After a search over the summer, Marist women’s lacrosse has filled their coaching vacancy in a big way.
Being a student-athlete at Marist and coming back in 2016 to be assistant coach of the Marist men’s soccer team, Keith Detelj has been named the Marist women’s lacrosse program’s new head coach after former head coach Jessica Wilkinson stepped down after 13 seasons with the Red Foxes.
But Detelj is unique; he was a dual sport athlete at Marist playing both Division I soccer and lacrosse.
During his time playing Marist lacrosse, Detelj was named the 2005 MAAC tournament MVP and was a three-time selection first-team All-MAAC. As a striker for the men’s soccer team from 2003-06 Detelj set the program’s record for goals (36) and points (89). While on the team he earned All-MAAC honors all four years. In both 2004 and 2005, he led the Red Foxes to their first two NCAA tournament appearances where he was selected MAAC Tournament MVP both seasons
After graduating in 2007, Detelj played for the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League (USL PDL) throughout the years 2009-2014 before signing a professional contract with a USL pro club team, the Dayton Dutch Lions in 2014. He retired after one season with the club.
In 2016 Detelj was back on the Marist campus for the first time since graduating, serving as an assistant coach for the Marist Red Foxes’ men’s soccer program. During the 2016 season, the team qualified for the MAAC championship, with an overall record of 11-7-1.
Since his time as a student at Marist, Detelj has also expanded his career with lacrosse, with over a decade of experience coaching women’s lacrosse at different collegiate levels from junior college to Division I.
Detelj’s first job coaching women’s lacrosse stretches back to 2012 when he became the assistant coach of the Nassau Community College women’s lacrosse program. In 2014 he became the head coach at Nassau Community College where he led the Lions to a NJCAA Division III Final Four and a regional championship title.
Detelj most recently served as an assistant coach at Kennesaw State for their Division I women’s lacrosse team during the 2022 and 2023 seasons. During his time at Kennesaw, the team set a program record for wins and goals scored in 2022, as well as having an Honorable Mention All-American player both seasons.
Detelj also has head coaching experience under his belt at SUNY New Paltz for five seasons (2017-21). In his final season with the Hawks, the team had their first conference-winning record in program history (5-3). New Paltz was also ranked in the nation’s top 30 in free position shooting percentage, draw controls per game, and caused turnovers under Deteljs’ management.
Marist averaged less than their opponents in many areas in the MAAC, including free position shooting percentage, draw controls, and caused turnovers. Detelji’s success leading New Paltz in those areas will hopefully transfer to a new conference with a team desperate for a change of pace.
It goes without saying Fairfield dominates MAAC women’s lacrosse. This past season, the Stags claimed their fifth straight MAAC championship, beating Siena by a 13-goal difference (17-4). This win is the most significant marginal victory ever in a MAAC final.
On the flip side, the 2023 Marist women’s lacrosse season ended with a losing record of 4-12 and the team’s conference record at 2-6.The Red Foxes’ last MAAC championship appearance was in 2014 when they were defeated by Canisus 11-9. The last time Marist won the MAAC was in 2010.
Detelj comes to the program with an extensive resume of coaching women’s lacrosse and experience coaching at Marist before. He may be exactly what this team needs to get a winning record and get back to a championship.
Edited By Dan Aulbach
Photo From Marist Athletics