Chris Feifs, the defensive coordinator for the 2016 NCAA Division I national champion North Carolina Tarheels, has been named the seventh head coach of the University of Vermont men’s lacrosse program. Incoming Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman made the announcement of the hire on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s a great pleasure to welcome Chris to the University of Vermont and the Department of Athletics. Chris is a highly respected professional who has played and coached at the top level of collegiate lacrosse while remaining steadfast in his commitment to the scholar-athlete model,” said Schulman.
“During the search process, Chris impressed us with his passion for teaching and strong commitment to the academic, personal and athletic wellbeing of his student-athletes,” Schulman noted. “His experience recruiting and coaching a national championship team at North Carolina certainly speaks to his ability to identify, attract and develop elite student-athletes who are capable of succeeding at the highest levels on and off the lacrosse field.”
Feifs spent seven years at North Carolina as defensive coordinator and faceoff coach, leading the program to seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition to their national championship last month, the Tarheels were two-time ACC regular season co-champions and claimed the 2013 ACC title during his tenure. In 2012, he helped faceoff specialist R.G. Keenan become the first UNC midfielder to earn First Team All-America honors since 1996.
“I am honored for the opportunity to join the University of Vermont as the head men’s lacrosse coach,” said Feifs. “UVM is truly a special place with its unique combination of academic excellence, athletic achievement, and picturesque surroundings. I look forward to joining Burlington’s supportive and vibrant community to build a winning tradition on and off the field.”
“I’d also like to thank incoming Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman, Associate Athletic Director Joe Gervais, and the entire UVM staff for helping make this incredible opportunity possible,” Feifs added.
Prior to his time in Chapel Hill, Feifs spent two seasons as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Virginia Military Institute. He led VMI to its first-ever MAAC Tournament and Championship Game appearances in program history, while developing the 2008 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year Kevin Hill. Feifs also directed all aspects of scouting and campus visits as recruiting coordinator for the Keydets.
As a college athlete, the Durham native became the first scholarship athlete from North Carolina to play lacrosse at Maryland. Feifs played for the Terrapins from 2004-07, reached the NCAA Semifinals in 2005 and 2006, and was a three-time selection to the ACC Academic Honor Roll. He served as team captain as a senior and posted a career-high 19 points. Feifs was selected by the Boston Cannons in the 2007 Major League Lacrosse Supplemental Draft and played one season with the team.
UVM closed the 2016 season by posting its most wins (9) in a decade and earned its first America East Tournament win with an upset victory over Stony Brook in the semifinal round. Vermont advanced to the America East Championship Game for the first time in program history before falling by a single goal to Hartford. The Catamounts return four of their top five scorers for the 2017 season, including USILA All-American and rising senior Ian MacKay.