Your 2019 Pitt Men’s Lacrosse Captains

Clockwise from top left: Romac, Wasson, McCaffrey, and Burden

Clockwise from top left: Romac, Wasson, McCaffrey, and Burden

We are thrilled to announce the selection of our team captains for the 2019 season:

Seniors Dan Wasson, Cole Burden, and Juniors Zach Romac and Brian McCaffrey have been nominated Captains for the upcoming season.

“Very excited to have these four guys leading our program. They are solid group that push our program to the next level everyday. With that said, we have an incredibly strong group of leaders amongst our upperclassmen. The mantle of leadership goes far beyond just these four guys” said Coach Wilfong.

Returning as a captain this year is junior midfielder, and team president, Zach Romac. The Glenshaw, PA native was second on the team in points last year and looks to continue to lead on both sides of the ball.

Also returning as a captain is senior midfielder, Dan Wasson of Springfield, PA. Fourth on the team in points in 2018, Wasson’s veteran experience and leadership will be a large part of the offense going into the spring.

Buffalo, NY native Cole Burden, also a midfielder, led the team in assists in 2018. He brings a Western New York grit to the offense, and looks to sustain his scoring productivity going into the 2019 season.

Long Island, NY product Brian McCaffrey is a junior LSM who pushes the tempo and applies a ton of pressure to opposing offenses. He looks to lead a defense that returns a strong combination of veterans and rookies this season.

Welcoming back the Rattners

The University of Pittsburgh men’s lacrosse program is excited to announce the return of Rich Rattner and Nate Rattner back to the staff for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. Both Rattners will assume Assistant Coaching roles and will directly oversee the defensive side of the ball, as well as other aspects of the team.

“I am thrilled to welcome back both Coach Rich Rattner and Coach Nate Rattner back to the Pitt Men’s Lacrosse staff. The two of them are high character people that bring a lot of experience and knowledge to our program,” says Head Coach Zach Wilfong.

“Our program will benefit tremendously from having these two veteran coaches, especially considering they both have previous coaching experience specifically with our student-athletes. At the end of the day, fostering great relationships is one of the most important things that we can do as a coaching staff. The relationships that the Rattners have built throughout the Pitt Men’s Lacrosse program are invaluable and we look to continue to foster more relationships moving forward.”  

Rich Rattner returns to the Panthers’ coaching staff after spending the past several years as the Defensive Coordinator. Since 2013, Coach Rattner has implemented multiple defensive schemes and oversaw all defensive positions including goalies. Additionally under his guidance, the team has received over 20 all league defensive awards. Prior to the University of Pittsburgh, Coach Rattner spent 20+ years coaching defense at local high school, Shady Side Academy.

Nate Rattner returns for his second season with the Panthers after spending the past season serving in a variety of roles. In addition to working closely with the defense, Nate controlled the box during scrimmages and games, as well as overseeing scout and film overview/breakdowns.  Nate was a goalie at nearby DIII Washington Jefferson College, where he graduated in 2015.

Introducing Offensive Coordinator Zack Rusch

The University of Pittsburgh men’s lacrosse program is excited to announce the hiring of Zack Rusch as new Assistant Coach for the 2018-19 season, assuming the role of Offensive Coordinator.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Coach Rusch join the staff and become part of our program,” says Pitt Coach Zach Wilfong. “Zack will bring a lot to the table and become a very influential piece of our staff. I am confident in his ability to coach, mentor, and guide our young student-athletes. In the time that I have come to know Zack, it is evident that he has a passion for the game and possesses strong leadership capabilities.”

Rusch joins the Panthers after graduating from nearby Seton Hill (Pa.) University, one of NCAA Division II's power programs. Rusch was a standout midfielder for the Griffins, significantly contributing to the team’s offense and overall success. For his efforts, he was recognized as a USILA DII 1st Team All American during his senior year and participated in the DI/II North/South All Star Game. During his 4 seasons, Rusch tallied 142 career points, 90 goals and 52 assists.

Rusch is a Pittsburgh native, growing up in the Bethel Park area. While there, he was a standout Football and Lacrosse player for Bethel Park High School.

Rusch graduated from Seton Hill University in the Spring of 2017 with a BA Degree.

Introducing Head Coach Zach Wilfong

The Pitt Men’s Lacrosse team is excited to announce the hiring of Zach Wilfong as our new Head Coach.

Most recently, Wilfong was the Offensive Coordinator at Division II’s Seton Hill University. During his two seasons with SHU, he helped lead the Griffins to a 29-6 record, the nation’s #1 ranked offense, two GMAC Conference Championships, and a national semifinal appearance; doing this while simultaneously earning his Master of Business Administration from Seton Hill. Throughout his time at Seton Hill, he directly coached several NCAA DII USILA All-Americans, as well as the 2018 GMAC Offensive Player of the Year.

Prior to Seton Hill, Wilfong played a crucial role in developing a program at Division III’s Ohio Northern University. At ONU, he assisted the lacrosse team in their inaugural year, serving as a Recruiting Coordinator and Primary Assistant Lacrosse Coach, while helping the team achieve a winning record of 8-7 during the 2016 season.

He also spent time as Carnegie Mellon University’s Head Coach and Central Catholic High School’s Offensive Coordinator.

As a player, Wilfong was a standout attackman at Saint Vincent College. He was a four-year starter, three-year captain, and one of the top all-time scorers in school history. After his senior year, he was selected to play in the USILA DIII North-South Game.

We are thrilled to have Zach Wilfong at the helm, and are excited about the passion for the game, high lacrosse IQ, and cultural focus that he brings to our program.

Hail to Pitt!