Karl Zimmerman was named the head men's lacrosse coach on Jan. 10, 2014.
Defense has become a staple at Trine during Zimmerman's tenure. Two of the last three seasons, the team has led the MIAA in scoring defense and ranked ninth (2016), 17th (2017) and sixth (2018) in the nation.
The Thunder set a new program-best mark with five MIAA wins during the 2016 season, tying for third in the conference in the process. Trine ranked as one of the best defensive units in the nation, finishing ninth in the country in goals-against averaged. Trine produced a program-best six All-MIAA performers. Included among the all-conference performers were three first-team members.
The team followed up the success with a second consecutive winning season in 2017, finishing 7-6. The Thunder remained in the hunt for a postseason appearance into the final day of the regular season. The team continued its defensive success, producing two defensive all-conference performers.
In the spring of 2018, Trine equaled the program record in wins with 10 (10-4 overall) and qualified for the MIAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history. Trine finished third in the conference standings and had six players earn All-MIAA honors, including three first-team selections and the MIAA "Rookie of the Year."
In his first season, Zimmerman led Trine to their second-consecutive trip to the MIAA playoffs. The team produced four All-MIAA performers, including two first team members in Zimmerman's first season at the helm of the program. In four seasons under Zimmerman, the Thunder have produced 15 all-conference performers.
The team has also become a partner of Girl Power 2 Cure in organizing a benefit for the foundation dedicated to raising funds for Rett Syndrome treatment.
Zimmerman took over the helm of the Thunder program after spending two seasons at the University of Detroit, where he most recently served as the team’s offensive coordinator. In Zimmerman’s two years at Detroit, the Titans set program records in points, points per game, goals, assists, assists per game and faceoff-win percentage.
Zimmerman coached two players who earned Second-Team All-MAAC honors and another two players who earned MAAC All-Rookie honors. In addition to Second-Team All-MAAC honors, midfielder Mike Birney also earned Most Outstanding Player at the MAAC Championship under Zimmerman’s guidance. Zimmerman helped lead the Titans to MAAC title and appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where Detroit faced Notre Dame.
“The primary goal for the Trine Men’s Lacrosse program is to develop student-athletes of character and integrity who will pursue excellence in the classroom and on the lacrosse field as preparation for becoming positive members of the school and society,” stated Zimmerman.
While at Detroit, Zimmerman was also in charge of the academic performance of the squad. Detroit led the MAAC with 18 All-Academic Team selections and posted a GPA above 3.10.
A four-year letterwinner in lacrosse at Ohio Wesleyan, Zimmerman earned First-Team All North Coast Athletic Conference recognition as a freshman in 2006 and honorable mention All-Conference in 2009. He helped the Bishops to four-consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Zimmerman was a key part of three state championship teams at Birmingham Brother Rice High School (Mich.). He earned All-American, All-Midwest and All-State honors as a senior in 2005.
Zimmerman earned a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from Oakland University in Dec. 2016.