Providence College Athletics Director Bob Driscoll announced the hire of Chris Gabrielli on June 21, 2012. Gabrielli becomes the eighth head coach of the Providence men's lacrosse program.
"I am thrilled to welcome Chris Gabrielli to the Friar family as head coach of our men's lacrosse program," Driscoll said. "His championship-level experience as an assistant coach, especially at Duke University, will aid him in the continued growth of our program here at Providence. The BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Conference is one of the premier leagues in the country, and our vision for the program is to compete for championships. I believe that Chris possesses all of the tools necessary to bring our lacrosse team to the next level."
Gabrielli comes to Providence College after spending the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Duke University, where he worked primarily with the Blue Devils' defensive unit. He also served as the program's recruiting coordinator, under the direction of current Duke Head Coach John Danowski.
"First I would like to thank those that have guided and prepared me for this incredible opportunity," Gabrielli said. "My family, coaches, and mentors, specifically Greg Cannella, Stan Ross and John Danowski, who gave me a chance to find myself as a coach, while directing my development every step of the way. Providence College is a special place, and that is a direct result of the leadership and the people. Bob Driscoll, Steve Napolillo and the entire athletic department have impressed me thoroughly with their family and team approach, and have presented Providence College to me and my family with class. I am humbled by their trust in my leadership and I am eager to build upon the strong foundation that exists in Friartown. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity."
While at Duke, Gabrielli helped guide the program to six NCAA Final Four appearances (2007-12) and two trips to the National Championship game (2007, 2010). The Blue Devils went on to win the National Championship in 2010. Duke also captured five ACC regular-season titles (2007-09, 2011-12) and four ACC Tournament titles (2007-09, 2012).
Under the watchful eye of Gabrielli, Duke's defense consistently ranked among the best nationally. Annually one of the stingiest defenses in Division I lacrosse, Duke was among the top 10 in scoring defense in 2007 and 2008 and has been among the top 25 every year under Gabrielli. In the 2010 NCAA finals, the Blue Devils held Notre Dame to just five goals in their 6-5 overtime victory, tying for the second fewest goals allowed in a NCAA championship game.
During his six seasons with the Blue Devils, Gabrielli mentored seven players to 11 All-America awards. Some of these players include Nick O'Hara, a first-team All-America choice and the 2008 William F. Schmeisser Award recipient as the national defenseman of the year, 2012 ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and four-time All-American CJ Costabile and 2008 ACC Rookie of the Year and two-time All-America selection Michael Manley. Four of Gabrielli's former student-athletes currently suit up for Major League Lacrosse squads, including Manley who was picked third overall in this year's MLL draft.
"We are pleased to have someone with Coach Gabrielli's background and track record take the reins of our lacrosse program," said Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. "I am especially impressed with Chris' recruiting experience, which will be an important element as we seek to strengthen and improve our program. I'd like to formally welcome him to the Providence College community and wish him all the best as he begins his tenure here at PC."
Gabrielli spent the 2006 season as an assistant coach at Butler where he served as the recruiting coordinator, while working primarily with the defense. Under his mentorship, three Butler defensemen earned All-GWLL honors.
Gabrielli was a member of the coaching staff at his alma mater, Massachusetts, from 2003-05, helping the Minutemen to a 33-13 overall record with two NCAA quarterfinal berths.
Gabrielli was a member of the practice squad for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse during the 2004 season before being drafted again by the Cannons in the 2005 Supplemental Draft. In 2004, he co-founded the Mid-Summer Classic, a high school lacrosse tournament currently held on the UMass campus.
A four-year letterwinner as a defenseman at Massachusetts, Gabrielli picked up 127 ground balls and added five assists in his career. As a senior in 2001, he captained the Minutemen to a 12-2 overall record and a share of the ECAC Championship, while earning Second-Team All-Conference and First-Team All-New England honors. A two-time winner of the Eric Sopracasa "Heart and Soul Award," an honor presented annually to the UMass player who displays the most leadership and dedication to the program, Gabrielli went on to play in the 2001 North-South All-Star game and the MLL Major League Challenge.
"The chance to lead a program that has committed itself to excellence is a dream come true. Bob Driscoll, Father Shanley and Providence College have dedicated ample resources to ensure the success of Providence lacrosse. The BIG EAST Conference demands respect, and a renewed commitment to Providence lacrosse in the form of scholarships, facilities and staff has invigorated the program with an energy and excitement for the future. Our location, academic reputation and complete college experience here at Providence College will attract the finest student-athletes that our sport has to offer."
A native of Farmingdale, N.Y., Gabrielli graduated from Massachusetts in 2001 with a degree in sport management. He and his wife, Candice, have one daughter, Grace.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT CHRIS GABRIELLI
"Personally, I am thrilled for Chris. He has been with me since 2006. While I am sad to see him leave our program, Providence College has made a great choice. He is a wonderful person, who is a great teacher of the game, with a voracious appetite to learn. This is an amazing opportunity for Chris as he will be leading a BIG EAST program. The BIG EAST needs to be prepared as the Providence College Friars are going to be very competitive."
- John Danowski Head Coach, Duke University
"Providence College has hit a home run with the hiring of Chris Gabrielli. To be sure, we are ecstatic for Chris, Candice and Grace to have this wonderful opportunity. During his time at Duke, Chris was instrumental in the team's success, with six-consecutive trips to Memorial Day Weekend [NCAA Men's Lacrosse Final Four], including the 2010 national championship. While we will miss Chris and his family greatly, we wish them all the best in this new endeavor."
- Kevin M. White Vice President and Director of Athletics, Duke University
"Providence College is very lucky to have Chris Gabrielli as the new leader of their lacrosse program. There is not a better person, mentor and coach that PC could have hired. The future of Providence College is in great hands. Chris will work extremely hard, demand respect and lead with integrity - all of which he will ask of his new players! I could not be happier for Chris and Providence College!"
- Greg Cannella Head Coach, University of Massachusetts
"I am thrilled for Chris, Candice and Grace that Providence College has selected Chris to be their next head lacrosse coach. Chris has a tremendous pedigree as both a player and a coach, and success in this game has followed him at every level. His exposure to Greg Cannella, Stan Ross, and John Danowski have undoubtedly prepared him for the challenges he will face as the head coach at Providence, in every facet of the job. His ability to relate to the players and understand their demands and perspectives will quickly earn him their respect and admiration. Under Chris' direction, no one in the BIG EAST should be surprised to see Providence College lacrosse reach new heights."
- Jason Miller Head Coach, St. John's University
"Chris Gabrielli is a tremendous coach and an even more impressive person. Providence College is getting one of the brightest young coaches in the game. I had a strong feeling this day would come when I was lucky enough to coach him at UMass. He was a tremendous captain at UMass in 2001, and has continued to forge his leadership style at every coaching stop he has made. All the while, Chris has been governed by an uncompromising moral compass, an intense work ethic, and a desire to be the best. I couldn't be happier for Chris, Candice and Grace."
- Andy Shay Head Coach, Yale University
"Chris Gabrielli has been an incredibly hard worker for as long as I have known him. He is very passionate about his profession as an educator and as a coach of our great game of lacrosse. I am certain that Chris will bring tremendous energy, effort and enthusiasm to the Providence lacrosse program."
- Kevin Cassese Head Coach, Lehigh University