ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure men's lacrosse head coach Randy Mearns has announced the addition of Rick Schunke to the Bonnies' coaching staff. Schunke will serve as an assistant coach when the team begins play in 2018-19.
"Rick is a great hire for our program," Mearns said. "He was instrumental in building the Hilbert program over the last several years, developing their program from its infancy. He knows how to build a program and that will be huge for us as we get into our first season and beyond."
No stranger to helping to develop new programs, Schunke comes to St. Bonaventure after serving as the head coach at Division III Hilbert College for the past seven years. The first coach in that program's history, he developed the Hawks into a top team in their conference, guiding Hilbert to three consecutive postseason tournaments in the first five years of the school's membership in the North Eastern Athletic Conference.
During his time leading Hilbert, Schunke's squads posted a 53-43 record. He continued the program's rise by coaching the Hawks to a team-best 10 wins in 2017 including outscoring Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) opponents by a 139-28 total during six league games. For his efforts, Schunke was named AMCC Co-Coach of the Year and eight of his players were named First Team All-Conference.
"After meeting with Coach Mearns and seeing the opportunity St. Bonaventure is creating with a new Division I program I was blown away," Schunke said. "I started a Division III program at my last institution and to get the opportunity to start up a new program and have the support and vision of the leadership at St. Bonaventure was a chance I couldn't pass up. I have known Coach Mearns for a long time and am so excited to finally work together."
Prior to taking leadership at Hilbert, Schunke was coach at Frontier (N.Y.) High School from 2002-2009 where he helped mentor one All-American and six First Team All-Western New York players. His first varsity head coaching job came at West Seneca High School where he also coached an All-American player during his time there. He also worked as a volunteer youth coach with the Hamburg Knights Lacrosse Program (12U/17U) and is an experienced lacrosse official at the high school level as well as indoor box lacrosse leagues.
Schunke was a player at both Canisius College and Gannon University during his college career where he served as a midfielder including his 1999 season where he scored 22 goals and 18 assists for Gannon. He played his high school lacrosse at Orchard Park where he helped score two Section VI championships including a state semifinal appearance in 1996.
He is a graduate of Hilbert College where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.
St. Bonaventure will play its first official games at the Division I level in spring 2019.
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