Johnston-Bloom Named Thiel's First Head Lacrosse Coach

GREENVILLE, Pa. (Jan. 29, 2010) Shem Johnston-Bloom, a former assistant coach at Wesleyan University (Conn.), has been named Thiel College's first head men's lacrosse coach, Director of Athletics Jack Leipheimer announced Friday.

"We are very pleased to have Shem Johnston-Bloom lead the inaugural men's lacrosse team at Thiel College," said Leipheimer. "Shem has a solid background and comes from a very successful program at Wesleyan University. He believes wholeheartedly in the Division III philosophy, as well as the vision for Thiel College. I am confident he will have a positive impact on the athletic department, and will be a valuable asset to the College."

College President Troy VanAken announced the addition of men's lacrosse to Thiel's athletics offerings on Dec. 18, 2009 as a part of the institution's 'Imagining Thiel' initiative. The new program will begin competition at the NCAA Division III level in the spring of 2011.

Prior to his arrival in Greenville, Johnston-Bloom served as an assistant at Wesleyan from 2006 to January of 2010. While with the Cardinals program, Johnston-Bloom helped the team to a cumulative 43-14 record, three NCAA Division III Tournament berths and a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship in 2009.

"I'm very excited about the possibilities of building a program from ground up," said Johnston-Bloom. "As a young coach, it's a dream come true to have the opportunity to be the architect of a program. I'm thankful to Coach Leipheimer and Dr. VanAken for this opportunity and I am excited about their vision for Thiel Athletics."

Johnston-Bloom had direct responsibility for the defensive midfield and faceoff specialists with the Cardinals, while assisting with the design and implementation of the team's defensive strategy and serving as video coordinator.

A 2006 graduate of Wesleyan, Bloom-Johnston also holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from his alma mater. As an undergraduate, he started all 32 games of his career as a defensive lineman on the Cardinal football squad and twice earned All-NESCAC second team honors.

As a senior in 2006, Johnston-Bloom joined the Wesleyan lacrosse program as a midfielder and faceoff specialist, helping the Cardinals to a 16-4 record and the NCAA Division III semifinals.


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