CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State University head men's lacrosse coach Andy German announced the promotion of Matthew Bertrams Thursday afternoon.
Bertrams was elevated into the top assistant coach role with this announcement and will now serve as the program's defensive coordinator.
"Coach Bertrams has been an integral part of our program the past few years so it was an easy decision to elevate Matt and name him defensive coordinator," German said. "His energy, insight and ability to connect with our players is something that has been invaluable, and he is someone that is consistently making our program better."
Bertrams has served on the Vikings' staff in each of the past two seasons, helping the young CSU program to noticeable improvements from one season to the next.
Cleveland State had its finest season yet in 2019 with Bertrams' assistance. The Vikings won seven of their final 10 games to close the year, doubling their win total from the prior season in the process. In doing so, CSU posted a winning record in just its third season of existence despite facing six teams among the top 25 in the NCAA's RPI.
Bertrams helped the CSU defense during the 2019 season as the unit finished among the top 20 nationally in scoring defense while also sitting among the top 25 in caused turnovers. The defense also factored significantly in the Vikings' ride leading the nation in opponent clearing percentage (.707), edging out national champion Virginia. Only one CSU opponent cleared at a rate better than the national average in 2019.
Bertrams played in three NCAA Tournaments with the University of Albany and is currently competing in his fifth season in Major League Lacrosse (MLL).
A member of the Boston Cannons, Bertrams signed a two-year extension with the club in September 2018. He has played in eight of 10 games this season while helping the club to a 6-4 mark thus far in 2019. Bertrams has been a member of the Cannons since 2017, previously playing for the Ohio Machine and Chesapeake Bayhawks.
"Matt has a wealth of knowledge from his time at Albany, as a professional in the MLL and as an analyst for the New York Giants when he first graduated college," German said. "He's been around some of the best coaches in our game and has seen an NFL franchise operate from the inside out, and all those experiences have helped mold Coach Bertrams into the excellent coach he is today. Most importantly, if you have ever spent any time around Matt, you know what a tremendous person he is. He cares, holds himself and others accountable and I'm excited to watch him grow in his role as we bring CSU lacrosse into its next chapter."
Bertrams was an All-America East performer at Albany, earning the honor in 2015 as a short stick defensive midfielder. He served as a team captain in his senior season with the Great Danes, posting 11 goals, four assists and 31 ground balls while playing in all 19 games.
Bertrams helped Albany to a 41-14 record over his final three seasons, as the Great Danes won a trio of America East Tournament titles. Albany used upsets to reach the NCAA Quarterfinals in each of his final two seasons in upstate New York.
Bertrams was named a USILA Scholar All-American after his senior season and had also been featured on the America East Commissioner's Honor Roll.
A native of Mason, Ohio, Bertrams earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Albany in finance/management in 2015.
Photo courtesy of Tony Carter