Growing The Program: St. John's University

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.
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Next we head to Collegeville, Minnesota to check in with Coach Derek Daehn and the St. John’s Men’s Lacrosse program.

STJ lacrosse

MCLA Fan: What are your goals for program growth this off-season? What are you doing to reach them?

Coach Daehn: Goals: Replace our 9 graduates with a solid incoming freshman class. Roughly know of about 20 kids could join, just need to get them on the field. We are going to host informal meetings and practices, set expectations and get these kids involved.

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Productive Scheduling- my goal is to schedule games to decrease weekend involvement, last year we had a total of 13 out of 16 possible weeks in the spring filled with lacrosse. I am trying to cut this down to about 9 out of 16 weeks. I hope this will keep guys fresh and motivated. I plan to schedule more weekends with 3 games to free up others.

Increase school awareness and campus involvement at on campus games/events. We are focusing on hosting other events besides games to get the student body interested in lacrosse.

Where do you see your program in 5 years? How will it get there?

Hopefully continue to compete and stay a “top 5 team” and be on the field for the final game of the year. It will take sacrifice, we need to increase our off season work, continue to bring in quality lacrosse players, and make the most of our opportunities.

What are some key steps you’ve taken (or your program has taken) to promote your team on campus and create relationships with administration?

I personally do not live on or near campus. I commute about 1 hour to practice/ campus. I make a point to get in front of administrators early so they know who I am, I want to always do what I can to help and I always expect the most of my players so we are setting a good example for the rest of the school. Like I previously mentioned we are trying to host social events/ fundraiser like a movie night or something that doesn’t involve alcohol to increase campus awareness.
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Maverik Lacrosse: Growing the ProgramContact: Drew Adams, Maverik Lacrosse

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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?

We have had talented STUDENT Athletes and I capitalize student because that is why they are in school in the first place. They stay out of trouble and stay on the field, by being eligible.

OOC games are always an integral part of making it to the National Tournament. What do you look for in OOC opponents when scheduling?

OOC scheduling should always push our team to the limit. I try to find top 15 talent when planning trips. I want to get the most bang for my buck if we are going to travel. Of course there is a number of factors that come into play when scheduling, but for the most part I want to challenge my team before we get to nationals so we are better prepared when we get there.

When recruiting, what do you tell potential recruits about your program and university? What do you have to offer?

I talk mostly about the type of education they are going to get. I can’t offer them scholarship money, but what I can is a top notch education that will prepare them to be able to give back to the community and some day provide for their family. We also have a great alumni organization that can assist with networking and we hope they can stick together and help each other. I will discuss our team and tradition of winning over the last 5 years, we have had great success and are always looking to improve our program.

Thanks for the interview Coach, good luck next season. To find out more about the Johnnies lax team, head over to their team website here.
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If you’re interested in learning more or contributing, please feel free to contact us at info@lacrosseallstars.com.

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