Michael Caravana returns for his 27th season as the head men's lacrosse coach at Denison University in 2020.
One of the winningest coaches in college lacrosse and a former All-American attackman at the University of Virginia, Caravana has enjoyed two coaching stints spanning 30 years at Denison University. During his time in Granville, he has guided Denison to three NCAA Final Four appearances in 1999, 2001 and 2017, 11 NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearances and 12 North Coast Athletic Conference championships. In 2019 he earned his 300th career victory joining an elite group of 20 collegiate head coaches across all divisions that have accomplished the feat. In 2016, he became Denison's career leader in wins surpassing Denison and IMLCA Hall of Famer Tommy Thomsen as the program's career leader in victories.
Over the last five seasons, the Big Red has won 83 games and has been in the thick of the hunt for a Division III National Championship. After falling one goal short of a trip to Championship Weekend in Foxboro in 2017, Denison came roaring back in 2018 with its most difficult schedule in program history. A 5-0 start propelled DU to it's highest national ranking in program history (#2) and despite a mid-season loss to a conference rival, Denison responded by winning it's fourth NCAC Tournament title, clinching the program's 23rd NCAA Tournament berth. In 2019, the Big Red went 18-3 and swept the NCAC regular season and tournament championships before bowing out of the NCAA Tournament in the quarterfinals at Salisbury.
Caravana boasts a career record of 308-96 and owns a stellar .762 winning percentage. He has never had a losing season and his teams have won 10 or more games 18 times. Since his arrival in 1991, he has coached 75 All-Americans and in 1994 he was named the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's Division III Coach of the Year. He is a six-time NCAC Coach of the Year and in 2003 he began a four-year commitment as the assistant coach for the United States lacrosse national team that earned a silver medal at the 2006 International Lacrosse Federation World Championship.
Caravana's first coaching stint at Denison spanned 1991 through 2005 where he won 145 games. Caravana went on to serve as the head boys lacrosse coach at Woodbury Forest School (Va.) before returning to Denison as the head coach in the fall of 2008. Since reclaiming the post, Caravana has taken the Big Red program to even greater heights. In 2009 DU defeated No. 3 Roanoke, 14-7, to advance to the NCAA Tournament's Elite 8 for the first time since 2001. In the nine years since his return, Caravana's teams have won 129 games with a .843 winning percentage.
A 1983 graduate of the University of Virginia, Caravana was a four-time All-American attackman for the Cavaliers. He earned a bachelor's degree in education and was a captain during his senior season. Caravana led Virginia in scoring three times and in assists all four seasons.
Following graduation, Caravana spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Brown University, then returned to U.Va., where he served as an assistant head coach under Jim "Ace" Adams before accepting the head coaching position at Denison in the fall of 1990. In 1998, Caravana earned his master's degree in sport management from the United States Sports Academy.
He is a member of the Charlottesville Chapter Lacrosse Hall of Fame, the Ohio Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame and the Long Island Metro Chapter Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Entering the 2019 season, Caravana ranked 10th among active coaches in terms of winning percentage across all divisions of the NCAA. In NCAA Division III, Caravana ranked eighth in career victories.
Caravana and his wife, Ashlin, live in Granville and have three sons, Nick, Sam and Wyatt.