Due to Coach Nathaniel (Nat) St. Laurents family-oriented outlook, leadership abilities, and coaching styles, he took a non-existent program and turned it into an OAC championship team, created a professional lacrosse coaching career, and can educate the campus on the importance of education collaboration. He claims that all of this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the campus, his family, and the sport of lacrosse.
Before Coach St. Laurent came to Northern, he served as an assistant coach for Washington and Lee. With his help, he lead them to the ODAC Tournament finals and got them to the Top 5 in the NCAA rankings. After the 2013 season, W&L finished 8th in the NCAA rankings. Winter of 2014, Coach St Laurent’s resume was on the desk of Tom Simmons, the Athletic Director.
“He has a huge heart. He is a family man. He has a fire and passion inside of him as a coach. He wants his athletes to learn about life as an educator” Simons said. “If I could have written a script, I could not have written it more perfect”.
Through the school year of 2015, Coach Nat St Laurent went out recruiting whoever would want to be the first to play on the Northerns Lacrosse team. The first lacrosse team at Northern consisted of players from Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Texas just to name a few.
As these young freshmen came in, Coach St Laurent began putting his leadership and coaching skills to the test. In the four years he had these athletes, he was able to take them from placing 7th, to tying for first with Baldwin Wallace in the OAC tournament.
“Being able to grow my lacrosse skills and get an education at the same time was important for me and my family.” Alex Pizarro was a goalie for the first Northern Lacrosse team and was a part of the OAC Champion team. “He pushed us but cared for us. I hold Coach and I’s relationship close to my heart.”
While Coach St Laurent is not coaching on the field, part of his time has been spent teaching on campus and hearing from his community. He teaches an education elective called Collaboration and Communication. Coach Nat St Laurent uses this class to shape leaders and advocate for students in the classroom. By being on the field, in the classroom, and the community, he can form special relationships with faculty, his team, and other members of the community.
His ability to form relationships quickly paid off. While building his roster for the Polar Bears, Coach St. Laurent met Bear Davis. Davis is the head coach of The Ohio Machine which is part of the Major Lacrosse League (MLL). During the summer St. Laurent took over coaching their defense.
The Ohio Machine won the MLL Championship in 2017. After winning this, Coach Nat St. Laurent was named the first Head Coach of the Premier Lacrosse League, Redwoods. He was appointed Head Coach in 2019 and will continue this summer.
Strong lessons that St Laurent has taken off of the field include building strong relationships, working hard, and always keeping your priorities straight; he has been able to excel to the top of his sport. Taking all of the lessons learned in his coaching career, Coach St Laurent remains the same in his core values. Through the years of educating, coaching, and advocating his family has been his number one priority. The family motto in the St Laurent house is “dream big and don’t get outworked.” With an extensive roster going into the 2022 season, the support from Northern Athletics, and his family by his side, nothing stands in the way of Nat St Laurent growing as a person and being able to take his teams to victory.