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 we head to Miami, Florida to check in with Coach Alex Schultes of The University of Miami Hurricanes lax program.
MCLA Fan: What are your goals for program growth this off-season? What are you doing to reach them?
Alex Schultes: As we all know, management of a club team can be daunting. After having a great deal of consistency over the last two years, we lost several key club administrators to graduation. One of my goals has been to create the foundation for our organization to continue to grow even in periods of transition like this summer. Another point of emphasis for us is the creation of a local strategic recruitment plan. Florida is still an emerging market for lacrosse recruits, and for the first time in the history of our program, we have quality recruits from the best local schools in our freshmen class who were actively recruited by varsity NCAA member institutions.
Where do you see your program in 5 years? How will it get there?
We have come quite a long way considering we have only been a member of the MCLA for the last four years. During this time, we have grown from a rag tag group of guys trying to find another venue for socializing, to a team which is fully-staffed, supported by a major equipment supplier (GAIT) and recruiting the best high school players as well as transfers from across the country. In the next five years we hope to be competing in a SELC championship and entering the MCLA National Tournament. The way we will get there is to continue to have an outstanding group of players who continue to challenge the status quo, work hard and improve.
What are some key steps you’ve taken (or your program has taken) to promote your team on campus and create relationships with administration?
We are in a unique situation because the University of Miami has one of the best Baseball teams in the country but does not have another high profile team utilizing field space in the spring. It is our goal to continue to pursue opportunities for us to play in Cobb Stadium (Soccer) the spring football game and any other occasions where we can show the local community the best of College Lacrosse in South Florida.
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?
Because of the academic rigors of the University of Miami, we as a coaching staff are very fortunate to be surrounded by a group of smart, determined, and quality individuals. University of Miami Lacrosse players have bought into the concept that lacrosse at the MCLA level complements everything else they will be doing during their four years in Coral Gables, FL. Our student athletes are the reason why we have been successful in such a short time and I encourage other coaches and team administrators to attract players who are interested in contributing, not just on the playing field, but in the dorms, the classroom and other areas on campus.
Out of conference games are always an integral part of making it to the National Tournament. What do you look for in OOC opponents when scheduling?
We will play any team, any time and at any location. That has been the position of my coaching staff and mirrors the overall mindset of all University of Miami Hurricanes. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the position of other teams and we have had several situations in the past few years where we have traveled great distances, in some cases two consecutive years, and this has not been reciprocated. It is my opinion, that there is a great need for the MCLA to implement a policy in the future that addresses this.
When recruiting, what do you tell potential recruits about your program and university? What do you have to offer?
If you are a lacrosse player and an accomplished student, there is no greater institution in the world to spend 4 years receiving a world-class education. It is our goal to continue to grow and actively contribute to the local community and we are searching for student-athletes who fit this mold.
Thanks for the interview Coach Schultes, good luck next season. To find out more about the University of Miami (FL), check out their website here.
If you’re interested in learning more or contributing, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].