Jake Richard hired as Marquette men’s lacrosse head coach

Richard is a PLL player, Team USA gold medalist and former Marquette All-American

Team USA gold medalist Jake Richard will lead the Marquette University men’s lacrosse team as its third head coach in program history, Marquette Vice President and Director of Athletics Bill Scholl announced Friday afternoon.

“Jake has been part of every single game the men’s lacrosse program has ever played and we are excited to see him run the program,” Scholl said. “Throughout the process we were determined to find a future leader who could connect with student-athletes and alumni. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for Jake and it’s clear he has the ability to inspire. He articulated a clear vision for a successful program, and we look forward to seeing him implement that plan. We are excited to keep Jake, his wife, Nicki and children Noah and Peter in Milwaukee.”

Richard was a two-time team captain during his Marquette playing career and led the Golden Eagles’ unprecedented rise to national prominence in just four short seasons, culminating in their first BIG EAST Conference title and NCAA Championship appearance in 2016.

“I am so grateful for the belief and support from those involved in the Marquette Lacrosse community, past, present and future,” Richard said. “Marquette is home for my family, and I take this responsibility very seriously. I would like to thank President Lovell, Bill Scholl, Mike Broeker and Danielle Josetti for their dedication to the men’s lacrosse program and I am eager to get back to work.”

Richard was the recipient of Marquette’s Cura Personalis Award in 2016, recognizing the student-athlete whose attitude throughout their athletics career exemplifies the Jesuit spirit of Cura Personalis and demonstrates a commitment to the athletics program’s mission of excellence in academics, athletics and leadership through service to others.

One of the primary culture drivers behind the team’s early successes, Richard was hired as an assistant coach in 2017 under Joe Amplo and helped MU repeat as BIG EAST Champions.

In his first season as an assistant coach, Richard helped the Marquette defense remain among the nation’s best even after replacing three USILA All-Americans. The MU defense allowed 9.31 goals per game in 2017 on its way to a second-straight BIG EAST tournament title and another appearance in the NCAA Championship.

The Golden Eagles have consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best man-down defenses, registering in the top-20 nationally in six of Richard’s eight seasons as assistant coach with three top-eight finishes.

While serving as MU’s defensive coordinator in recent years, Richard mentored defenseman Mason Woodward, a four-time team captain and the only three-time USILA All-American in Marquette history. Under Richard’s tutelage, Woodward broke the MU career ground ball record previously held by Byrnes and moved up to second place behind Byrnes in team history with 84 caused turnovers. Woodward became the first MU player selected in the first round of the PLL College Draft when he was taken eighth overall by the Utah Archers in 2024.

Richard’s brother, Noah, also developed into a USILA All-American long-stick midfielder during his time at Marquette and was the 2019 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year while playing under his brother’s watch. Noah was a third round PLL College Draft pick in 2019 and played with Jake on Atlas LC during the summer of 2019.

Jake Richard has been a successful professional and Team USA lacrosse player since graduating from MU as a USILA Third Team All-American in 2016. He’s entering his ninth professional season in 2024 and will suit up in the Premier Lacrosse League for his hometown Philadelphia Waterdogs, where he’ll join former MU teammate Liam Byrnes.

As a consistent member of Team USA’s training team, he was named to the 23-man Team USA roster for the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego and won a gold medal with the American squad.

In his MU career, Richard caused 36 turnovers (then third in program history), while also posting 12 goals and six assists in 61 career games in addition to 193 ground balls, then good for second in program history. Upon his graduation, he shared the single-game program record for ground balls with two other individuals and appeared in every game in the Golden Eagles’ first four seasons. He was the only short-stick defensive midfielder named All-BIG EAST in 2016 and was a fourth round Major League Lacrosse draft pick of the New York Lizards.

Since his high school days in Pennsylvania, Richard has been actively involved with various community service events and worked lacrosse camps around the country. At Marquette, he has worked closely with the Milwaukee Eagles wheelchair lacrosse team and MKE Lax to grow the game and expand opportunities within the sport.

The native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, earned his bachelor’s degree from Marquette in 2016 before completing his Master of Business Administration from the University in 2020.

Richard and his wife, Nicki (Barnes), a former MU women’s volleyball player, were married in June 2018. They have a daughter, Noah, born in the summer of 2022 and a son, Peter, born in 2024.