First Team All-NESCAC performers, two Second Team selections, one Second Team NEILA All-Star, one NEILA Honorable Mention honoree and two USILA Honorable Mention All-Americans during his time with the Ephs.
"I am honored and every grateful to be the next men's lacrosse head coach at MIT," said O'Keefe. "I want to thank Julie Soriero and the entire search committee for this amazing opportunity. I am excited to be part of such a prestigious institution as MIT. I am looking forward to working with the talented and dedicated student-athletes on the MIT men's lacrosse team and am honored to follow in the footsteps of Coach Alessi and continue to build on the foundation and strong culture he established."
O'Keefe's other collegiate coaching experience includes stints as an assistant at both Rhodes College (Tenn.) in 2014-2015 and at his alma mater, Springfield College (Mass.), from 2012-2014. As a four-year student-athlete for the Pride, O'Keefe was a team captain as a senior and a two-time Pilgrim League All-Conference honoree. His teams captured four straight Pilgrim League Championships and appeared in the NCAA Division III Tournament in each of his four seasons.
"Tyler stood out among a very strong pool of candidates as the best fit for our team," said MIT assistant coach and 2008 men's lacrosse alum Mark Spadafora. "He will bring a great balance between maintaining the core foundations of our program that we all deeply value while also pushing us towards our ongoing goal of a NEWMAC championship and beyond. I look forward to the continued success of our lacrosse family under his leadership."
In the classroom at Springfield, O'Keefe earned his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice in 2012 and will complete his Masters of Science in movement and sports studies, with a concentration in athletic administration, from Springfield in December 2017. He was also a member of the Springfield College Criminal Justice Club from 2009-2012 and worked as a supervisor in the Office of Special Programs at Springfield from May 2013-December 2014.
MIT: Tyler O'Keefe named as men's lacrosse head coach. O'Keefe succeeds Walter Alessi, who retired after 43 seasons at MIT.