Glenn Thiel enters his 33rd season as head coach of the Nittany Lions He is the owner of over 200 wins at Penn State and over 300 wins for his career. After coaching the team to an NCAA tournament appearance in 2005, plus a share of the ECAC regular season crown, Thiel guided Penn State back to the ECAC title-deciding game in 2006 and just missed out on the NCAA tournament. Last year, the Nittany Lions went 9-5, just missed an NCAA bid, and ended the season ranked No. 16 in the final national coaches poll.
In 1977, after eight highly successful years at Virginia, Thiel returned to his alma mater as the Nittany Lions' head coach, following in the footsteps of his late father, Glenn "Nick" Thiel, who guided Penn State's lacrosse teams from 1935 until 1956.
"He got out of coaching before I was aware of what he was doing," said Thiel. "I was too young. But knowing his personality and mine, I'm sure we are probably pretty similar. We both tend to be yellers."
"I talked to the Tailback Club once and to a couple of guys who had played for Dad for one or two days. They said, `Too tough a game to start, too much running and Nick Thiel yelling all the time.' I'm kind of the same way."
Nick Thiel was USILA Man of the Year twice and was inducted into the USILA Hall of Fame in 1966, the same year that Glenn graduated from Penn State.
Glenn Thiel has a 311-211 overall record over 42 seasons, and a 234-175 record in 32 years at Penn State. He is currently in third place on the national all-time coaches career wins list.
A 1966 Penn State graduate, Thiel played two seasons with his brother, Dave, under Dick Pencek, whom Thiel succeeded as coach. He was a midfielder on the 1964-66 Nittany Lion teams, serving as co-captain his senior campaign. He received the Pittenger Award as the squad's most valuable senior and was selected to play in the North/South All-Star Classic after scoring 27 goals with six assists in 1966.
Thiel logged a record of 63-30 in eight seasons as head coach at Virginia from 1970-77. His 1972 squad won the NCAA Championship title with a 13-12 victory over Johns Hopkins. In 1970, the Cavaliers tied for the USILA national title.
"Winning the National Championship at Virginia was a great feeling and that's what we're shooting for here at Penn State. That's all we talk about and now we have a good opportunity to achieve our goal this year."
In guiding Virginia to three Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, Thiel coached 12 first team All-Americans. He twice coached the South to victory in the North/South All-Star Classic (1973, `94). His father was 1-1-1 coaching in the All-Star classic. His brother played in the 1965 game.
In the fall of 1996, Thiel was among the second class of inductees into the Virginia Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The Hall was established to honor the men and women who have made great contributions to the game of lacrosse. Four of Thiel's former players, Pete Eldridge, Jay Connor, Tom Duquette and John Driscoll are in the National Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame.
Thiel is very active in developing and promoting lacrosse. A former member of the executive board of the USILA, Thiel serves on the organization's All-American and National Rankings Committees.
Thiel is a past member of the United States Lacrosse Coaches Association executive board. He was involved in the selection of the 1982, 1986 and 1990 U.S. World teams. He is also active as a clinician and summer camp instructor.
Thiel received a master's degree in physical education from Massachusetts in 1970. Thiel and his wife, Sally, reside in State College, Pa.