Fairfield Prep officials have announced that Graham Niemi has been selected to be the next boys lacrosse coach. Niemi replaces Chris Smalkais who recently retired after 29 seasons as the Jesuits’ coach.
Niemi spent the past 13 years as the defensive coordinator (2004-2006) and offensive coordinator (2007-2016) for the Yale men’s lacrosse team according to a press release from the Fairfield Prep communications office. In his time at Yale, Niemi coached eight all-Americans, four Ivy League Tournament MVP’s and 27 All Ivy League players. While Niemi was at Yale, the Bulldogs participated in the NCAA tournament in 2016, 2015, 2013 and 2012. Yale was also Ivy League Tournament champions in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 with Niemi on staff.
Before Yale, Niemi coached at Maryland, Loyola College and Washington College with various roles on the staffs according to the release. Niemi also served as the head coach of the Finland Lacrosse National Team from 2006 through 2008.
As a player, Niemi played at Maryland, where he participated in four NCAA tournaments and made it to the NCAA Division I final in 1995. Niemi also founded the Bulldog Lacrosse Club.
Smalkais led the Jesuits to six Class L titles including four in a row from 2006-2009. Since the Southern Connecticut Conference started sponsoring boys lacrosse tournaments in 1996 the Jesuits have won 12 SCC tournament titles. Smalkais became the fourth CIAC boys lacrosse coach to reach 400 career wins and finished with a career record of 404-156