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Nebraska Lacrosse Hires New Coach: Chad Heber

23 - Published July 16, 2012 by in College
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Editor’s Note: The Nebraska Lacrosse Club has hired a new Head Coach after two coaches left the program for other pursuits. Below, you can see the email MCLAFan received making the announcement. Below that, and in italics, our own Connor Wilson gives a little added perspective on the hire!

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Lincoln, Nebraska – The University of Nebraska Men’s Club Lacrosse Team is proud to announce the hiring of their new head coach, Chad Heber.

Heber comes to the Huskers after coaching this last year for the Nebraska High School State Champions, Lincoln Rampage. Heber also coached at Glenbrook South (Glenview, IL) at the freshman level in 2011.

Heber picked up his first lacrosse stick in 2006 while attending Nebraska. He joined the club team and started out playing close defense and backup goalie. In the last half of his first season, Heber switched to attack. Heber was a member of the only playoff qualifying Husker team in 2009.

nebraska chad heber lacrosse

Heber as a Husker player.

Heber is bringing his unrelenting energy and excitement for coaching and for the sport of lacrosse to the Huskers. “This is the greatest team sport. It was a privilege to play for this university, and now as head coach, wow! I am so pumped to get out there this fall and put the building blocks in place to have a successful spring.”

Heber takes over a team that is filled with young energized players looking to turn around the program after a rough 4-12 season last year. “This team is filled with raw, young, talented guys, and I know that they will give me, and this team, everything they have in them to win. We will be a competitive team.”

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We have seen a number of coaching changes across the college spectrum, and as usual, the MCLA is leading the way in terms of  big hirings, firings and resignations.

The Chad Heber hiring might not have some of the glitz that other moves do, and Heber doesn’t really have a big name in the lacrosse world outside of Nebraska, but it could still be one of the better coaching moves we’ll see all year.  Let me explain why this is possible:

Heber only began playing the sport of lacrosse 6 years ago. For many, this is not a good sign, but for me, it has the potential to be a GREAT sign. How long one has played the game has little to nothing to do with how good of a coach they can be. In fact, guys who get into the game later in life can truly turn struggling programs into champions, especially if they are invested. It really is that simple.

Neither Erin Quinn (won three titles at NCAA DIII Middlebury) nor Mike Daly (won a title with NCAA DIII Tufts) ever played lacrosse, but when they got involved, they fell in love with, and became students of, the game. Dom Starsia (won titles at NCAA D1 Virginia) picked up lacrosse in college while at Brown, just like Heber, and Starsia is an absolute legend. To be a great coach, you don’t have to be a great player, or even have played the game. You just need to lead, love lacrosse and be a student.

And I believe Chad Heber loves lacrosse. His move from defender and back up goalie to attack means he improved his stick work, and the fact that he got into coaching right after graduating speaks volumes to his passion. He has a connection to Nebraska Lacrosse like few others, and is clearly motivated by this sense of community.

Hiring a coach with little (or no) high level lacrosse experience can be dicey, but if you are lucky enough to find a leader of men, who is also a student of the game, it can be a very rewarding move. Good luck to Chad Heber and Nebraska in 2013 and beyond!

What do you think of the Nebraska hire? Does Heber have the potential to become Nebraska’s answer to Dom Starsia?

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