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Coach Cohn assumes new role as Upper School Athletic Director

Coach+Cohn+coaches+one+of+his+last+lacrosse+practices+before+moving+on+as+Athletic+Director.+
Katie Czelusta
Coach Cohn coaches one of his last lacrosse practices before moving on as Athletic Director.

As a rainy lacrosse practice near the end of the season came to a close, head coach David Cohn gathered his team. Typically, his closing remarks were short and confined to game-related matters, but Cohn teared up as he announced his new position: Director of Athletics.

Before the promotion, he had served as Assistant Athletic Director under Vince Arduini, who retired last spring. Since arriving on campus in 2016, Cohn has emphasized a “Got Your Back” philosophy in which players hold teammates accountable for their actions. Cohn added his motto onto t-shirts, sweatshirts and other team apparel.

“Coach Cohn is someone that has made a huge impact in my life, both as a player and just growing as a person,” captain Reese Stepanian said.

Before he joined the Mavericks, Cohn played for The Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland. He then attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he was part of four Patriot League titles. He competed in the 2004 National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship where Syracuse defeated the Midshipmen, 14-13. 

After college, while still serving in the Navy, Cohn became an assistant coach at the Naval Academy Prep School and coached at a San Diego high school.

After six years of military service, Cohn became a volunteer assistant coach at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. After one season, he became Offensive Coordinator for the Air Force Academy, where the Falcons finished with an 11-6 record. 

Despite his collegiate success, Cohn wanted to return to coaching at the high school level. 

“My coaches meant so much to me in my high school and college years that coaching was kind of a way for me to give back,” Cohn said. 

With his recent promotion to Director of Athletics, Cohn plans to instill his philosophy of mutual accountability and support to athletes in all sports. He also intends to bring in experts to speak with athletes about balancing sports, academics and social and emotional wellness.

“You’ve got to look at high school athletics as a vehicle not only for leadership, but also for community building,” Cohn said. “We need to make sure that we are teaching athletes the right way both on and off the field.”

Cohn’s promotion begins a new chapter in St. John’s athletics. Although Cohn plans to keep an eye on each sport, he wants to give coaches independence regarding team decisions. 

“Everybody is going to do their job a little bit differently,” Cohn said. “That’s what makes it great.”

In the past, whenever Cohn has taken on a new job, he has had to move and leave players and colleagues behind. But for this role, Cohn is just moving across the street.

“Stepping in this role means that there is somewhat of a disconnect between the students, and it’s really my job to make sure I can stay engaged,” Cohn said. “I don’t just want coaches in my office—I want student-athletes in here, too.”

 

Additional Reporting by Cesar Adrogue.

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About the Contributors
Pierce Downey
Pierce Downey, Staff Writer
Pierce Downey ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman. He is a huge fan of women’s roller derby. He is an avid bird watcher and his favorite bird is the oleaginous hemispingus.
Parker Moore
Parker Moore, Staff Writer
Parker Moore ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman. He is both a guitarist and a bassist and plays volleyball.
Katie Czelusta
Katie Czelusta, Multimedia Editor
Katie Czelusta ('25) joined The Review in 2022 as a sophomore. She has two dogs, and she has over 700 wins on Word Hunt.

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