by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – I’ve always been startled when MCLA coaches get fired or resign.
When I first started covering the MCLA for Lacrosse Magazine, BYU’s Jason Lamb and Chapman’s Mike Wood were on top of the charts. They had powerful programs that would likely have another national championship each if not for Michigan.
The announcements of their terminations a couple of years later were bombshells. It was confirmation that no one was safe in the MCLA and winning wasn’t a protective coating.
There are expectations from administrators, players and parents that have to be massaged. It’s why being an MCLA head man is the hardest job in the lacrosse coaching profession. You have to be aware of things coming from the top, the bottom and both sides.
When high-profile MCLA coaches are fired, especially midseason, there is understandably a lot of hand-wringing among our community. It used to happen on the CollegeLax.us message boards; now it occurs on social media.
Much of it is trying to find “an answer.”
It’s been 22 years now, and we’re still mulling the same problem. The solution still evades us.
Pretty certain I would have been fired by the players at the end of my first 5 seasons as head coach if the players had that power. (and maybe rightfully so) The good news for me is I work for athletics and the AD. Stability is big in the MCLA and building culture takes time.
— Chapman Lacrosse (@chapmanlaxcoach) March 23, 2018
Along with being startled, I’m usually saddened when a program and coach part ways abruptly like what happened with former Arizona State coach Todd MacRobbie and former Florida State coach Patrick Teubner this week.
It mostly stems from the fact that I liked working with them. They were conscientious and dedicated to their programs from my vantage point.
Like every story, however, there are always two sides. So we have to leave room for the fact that maybe particular coaching changes have merit.
In closing, I don’t particularly care to write about coaching firings/resignations.
There’s something very personal about it, and being an onlooker to the whole proceeding feels sordid.
I don’t want to shine a spotlight on someone when they are down. I want to show a modicum of respect and restraint.
At the same time, it’s news, and it has to be covered.
Hopefully we’ll reach a point where all MCLA coaches have the same kind of leverage as our most secure ones and that the players and administrators can find the perfect fit for their coaching needs.
It’s probably not happening anytime soon.
So, sadly, I’ll thank Todd and Patrick for their time and service, and hope to not have to repeat that again for a while.
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Came down to the wire but big bounce back dub #hwpo
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The Battle at the Beach
The last memory of Frederica, Del., for some of the teams at The Battle of the Beach might be the snow squalls that rolled of the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday, but that won’t dampen the quality and excitement of play that descended on the DE Turf Complex.
The scores that caught our eye were UConn’s win over Liberty, Liberty’s win over Michigan State and Michigan State’s win over Virginia Tech, but even the contests that weren’t on the marquee delivered.
Perhaps the most exciting game was East Carolina’s 12-11 overtime thriller against Purdue.
The original plan was to have this event in Baltimore for obvious reasons, but the Delaware venue just might be a more viable option, especially if it’s done in conjunction with a youth tournament in the future.
Overall, great job by Virginia Tech’s Tim O’Brien and Pitt’s Jason Rickel for making the event happen.
That’s a team win!!! Copper cup stays in Bozeman in the hands of the good guys for the year pic.twitter.com/1wOc2QCA2k
— Bobcat Lacrosse (@msumenslax) March 25, 2018
No. 10 Montana State hosted No. 12 Montana in a game that not only featured the presumptive favorites from RMLC-II and PNCLL-II, respectively, but also for the Copper Cup.
For the second straight year, it was Bobcats who retained the trophy, taking down the Grizzlies on Sunday, 11-9. Montana coughed up a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and were down by seven, so the result is mildly impressive.
No. 21 Providence, the third party involved in the Montana-based rivalry series, took a pair of losses over the weekend to drop to 1-5.
My Top Fives
1. Chapman (9-0) – This move has been in the works for weeks.
2. Utah (8-0) – The Utes and Chapman are going to be fluid for the last month.
3. South Carolina (9-0) – Some red flags with that lethargic NC State victory.
4. Colorado (7-1) – Still living on the edge, but still getting by.
5. UConn (6-0) – I’ll put them here for a week, but the schedule is shaky.
1. North Dakota State (7-0) – The Bison ride is second to none.
2. Minn.-Duluth (8-2) – The Punishment Tour hit the West Coast.
3. St. Thomas (6-1) – Another week off before we get down to business.
4. Northern Arizona (8-1) – Already looking forward to the San Diego rematch.
5. Cal State San Marcos (7-0) – Big one with UC Davis on Wednesday.
Down in Bloomington @IULacrosse goes with the winter white camo... home advantage pic.twitter.com/OWvuSqpPeK
— Oakland Lacrosse (@OaklandULax) March 25, 2018
NOTES: Arizona State pretty much wrapped up a berth in the SLC-I tournament with back-to-back wins over UNLV and San Diego State…Indiana took down Oakland to grab a UMLC-I win in the snow…who’s your favorite in PCLL-I right now?...Central Conn. State grabbed another big PCLL-II win on Sunday with a 12-3 victory over Stonehill.