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 Gainsville, Florida to check in with Coach Ryan Winters of The University of Florida Gators lacrosse program.
MCLA Fan:What are your goals for program growth this off-season? What are you doing to reach them?
Coach Winters: Just giving the players their space while I travel and visit family and friends. Everyday I wake up check my email and think about how I could create the best schedule possible. Winning big games is what the MCLA is about, the right schedule allows you to do so.
Where do you see your program in 5 years? How will it get there?
In Five years I see the program doing what we do now, win SELC championships, win on the road, get to Denver.
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?
For me it’s all about the players, I look at my job as being responsible for player development. If everyone is striving to make huge leaps in their game, the byproduct of that is winning lacrosse. The key to it is having a creative atmosphere at practice, their all working hard in the class room, Florida Lacrosse needs to be a release, somewhere you can put your head down and have fun for 2 hours 4 times a week.
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 is like an audition, or an interview for a job. everyone is watching and taking notes on how you do under pressure. I look for a challenge, because when you get to Denver its going to be real hard, so making it easy during the regular season doesn’t make sense. I want my team to be battle tested and aware of what we can do, from lessons learned during the season, and usually those lessons come from the OOC portion of the schedule.
When recruiting, what do you tell potential recruits about your program and university? What do you have to offer?
Easy sell, with an enrollment of more than 50,000 students annually, UF is home to 16 colleges. UF is consistently ranked among the nation’s top universities: No. 15 in U.S. News & World Report “Top Public Universities” (August 2009); No. 3 in The Center’s “Top Public Research Universities” (2008); No. 2 in Kiplinger’s “Best Values in Public Colleges” (2009). UF’s athletic victories include 20 national team championships, 188 SEC titles, and more than 200 individual national titles. In 2006, UF became the first university in collegiate history to earn both the national men’s basketball and football titles in the same year. The Gators lead the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in team titles and Academic All-SEC recipients. UF is the only university to appear in the NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) National All-Sports top-10 ranking for each of the past 26 years and has captured the SEC All-Sports Trophy 17 of the last 18 years. Since 1968, 142 Gators and 13 Florida coaches have earned 90 medals (44 gold) while representing 34 countries in 11 Olympiads.The University of Florida is in Gainesville. The Gator Nation is everywhere.
If all else fails just look at our gear, and the new lacrosse complex.
Thanks for the interview Coach, good luck next season. To find out more about the Gators’ Lax program, check out their website here.
If you’re interested in learning more or contributing, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.