Western Reserve Academy graduate Dylan Sheridan named head boys lacrosse coach at alma mater

FRANK ACETO Reporter
Dylan Sheridan

George Moore once said, “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”

It’s a safe bet that Dylan Sheridan couldn’t agree more with the late 20th-century novelist.

When it comes to Sheridan’s travels, it goes something like this: been there, done that.

Nowadays, Sheridan is eager to return to a place that got him started on his amazing journey in the first place.

That would be his beloved alma mater.

Sheridan was named Western Reserve Academy’s head boys lacrosse coach last month. The 2002 WRA graduate, who also will serve as Reserve’s assistant director of advancement services, returns to Hudson after spending one year as the offensive and recruiting coordinator for The Ohio State University men’s lacrosse team.

Prior to his time in Columbus, Sheridan, 37, founded the Cleveland State University men’s lacrosse team and also spent time as a defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Princeton University in New Jersey and the University of Denver. He served as an assistant coach at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania and Pfeiffer University in North Carolina as well.

These days, Sheridan is back where he started — and he couldn’t be happier.

“Coming back to WRA is a dream come true and I am humbled by the opportunity,” Sheridan said. “I’m excited about the vision of Mrs. [Suzanne] Buck [who is Reserve’s Head of School] and her team have for the future of WRA athletics and the direction of the Academy under her leadership.

“I’m eager for school to begin to start engaging with faculty and staff and, of course, the students. There are some amazing new buildings and amenities, but there are still many familiar faces that I look forward to reconnecting with soon.”

Sheridan was the head coach of the Thai National Team during the 2014 World Championships. He also spent four years as a member of the Denver Outlaws, who won the Major League Lacrosse championship in 2014.

Sheridan replaces former Reserve head coach CJ Polak, a 2013 WRA graduate who plans to serve as an assistant coach with the Pioneers next spring.

“CJ is a rising star at Reserve and an incredible young coach,” Sheridan said. “I’m grateful for the work he has done and continues to do for Pioneer lacrosse.”

Sheridan, who also played football and basketball at Reserve, led the Pioneers’ lacrosse team to the Ohio High School Lacrosse Association state championship game three times, including the state title in 2001.

Interestingly enough, Sheridan felt more comfortable using another stick prior to his meeting with then head boys lacrosse coach Skip Flanagan.

Try aluminum instead of plastic.

“I had never seen lacrosse until my freshman year at WRA,” Sheridan said. “I actually started out playing baseball in the spring until I saw my first lacrosse game and immediately made the switch.

“I continued playing multiple sports in college. At WRA, I played midfield and took face-offs, but I later transitioned to playing attack in college and the pros.”

To say Sheridan adjusted quite well to the tribal game, which was first played by the indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands as far back as the 17th century, would be an enormous understatement.

Sheridan excelled in both lacrosse and football at Claremont McKenna College in California. During his days living in The Golden State, the standout attackman was a three-time All-American for the Stags’ lacrosse team.

Now that he is back in Northeast Ohio, the well-traveled Sheridan is looking for stability. Ironically enough, so is his alma mater.

Sheridan will be the Pioneers’ fourth head coach in the last five years. Fortunately for Reserve, the coaching carousel is expected to come to a much-needed end.

Sheridan and his family bought a house in Hudson recently and they plan to stay in Summit County “for a long time.”

“My goal for the program is simple: I want Pioneer lacrosse to provide a transformational student-athlete experience,” Sheridan said. “The best prep programs in the country share a few things in common: an appreciation for the mission of the school, institutional support, continuity within the staff and the ability to develop and place student-athletes at the next level.

“At WRA, we have alignment on all of these fronts. I am excited to work with Coach Polak and our administrative team to create a comprehensive program that honors and builds upon Reserve's proud lacrosse legacy.”

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, faceto@recordpub.com or @Faceto_Gannett.