COLUMBIA – There will be three new faces on the sidelines for the Missouri men’s lacrosse program this season as the Tigers brought on three assistant coaches to help out on the defensive side of the ball.
“Earlier this season Head Coach Clayton Melrose came to me with the idea of restructuring his salary in order to bring on some assistant coaches to better the program,” said team President Phil Bergman. “Coach Melrose loves the Mizzou lacrosse program, and this move shows how much he cares about this team and its growth into the future. As a non-varsity program funds can be tight at times, and a move such this gives us opportunities to get more out of our limited budget.”
Coming back to coach the goalies this season is Eddie Hedrick. One of the most prominent names in mid-Missouri lacrosse, and one of the organizers of youth lacrosse in Columbia, Coach Hedrick is coming back for his 16th season with the program. In October the Mizzou Lacrosse Alumni Association announced the alumni game would be named the “Eddie Hedrick Alumni Game” in his honor.
“Coach Hedrick and Mizzou Lacrosse go hand in hand, and our program is really excited to have him back for another season,” Bergman said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge to the game and is a pleasure to be around, and all the guys, especially the goalies are excited to have him back on the sidelines.”
Born in East Liverpool, Ohio, Coach Hedrick attended Bowling Green State University and was a Division-1 All-American at goalie in 1967. A retired epidemiologist, Coach Hedrick has also coached at Hickman High School and in the Columbia Youth League and in 2003 was the head coach for the West team in the Missouri East vs. West game.
“I love working with the players, and I enjoy celebrating their success on the field as well as in their lives and careers,” Hedrick said. “Currently we have four excellent goalies. Each has his strengths and weaknesses but all seem to be committed to working hard to improve. They are definitely one of the strengths of the team.”
Taking charge as the new defensive coordinator is Hatton Taylor. Raised in the Richmond, Virginia area, Taylor played in the competitive Division-III Centennial Conference for perennial powerhouse Dickinson College before transferring and finishing out his career playing in the SELC at South Carolina. After graduating, Taylor spent time as an assistant with the Gamecocks program and at Deep Run High School and The Steward School, both in Richmond. Currently he is in the final year of his Master’s degree in musical performance with a classical guitar emphasis.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to coach for Mizzou’s Lacrosse,” Taylor said. “Despite being my first year with the program, I am beyond fortunate to be working with such high caliber players. What makes this opportunity great is this team’s prodigious work ethic and unshakable desire to win. These are among the many intangible qualities required for any team to be successful.”
As head of the defensive, Coach Taylor will be in charge of a unit that ranked towards the top in the MCLA and GRLC in goals against average in 2015.
“Our defense is stacked with athleticism, and every one of them are exceptionally hard workers,” said Taylor. “Also, their chemistry is incredible. Their ability to read each other on the field takes time to develop and our veterans have done a great job with getting our rookies up to speed and playing at a higher level. But what is most impressive about our defense is their discipline and accountability, a standard they not only set high for themselves as individuals, but also as a collective unit. We have the potential to be one of the best defenses in the MCLA, and we expect no less of ourselves as we show our opponents that we are not wrong.”
Helping out with Coach Taylor on defense and running the box for the Tigers is Kyle Bader. Originally from Cape Girardeau, Bader moved to metropolitan St. Louis for college to play Division-III lacrosse at Fontbonne University. As a senior in 2013, he started seven games for the Griffins while raking in 13 ground balls and causing six turnovers. Previous coaching stints included stops at Saint Louis University High School and the Kirkwood Youth Lacrosse program. Coach Bader is currently a graduate teaching assistant and a Master of Fine Arts candidate at MU.
“It’s great to be back at the college-level game,” Bader said. “This is the level with the most passion for the game, in my opinion. Being apart of a team at a big university, whether it’s NCAA affiliated or MCLA, is something special.”
Also helping out the Tigers this season as managers are Matt Shepard, Tommy Heidbrink, Martise Harris and Eric Glennon.
If interested in donating to the Mizzou Men’s Lacrosse program, please visit the “History & Alumni” link on the top of the page and then click on the “Donate” button.