Head coach Andy German announced the promotion of Matthew Bertrams in August 2019. He will now serve as defensive coordinator as the program's top assistant coach.
Bertrams had joined the CSU staff as the volunteer assistant coach in January 2018 and was subsequently promoted to assistant coach in September 2018.
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.
During the program’s second season, Bertrams helped increase the Vikings’ DI win total to four while facing six teams among the top 25 in the NCAA’s RPI. Included among those four victories was Cleveland State’s first road win over a Division I foe—an 8-7 victory at defending Southern Conference champion Air Force.
The Vikings also put forth some notable efforts against some of the top teams in the nation in 2018 with Bertrams’ assistance. Cleveland State was one of only three teams to hold national finalist Duke to a single-digit goal total. The Vikings held Duke to a season-low .231 shooting percentage while hosting a former national champion for the first time. CSU also forced No. 4 Denver into a season-high 21 turnovers and a season-worst mark in clearing percentage.
Bertrams played in three NCAA Tournaments with the University of Albany and has competed for five seasons in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) with a trio of teams.
A member of the Boston Cannons, Bertrams signed a two-year extension with the club in September 2018. He has been a member of the Cannons since 2017, previously playing for the Ohio Machine and Chesapeake Bayhawks.
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.
Immediately prior to CSU, Bertrams had been serving as an assistant coach at nearby Saint Ignatius High School. He also was an assistant at his alma mater, William Mason High School, during the 2016 season. Bertrams has also coached with Resolute Lacrosse on the club circuit.
A native of Mason, Ohio, Bertrams earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Albany in finance/management in 2015.