MCLAFan.com is proud to introduce Growing The Program, a summer content series presented by Maverik Lacrosse.
As we all know, the MCLA is growing and gaining more and more exposure each year. To help fuel the momentum, MCLAFan.com is conducting interviews with each and every coach in the MCLA about growing their program. We hope to create a valuable resource for current MCLA teams, new programs and potential recruits. We’re proud to have Maverik Lacrosse and Bigfoot Lacrosse on board to support this movement.
Next up is Emory University out of Atlanta, Georgia. Under the guidance of head coach David Reed, the Emory Eagles were SELC Division 2 champions in 2009 and recently finished the 2010 season 6-3.
MCLA Fan: What are your goals for program growth this off-season? What are you doing to reach them?
Coach Reed: Well, we had a fairly unsuccessful season in 2010. Just not our year for a multitude of reasons, and it started all the way back in the fall of 2009. Swine flu. Flooding & rains. Small recruiting class. So, a lot of my work has been on learning from the errors of the previous year and hopefully addressing them as best I can for fall 2010.
So, my first goal was evaluating what I did wrong as a coach, and, what my team did or did not do to prepare. It starts there. I’ve been very active setting up our fall schedule and working with incoming recruits. I’ve been “trying” my best to get veterans to work hard this summer, but that will remain to be seen until fall begins. My other big goal is 2011 recruiting. I’m very engaged with a current crop of kids and have been all year. So, working with them has been key by getting their SATs, ACTs, and other academics as high as possible.
Where do you see your program in 5 years? How will it get there?
This will be my seventh seasaon as head coach for Emory. I love the excitement and grandness of the MCLA. I’d love to see us get the school support we deserve and remain within the MCLA rather than becoming an NAIA varsity team. So, my goal is simply to compete with the abundance of MCLA varsity programs that are sprouting up like crazy in the SELC D2. I think for the 2011 season, there are three varsity programs within our SELC region alone. So, it’s getting tougher and tougher with no support. Emory needs an artificial surface field before all else. Rain and poor fields really hurt us this past year. So, that’d be my biggest goal. How I get there? I bug the living heck out of anyone who will listen at Emory.
What are some key steps you’ve taken (or your program has taken) to promote your team on campus and create relationships with administration?
Winning. Nobody cares much if your program is losing. I try my best to stay as close to the school, Club Sports Director, Athletic Director…even the school President. I basically annoy them and make sure my concerns and needs are at the very least “heard”. We don’t get much back. So, we make do with what we’ve got. Promotion on campus is mostly done through the players and how motivated they are to get visibility.
Contact: Drew Adams, Maverik Lacrosse
What has been the most important part of your program’s success so far? Do you have any advice for other coaches (or team presidents) who are working to build a better program?
Probably one of the most important parts to our success has been to never give up on the team, even when things are just not going to plan. Coaching club, even varsity, it’s a year-to-year thing based on the players you’ve got, the leaders within that group, field conditions, weather, injuries, finances & dues, team needs, school support and on and on.
Nobody coaches to have power over their players. We’re too busy outside of coaching for that crap. You’ve gotta want to win as much, if not more, than every player on your team. That means you love your team and all the baggage that comes with it, thick or thin. I look at my players and coaches as family. I give up too much of my outside life and family not to. And we don’t always see eye to ey,e but you’ve gotta tough through it to keep the family together.
Team = Family. I may not express this sentiment often, but my wife knows how deeply it’s a part of me. It’s probably my biggest advice for any coach, you’ve gotta eat, sleep and breathe your team.
OOC games are always an integral part of making it to the National Tournament. What do you look for in OOC opponents when scheduling?
We want to play the Top 10, very least, the consistent Top 20 teams. They usually get the Top 5 right each year – just look at the MCLA Final Four every year. From there 5-15 it’s a fairly even group of teams within D2. I’d say a #15 can beat a #5 on a given day, or, give them a close game. Either way, you’ve gotta follow the polls and do your pre-season homework for OOC competition. We want to face the top teams because win or lose, you can’t hide from the results and it helps place you squarely where you deserve to be.
When recruiting, what do you tell potential recruits about your program and university? What do you have to offer?
LOL! At Emory, it’s ALL about academics. 16,500 qualified freshmen applicants for 1,300 slots. We’re talking 2000-2100 SAT averages. 29-30 ACT. 3.4-4.0 GPAs. It’s one of the toughest schools in the nation to be accepted into. It’s that simple. So, recruiting for me – it can be a nightmare.
I have to screen each candidate thoroughly before we can even talk lacrosse. Admissions gives no concessions even for varsity programs (apparently). I get great kids from great schools inquiring every year, but my talent pool is so much smaller due to academics & scores. It really cuts down my crop. I can’t just go out and recruit based on talent. The good thing is, the sport of lacrosse puts out a LOT of smart kids. Kids who work hard in school and on the field. And that is encouraging. So, if they can beat out 15,000 kids at admissions, they’ll get one of the top educations in the world. That’s what I have to offer. A great education and to play competitive lacrosse and compete for a championship every year. It’s a great opportunity in an amazing city with an amazing climate.
Thanks for the interview Coach Reed. Find out more about Emory’s program here.
If you’re interested in learning more or contributing, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.