Fireside Chat with Coach Matt Schneck of BYU

BYU is very lucky to have Victoria Harris Photography on their side.

MCLA Fan: Last season, you were able to rebound quickly after a loss in the RMLC Championship game to Colorado State and win the MCLA Championship. What was the biggest factor in refocusing your players after that loss to CSU to help you win the MCLA Championship?

Coach Schneck: CSU is a great team and one of our biggest rivals.  Almost every game with CSU is close and played with tremendous emotion.   Our team was obviously not satisfied with how we played in the RMLC Championship game and determined to do better.  I reminded the team that great teams can still have bad days.  The key is to limit how many bad days you have.  After the RMLC Championship weekend we focused on the upcoming week in Denver and prepared for UCSB.

 While you lost two of your higher scorers in Dan Cole and Tyler Monteath, you still are able to retain the majority of your contributors on the team. How do you think this will help you to regroup and prepare the team for another run in 2012?

Our offense had fun this Fall.  They are playing well together and getting to know the new “talent”.  Every year we face the same challenge as a team – we lose our graduating seniors and the entirety of our freshman class.  In return, we get a new class of freshman that need to learn the system and return missionaries that are traditionally out of shape and haven’t touched a lacrosse stick in 2 years.  It is not an easy task.  Though it is a challenge, it’s one of things that makes BYU unique and helps us to develop deep rooted traditions and culture.  I am hoping that the system we are putting in place will result in a well prepared team that can compete nationally and make a run for the 2012 MCLA National Tournament and Championship.

Ted Ferrin (another Victoria Harris gem)

Last year we always seemed to always hear about the ‘prolific offense’ at BYU with Ted Ferrin and the rest of the scoring threats, but defensively BYU didn’t seem to get much attention. For a defense that averaged just under 7 goals allowed per game while playing one of the tougher schedules in the league, why do you think that is? 

We have all heard the old saying,  “Offense wins games, Defense wins championships”.  I am not sure who agrees with that statement, but I would like to believe (as a retired defensive player) that a strong defense certainly can put you in a running for a championship.  Our defense is strong and has one of the best defensive coaches in the country in Coach Harris.  In regards to all of the attention that the offense gets – when you are having fun on the field, you can’t help but play well and score a few goals.

Building off that, who do you think is better this year, your offense or defense?

It’s going to be a toss-up.  We are returning experienced players on both sides of the field.  They are being led by their respective captains and I am excited to hear what their respective (offensive and defensive) goals are when we get started in January.

Going into this year, what were your main team goals for the 2012 season?

We are entering our 3rd year as a coaching staff.  When we started, we had a 4 year plan to implement a system that we hoped would help us to be competitive nationally working towards a championship team, to develop the young men on the team to be productive both on and off the field and to foster strong relationships with our alumni and administration.  We are still working on this implementation and sincerely hope that we are making progress.

BYU was able to handily defeat Arizona to take the Championship game of the Las Vegas Lacrosse Showcase, would you give us a little summary of your thoughts on the tournament and how your boys did?

The team had a great time at the Best of the West Tournament this year.  For the first time, BYU entered two teams in the Tournament.  BYU White represented our JV squad and BYU Blue represented our Varsity squad.  As coaches, we were extremely proud of our JV squad who played every game tight.  Our Varsity squad held their own throughout the day, had fun and were happy to come out on top at the end of the tournament.

Looking ahead to the season, what does your schedule look like? Any big games you are looking forward to?

We have a great schedule this year and are excited about the competition.  We will be playing 17 games during the regular season with 11 road games.  The travel schedule is certainly going to push the team mentally and physically.  We currently have 9 Pre-Season Top 20 Teams on the schedule (5 ranked in the top 10).

Other than Ted Ferrin, which Cougars should we keep an eye out for this season?

I am hoping for a well-balanced offense and defense.

With Michigan out of the picture now, how do you think the MCLA will pan out? Do you think we will see some new faces try to fill their absence at Nationals?

The MCLA is going to be great and will continue to grow.  I am hoping that teams will adopt some of the great lessons that Michigan has provided for the MCLA.  Michigan and Coach Paul demonstrated consistency and dedication in everything that they did.  Undoubtedly this will provide new opportunity for teams to develop and fill their void at Nationals.

Recently, you were able to attend and speak at the IMCLA Coaches Convention. What were some of your favorite highlights from the convention?

It was a great honor to represent the MCLA as a presenter at the IMCLA Coaches Convention.  I am hoping that this will be the first of many opportunities for MCLA coaches to share their experiences and brand of lacrosse with the country.

Where do you see BYU and the MCLA in 5 years? 10 years?

I hope that BYU Lacrosse will continue to represent the University and its alumni in a positive way both on and off the field for years to come.

How about lacrosse as a whole in 5 years? 10 years?

Growing and becoming a standard in communities throughout the country.

Coach Schneck is a sharp-dressed man (via BYU Lacrosse).

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us Coach, good luck this season. Keep up with the Cougars via their twitter, Facebook, or