Our Coaches

Dillon Ward – Varsity Head Coach

Coach Ward is from Ontario and played high school lacrosse at the Hill Academy in Concord, Ont where he was named the 2009 Canadian National Field Lacrosse MVP and 2010 Canadian Player and Goalie of the Year by NLL Insider. Coach Ward also played high school hockey. He played DI collegiate lacrosse at Bellarmine University in Kentucky where he was named to the Tewaaraton nominee list in 2013 and became the first All-American in Bellarmine lacrosse history. He received a Communications degree from Bellarmine.

Coach Ward was named the 2014 & 2018 World Games Top Goaltender, the 2017 NLL Goaltender of the year, and IL Indoor’s 2018 Goalie of the Year. He is currently on the Colorado Mammoth, the Waterdogs Lacrosse Club, and the Canadian National Team.

AJ Colaizzi – Varsity Assistant Coach

Coach Colaizzi was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Highlands Ranch. He attended Mullen High School from 2007 to 2011, where he played football and lacrosse. Coach Colaizzi attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he played men’s lacrosse and studied business information management.

Coach Colaizzi started coaching club lacrosse in 2013. The majority of his time coaching has been for LXTC/Denver Elite where he coaches youth and high school club field and box teams. Coach Colaizzi also coached the Gold Miners in the Colorado Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (CCBLL).

Connor Donahue – Varsity Assistant Coach

Coach Donahue was born and raised in Groton, MA. He went to Bishop Guertin high school in Nashua, NH where he played hockey and lacrosse. Coach Donahue attended the University of Denver where he played attack/midfield. He was a senior captain for the 2018 Pioneers. Connor studied at Daniels College of Business with a focus in marketing combined with a minor in communication.

Coach Donahue has a long coaching history both back east and in Colorado. He coached Denver Elite for 4 years working with mostly high school level players. He is excited for the opportunity to coach at East High.

Luke Beatty – JV Coach

Coach Beatty grew up in Denver and played lacrosse for the East Manual Lacrosse team. He attended Connecticut College where he played lacrosse and earned a teaching certificate. He taught history and economics, and coached lacrosse at New Hampton, a prep school in New Hampshire, where he also served as an assistant dean. Coach Beatty returned to school for a master’s degree in education administration from Harvard University where he was an assistant lacrosse coach. 

Coach Beatty has coached in Denver for several years in DLC.

Mike Hernandez – JV Assistant Coach

Coach Hernandez is a Denver native. He attended Kennedy HS where he participated in Varsity Football and Track & Field. He was introduced to lacrosse while attending the University of Northern Colorado. Coach Hernandez has been teaching and coaching at East since 1995. 

Over that time, he has coached all levels of football, volleyball, and men’s and women’s lacrosse. He has taught AP World History, Sociology and Social Issues.

John Benyei – Freshman Coach

Coach Benyei returns to Denver East High School as the Freshman Head Coach. Coach Benyei grew up in Connecticut and attended Sacred Heart University (2008) and received his masters in Connecticut.

Coach Benyei played defense for Sacred Heart. He currently works as the school Social Worker at Morey Middle School in Denver. He loves to cook and spend time in the mountains.