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Ryan Wellner

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University of Notre Dame Baumer Family Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Kevin Corrigan announced the hiring of Ryan Wellner as an assistant coach on July 15, 2019.

Wellner serves the program as the defensive coordinator and director of recruiting for the Irish.

“I’m so excited to work with Ryan,” said Corrigan. “He is a proven coach and a great recruiter and most importantly a great person. He and his family will be a terrific fit with Notre Dame.”

Wellner joins the Notre Dame staff after a successful eight-year stint at the Naval Academy. He spent the last three seasons as the associate head coach after five years of being an assistant. Wellner is widely regarded as one of the top defensive coaches in the sport and he also served as the Midshipmen’s recruiting coordinator.

Under Wellner’s direction, Navy’s defensive unit held opponents to an average under nine goals per game in four seasons. In 2019, the Navy featured one of the best riding units in the country, ranking fourth in the opponent clearing percentage (.737).

Individually, the Midshipmen earned defensive or faceoff All-America honors during Wellner’s tenure and saw defenseman Chris Fennell graduate as the first player in conference history to be named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year three times (2015, 2016, 2017). In the eight years of Wellner’s stay at Navy, the program picked up 21 All-Patriot League citations by defensive players or faceoff specialists.

During the 2018 season, the Mids recorded the nation’s 15th-best scoring defense, holding their opponents 8.93 goals per game. Wellner saw faceoff specialist Joe Varello become the first Navy player to be named the Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Year after posting a 58.6 winning percentage (58.6), the nation’s 17th best.

Navy closed out the 2017 season ranked No. 22 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 9.57 goals per game. Another one of Wellner’s pupils who enjoyed an outstanding senior campaign was faceoff specialist Brady Dove, as he ranked No. 3 in the country in faceoff percentage (169-254, 66.5) in 2017.

In 2016, Wellner helped orchestrate a defensive unit that was one of the best in the country. Ranked No. 2 nationally in scoring defense, the Midshipmen held their opponents to 7.38 goals per game. The 7.38 average was Navy’s lowest since 2008 when it gave up 6.50 goals per game.

The 2015 campaign saw the Navy’s defense allow 8.57 goals per game and was ranked 13th nationally. Additionally, the Navy’s defense caused the eighth-most turnovers in the country, posting 8.07 takeaways per game.