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New York Lizards Coaches

May 13, 2016

Joe Spallina

General Manager & Head Coach

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

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.

Ryan Danehy

Offensive Coordinator

Ryan Danehy has been involved in Major League Lacrosse since 2006 and is returning to the league as the new offensive coordinator for New York. After his college lacrosse career at Dartmouth, he went on to play in the MLL for the Boston Cannons and the Chicago Machine. In 2008, while playing in the MLL, he became the assistant coach at Dartmouth. Over his six years with the team, he worked as a goalie coach and an offensive coordinator. In 2012, he went on to work for the University of Michigan for two seasons where he served as their assistant coach and offensive coordinator. In 2014, after coaching at the University of Michigan, he began working for 3D Lacrosse as the National Director of Training and Methodology. This is Ryan's first year on the Lizards coaching staff.

Brian "Doc" Dougherty

Defensive Coordinator

Brian Dougherty, affectionately called “Doc” by his players, has been a part of Major League Lacrosse since it’s inception and is returning to the Lizards as a coach this season. Playing for the Lizards, the Rattlers, and the Philadelphia Barrage, he has been a part of three championship teams and won the Goalie of the Year Title in 2003, 2006 and 2007. In addition to his MLL career, Dougherty served as the assistant coach for Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently the head coach of the men’s lacrosse team at Chestnut Hill College. This is Doc's first year on the Lizards coaching staff.

Tommy Susko

Assistant Coach

Tommy Susko
Tommy Susko, an assistant coach of the Adelphi men’s lacrosse team, is starting his fourth season with the Lizards. Prior to joining the coaching staff in 2013, Susko was a member of the team.

As a midfielder, he played in 18 games and was first on the team in and in the Northeast-10 conference in goals (41) and tied for third in points (48). In just one year, he earned honors in the form of NE-10 All-Championship Team, Donald E. Kohart Memorial Award (presented to the most outstanding offensive player on Adelphi's lacrosse team), NE-10 and ECAC Player of the Week and National Student-Athlete Award for achieving excellence in academics and athletics. He also ranks tied for ninth in the record books in single season goals.

Before transferring to Adelphi, Tommy attended Molloy College. At Molloy, Susko was a four-year started and received his bachelor of arts in history. Currently, Tommy is pursuing his second masters in Sports Management at Adelphi.

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.