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New York Lizards Coaches

Joe Spallina

General Manager 

Joe Spallina Headshot 2
Joe Spallina is entering his tenth season with the Lizards, serving as the assistant coach for two seasons before being named head coach and general manager in 2012. That same year, he was named MLL Coach of the Year. Joe has led New York to five playoff appearances in his six seasons thus far including the Lizards 2015 MLL Championship. This was the first Championship title for the Lizards in over a decade.

He will continue to serve as General Manager for the 2019 Season.

Joe is also the Head Coach of Stony Brook University's Women's Lacrosse team. Under Spallina, Stony Brook has produced eight IWLCA All-Americans, five Tewaaraton semifinalists, four conference championships and four NCAA Tournament second-round berths. In 2016, the Seawolves won their fourth-consecutive America East title as part of a 17-win campaign that brought Stony Brook to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. Joe is considered the winningest coach in program history. 

He also played college lacrosse at Adelphi University for four years, where he won two Division II National Championships. Joe currently resides in Mount Sinai with his wife Marybeth and their five children.

BJ O'Hara

Head Coach

BJ O'Hara Head Shot                                                                                                O’Hara enters his 17th MLL season and 42nd overall as a lacrosse coach in 2019. This will be his first season as Head Coach for the Lizards, after serving as Head Coach for the Denver Outlaws over the past five seasons.

He is currently the only head coach in MLL history to win MLL Titles with two different teams. Also, he has won four Major League Lacrosse Championships over his time in the league including this past season with the Outlaws.

Prior to joining the professional ranks, O’Hara worked as an assistant coach at Syracuse University for two seasons, helping the school to an NCAA Division I Championship in 2002 and back to the NCAA Semifinals in 2003. O’Hara spent 12 seasons (1990-2001) as the head coach at his Alma Mater, Hobart College, where he led the Statesmen to three NCAA Division III Championships and a total of six NCAA Tournament selections (four at the Division III level and two at the Division I level). He was named the 2000 Patriot League Coach of the Year.

A member of the U.S. Lacrosse Regional Hall of Fame, O’Hara was chosen to represent the MLL in the selection of the 2010 U.S. Men’s National Team, which went on to win the gold medal at the 2010 FIL World Championships. From 1994-99, O’Hara was a member of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Committee. He served as the President of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association from 1998-2000.

O’Hara holds a master’s degree in educational psychology and counseling from Slippery Rock (Pa.) University. He began his coaching career at West Genesee High School in Camillus, N.Y., where he enjoyed a distinguished lacrosse and soccer career.

Ted Garber

Assistant Coach

Ted Garber Headshot

Garber's Professional coaching experience dates back to the creation of Major League Lacrosse, where he was a head coach during the MLL Inaugural Summer Showcase Tour. His MLL coaching career includes stops at Bridgeport, Chicago, Boston, Rochester, and Ohio. He has been honored by Major League Lacrosse for outstanding contributions to the game of lacrosse. Ted has been inducted into numerous Lacrosse Hall of Fames, such as the University of New Hampshire, Connecticut High School, as well as Western Mass. Some of his other accolades include being NCAA Division 1 New England Coach of the Year, New England Lacrosse Man of the Year, and New England Division 1 College Sportsmanship Award winner. Also, he is a National Lacrosse Clinician/Speaker and Designer of Dynamic and Diversified Lacrosse Game Skills Training Program and one of the few coaches who has been a Head Coach at the Professional, Collegiate, Secondary and Youth levels.

Mike Gongas

Assistant Coach

Mike Gongas
Mike Gongas is starting his first season with the NY Lizards during the summer of 2018. Before joining the Lizards Mike spent the last 11 seasons coaching collegiately at the division 1 level. Mike spent his first two years at Presbyterian College as an assistant coach where he served as the offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and goalie coach before becoming the programs head coach for the following two seasons. After Presbyterian, Mike spent the next two seasons as the assistant coach at Sacred Heart University where he served the program as its offensive and recruiting coordinator. After Sacred Heart, he then worked as the assistant coach at Marist College; serving as the offensive and recruiting coordinator, as well as working with the goalies. 

Darrin Schirtzer

Team Operations Manager

Darrin Schirtzer Headshot
Darrin is entering his fifth season with the Lizards. In addition to serving as the equipment manager for the Lizards, Darrin also coaches Team 91’s Crush with head coach, Joe Spallina. Last year, The Crush won the Dicks U-11 National Championship. Darrin grew up in Bohemia and attended Connetquot High School.  

Andrew Alderman

Assistant Equipment Manager

Andrew “Mookie” Alderman has been a staff member with the Lizards since their inception in 2001  . In addition to working with the Lizards, Mookie also worked with the NLL New York Titans  and  with the NLL New England Black Wolves professional indoor lacrosse team s . Mookie has been also a part on the Israel National Outdoor and Indoor Men's lacrosse teams as a player, adviser and most recently a staff member and was awarded a Gold Medal in Finland when Team Israel won the FIL International Indoor Lacrosse championship.
Mookie received his bachelor's degree in Physical Education from Adelphi University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Health Education at Hofstra University.