Princeton University Men’s Lacrosse Coach Ousted for Elbowing Player

Chris Bates
Chris Bates. Photo: Princeton Athletic Communications.

Chris Bates, the head coach of the men’s lacrosse at Princeton University, has been ousted because he elbowed a player on another team last weekend.

The incident took place at an away game against Brown University this weekend. In a video of the game, Bates can be seen elbowing a Brown University team member after Brown’s faceoff win to start the third quarter.

Princeton University’s athletics department issued a statement today after reviewing the incident.

“Following a University review of an incident in the men’s lacrosse game at Brown on April 2, Chris Bates is no longer employed by Princeton University,” reads the statement.

Offensive coordinator Matt Madalon will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season and will coach his first game this Saturday against Stony Brook.

Madalon, a former Major League Lacrosse goalie, is a member of the most recent hall of fame class at Roanoke College. Now in his third year on the Princeton staff, he spent seven seasons as a coach at Stevens Tech. In his first two seasons at Princeton, the Tigers ranked among the leaders in scoring offense in Division I. A year ago, he coached Mike MacDonald, who set the school record for points in a season, and Kip Orban, who set the school record for goals in a season by a midfielder.

Bates was in his seventh season as Princeton University’s head coach. Under his leadership the Tigers had a record of 53-42. He led the team to the 2010, 2012 and 2015 Ivy League championships and to the 2010 and 2012 NCAA tournaments, and coached 16 first-team All-Ivy and 19 All-America student athletes.

A national search for a permanent head coach will be held after the season is over.


    1. Absolutely correct decision by the university. They are to be commended for their rare prioritization of character over athletics. Not that this guy’s W-L record was especially stellar, but even so, an overemphasis on athletics has perverted the mission of far too many formerly great institutions.

    2. Rationale? As noted above, terrible lapse in judgment for a coach at any level. Not a first strike/yellow card offense IMHO, but curious to understand your reasoning.

  1. I don’t understand what he was trying to do. A very odd lapse in reason. It was just a lunkhead move that ruined his career. It was a very lame elbowing, too. Like something a jerky kid might do. But, clearly intentional. The important thing to remember is, it’s just lacrosse. Life will go on.

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