By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 10/15/13
Ernie Shapiro, a Hall of Famer and All-American from the glory era at Lower Merion (PA), has been named head boys’ lacrosse coach at his alma mater.
Shapiro has not been a head coach at the high school level, but has coached for over 30 years and served as an assistant at the NCAA Division I, high school, middle school and youth levels. He was inducted into the Lower Merion Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 and was an All-American on the Aces’ 1979 state champions. Overall, Lower Merion won five state titles from 1966-79 and remained a state power the rest of through the century.
Shapiro then was a starter on a UMass power that ranked among the top teams in the nation before serving as an assistant coach in Amherst for two years and at Villanova for one year in the 1980s.
Shapiro has surrounded himself with great experience and several more former Lower Merion players from his era, as well as the former Lower Merion head coach. His assistants include Chet Laubach, head coach for the Aces for six years (2005-10); JB Bowie (1979 LM grad, head coach at Friends’ Central from 2003-11); and George Chou (1989 LM grad, former assistant at LM).
Shapiro’s ties to the area are plentiful. He is a Past Board Member for the Ashbee Lacrosse Club and the Radnor Youth Lacrosse and Past President of the Friends of Radnor Lacrosse. His mentors are considered among the elite coaches anywhere: former LM coaching legend John Linehan and former UMass Coach Dick Garber.
Shapiro answered these questions:
Why did you want to become a HS coach at your alma mater at this point of your career?
Shapiro: “Lower Merion Lacrosse taught me many life lessons; some I realized then and others as I got older. I made life long friendships through the program. My Lower Merion lacrosse family was always there for me. Now I can give back to the program that gave me so much. It was an easy decision.”
How will you use the great history and tradition of LM lax to your advantage?
Shapiro: “Lower Merion Lacrosse was established in 1947 and has won seven Pennsylvania State Championships. That is more than any other high school (program) in PA. LM Lax has had 26 All Americans and hundreds of players continue their careers in college. The current group of student athletes needs to realize all the hard work and commitment that prior LM Laxers put in to create the history and tradition. Not until they realize the pride of the past will they be able to be a part of the future.”
What are your short-term goals for the program?
Shapiro: “To increase the number of participants in the program, engage the student body, incorporate the parents and the community, and involve the LM Lacrosse alumni.”
What are your long-term goals for the program?
Shapiro: “Win an eighth PIAA State Championship.”
What is your general coaching philosophy?
Shapiro: “Play fast, old school lacrosse, with a high Lacrosse IQ.”