University of Delaware head lacrosse coach Bob Shillinglaw, one of the nation's most respected and successful coaches, will begin his 35th season as head coach of the Blue Hen men's lacrosse program and his 38th season of college coaching overall in 2013.
He leads a Blue Hen program that ranks among the nation's best in NCAA Division I. Over the last eight seasons, the Blue Hens have posted a cumulative record of 77-57 (.583), won 10 or more games five times, captured four Colonial Athletic Association regular season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times. The highlight came during the 2007 season when the Hens knocked off Virginia and UMBC in the first two round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history.
Shillinglaw owns a career record of 281-256 (.523) at Delaware that includes 15 conference titles, including seven in the East Coast Conference, three in the North Atlantic Conference titles, a 1999 America East Conference title, and four CAA titles in 2005 (regular season), 2007, 2010, and 2011. He has led the Blue Hens to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1984, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2011.
He reached a milestone achieved by just nine other coaches in the history of the game in 2012 when he captured his 300th career victory during the Blue Hens' season-opening 19-6 win over Detroit Mercy on Feb. 4 in Delaware Stadium.
He holds the NCAA all-time, all-divisions record for most career coaching appearances with 578, breaking the record of 510 set by Jack Emmer at Cortland State, Washington & Lee, and Army from 1970 until 2005. Shillinglaw, whose overall career coaching record stands at 305-273 (.528), will enter the 2013 season ranked seventh among all active men's college coaches for wins, including a No. 4 ranking among NCAA Division I mentors, trailing only Dom Starsia of Virginia (341), John Danowski of Duke (314), and Bill Tierney of Denver (308).
He is one of just eighth coaches in NCAA history to win 250 games or more at one school, reaching the mark with a win over Saint Joseph's in the 2009 season opener.
He led the Blue Hens to their finest season in school history in 2007. The Blue Hens went 13-6 overall, captured the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title, and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history. Delaware stormed past defending national champion and No. 2 seed Virginia by a 14-8 score in the first round, defeated No. 13 ranked UMBC 10-6 in the quarterfinals at Navy, and trailed eventual national champion Johns Hopkins 3-2 late in the third quarter before falling to the Blue Jays 8-3 in the national semifinals before a record crowd of 52,004 fans at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium. Delaware was ranked No. 15 in the final USILA poll - based on the regular season - for the second straight year.
The recently completed 2010 and 2011 season also saw the Blue Hens capture the CAA Tournament title and advance to the NCAA Tournament, each time resulting in tough one-goal losses to Atlantic Coast Conference powers. It marked the first time in school history that Delaware advanced to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons.
In 2010, the Hens won their final three regular season games to earn a spot in the CAA Tournament and proceeded to defeat No. 12 Drexel 10-6 in the semifinals and top-seed Towson 12-9 in the championship game. The win vaulted the Blue Hens into the NCAA Tournament where Delaware gave No. 4 seed North Carolina all it could handle before falling 14-13 in a classic back-and-forth battle with the Tar Heels. The Hens, led by CAA Player of the Year and Tewaaraton Award finalist Curtis Dickson, finished with a No. 12 final USILA national ranking.
In 2011, Delaware lost its final two regular season games but earned the No. 4 and final seed in the CAA Tournament. The Hens then knocked off top seed and No. 8 ranked Hofstra 10-9 on the Pride's home field in the semifinals and defeated No. 3 seed and 19th-ranked Massachusetts 9-7 on the Minutemen's home turf in the title game. The Hens earned an NCAA Tournament spot opposite No. 6 ranked Duke and gave the defending national champion Blue Devils all they could handle before falling by a 15-14 margin in the first round.
Shillinglaw, 59, is the winningest coach in Delaware's 64-year lacrosse history and his past accomplishments also include coaching his 1984, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2011 teams to NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2007 Final Four appearance, and leading his 1979 squad to a 13-2 mark and being named United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year. He was also named USILA Coach of the Year during the 1999 season when Delaware advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals led by national Player of the Year John Grant.
The 1999 season was also one of the finest ever in UD history. The team broke several records, including most wins in a season (14-2); most goals in a season, consecutive wins (11), and best start (8-0). For his efforts, Shillinglaw was named America East Coach of the Year and earned his second USILA Coach of the Year award.
Shillinglaw received another big honor in June, 1999 when he was selected as head coach of Team USA for the 1999 inaugural World Cup of Lacrosse. Team USA that defeated Team Canada in a best of three series at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
The Blue Hens enjoyed outstanding campaigns from 2004 until 2007, recording four straight seasons with 10 or more victories for the first time in school history. Delaware was one of only four schools in NCAA Division I who won 10 or more games each of those four seasons (2004-07) and only two teams had won more than Delaware's 46 games during that span. Delaware's .667 winning percentage was eighth best among teams during that four-year period as well.
In 2004, the Blue Hens went 10-6 and advanced to the CAA semifinals. In 2005, the Hens went 11-6 and captured the CAA regular season title. The Hens fell to Towson in the CAA title game in 2005 but earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament where they fell to No. 5 seed Navy 9-7 in the opening round. For his efforts, Shillinglaw was named CAA Coach of the Year. The Blue Hens were ranked nationally both seasons, moving up as high as No. 11 during the 2004 season.
In 2006, Shillinglaw led the Blue Hens to a record of 12-5 and a berth in the CAA Championships game before falling to No. 2 ranked Hofstra in the finals.
Shillinglaw has been named league coach of the year five times, earning the award in the North Atlantic Conference in 1992, 1993, 1994, and as part of the America East in 1999. His teams have failed to post a winning record in league play just five times in his 34-year tenure, posted an undefeated record 10 times, and won nearly 70 percent of its league regular season contests.
A native of Severna Park, Md. where he was a standout football and lacrosse player at Severna Park High School, Shillinglaw is a 1974 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina. Shillinglaw lettered four years in lacrosse for the Tar Heels and served as team captain as a senior.
Before coming to Delaware, he was 24-17 in three years as head coach at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He earned his master's degree from Boston University in 1978.
He earned his 200th career victory with an 8-7 overtime win over Hofstra Apr. 14, 2000 and his 200th win at Delaware in 2004 when the Hens downed 18th-ranked Air Force March 20. He earned his 250th career victory in 2006 as the Hens defeated Robert Morris in the final regular season game of the year.
He has twice been selected to the coaching staff of the North-South Lacrosse Senior All-Star Classic, serving as South Team head coach in 1987, South co-head coach in 1997, and as an assistant in 1981.
Shillinglaw is a past president of the United States Lacrosse Coaches Association and is actively involved in the All-America Advisory Board, and the Rules and Equipment committee of the USLCA, and with the USILA Top 20 Coaches Poll.
An Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware, he has published numerous articles in athletic journals as well as lectured at various coaching clinics. He resides with his wife, Tina, in Elkton, Md. They have three grown daughters.
Shillinglaw Year by Year Head Coaching Record at Delaware