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 Northfield, Minnesota to check in with Coach Greg Olson and the St. Olaf College men’s lacrosse program.
MCLA Fan: What are your goals for program growth this off-season? What are you doing to reach them?[stu alias="fivestar1"][/stu]
Coach Olson: We want to try to build awareness in the local communities that the MCLA (more specifically, St. Olaf) is a great option for athletes who want to be able to continue playing lacrosse at a competitive level. We have been sending out e-mails to local coaches, as well as specific players we have an interest in, not only to recruit, but to let people know that St. Olaf is working to increase the competitiveness of the league.
Where do you see your program in 5 years? How will it get there?
I could definitely see St. Olaf as one of the top teams in Division II. A lot of our younger players are definitely dedicated to improving themselves and the team. There are a lot of good players coming out of the Midwest lately. If we can tap in to some of the good programs early there is no reason we can’t start getting top recruits a little further down the road.
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’ve definitely tried to promote the team on campus. We got a nice apparel package through Breakaway Sports in New York so people see we have a team here, and that we’re legitimate. Our president is now on the Student Organizations Committee to help increase the amount of funding available for all the club sports. We do what we can to promote our home games through Facebook events, signs, and word of mouth. It helps that our huge rival (Carleton) on the other side of town also has a team in our conference, so we can usually get some fans out for that game.
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?
I think we’ve always been able to stay competitive because of our on campus recruiting. St. Olaf is not a big school, so there aren’t many lacrosse players on campus. We’ve done a pretty good job of convincing guys who play other sports to give lacrosse a try. Having those athletes who can run some d-middie to allow our guys who have been playing for awhile to catch some breath has definitely helped us out.
Out of conference (OOC) games are always an integral part of making it to the National Tournament. What do you look for in OOC opponents when scheduling?
Unfortunately for us, money plays a big part in our OOC scheduling. We get very limited funding from the school, so we don’t have a whole lot of extra cash to do big OOC trips. We like to contact teams who we think would be a good test for us, usually teams that have been around awhile and are ranked a little higher than us. Hopefully we can play them close or pull of an upset to boost our standing a little bit.
When recruiting, what do you tell potential recruits about your program and university? What do you have to offer?
I think the biggest draw about our program is our school. St. Olaf is a fantastic academic institution with a great campus. We know that a lot of kids want to be able to play lacrosse in college, but also want to be able to have a social life as well as pass their classes. We aren’t going to demand the time from them like an NCAA program would, but we still practice hard and play to win.
Thanks for the interview Coach, good luck this season. To find out more about the Oles’ lax team, head over to their team website here.
If you’re interested in learning more or contributing, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.