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 Durham, New Hampshire to check in with Coach Jake Sullivan and the University of New Hampshire men’s lacrosse team.
MCLA Fan: What are your goals for program growth this off-season? What are you doing to reach them?
Coach Sullivan: The goals for our off-season are pretty simple, Get better….. From off season workouts to better organization, to getting a better OOC schedule then last year, get better at community service, better grades etc. We have got a little momentum building in Durham, so we are going to keep building on that. To make all this happen I rely on a solid Exec. Board that helps shape and implement every move we make as a team. Lately it seems that the more I have pushed on them, the harder they have worked.
Where do you see your program in 5 years? How will it get there?
If all the HS kids that I am talking to right now commit to UNH for the next fall, in five years we could be a juggernaut ….just straight up nasty. In the mean time we will continue with our team goal of trying to compete for a PCLL championship every year. We will continue to train harder and smarter than the year before and try to improve the program, its players and its experience every year.
What are some key steps you’ve taken (or your program has taken) to promote your team on campus and create relationships with administration?
The biggest thing that I think we have done in trying to help promote the team on campus has been to simply volunteer. Say your team has 30 players on it, that is an average size team, but as a community service engine it is a serious labor force that can do a lot of good. Support the campus and community around you and they will support you back.
Contact: Drew Adams, Maverik Lacrosse
What has been the most important part of you program’s success so far? Do you have any advice for other coaches (or team presidents) who are working to build a better program?
In a word, Sacrifice….
Sacrifice from Coaches, Admins, Players, Trainers, Managers, Alumni, Family, Students, without all the selfless giving of all these people, we would have nothing.
You are only going to get out what you put in, we have been very fortunate to be surrounded by people that are always willing to give more. If you give all of these components something to believe in and work towards good things should happen.
Out of conference (OOC) games are always an integral part of making it to the National Tournament in Denver. What do you look for in OOC opponents when scheduling ?
We have been trying to build up our schedule for a few seasons now. We always want to play teams that are better then us, or ranked higher. It is my opinion that you don’t get any better playing and beating teams that are not a challenge.
When recruiting, what do you tell potential recruits about your program and university? What do you have to offer?
I always want to get potential players to come up to see the campus for a weekend. If they can see our training facilities, staff, student body and what campus has to offer, then I feel we have a shot at landing them. Durham is 45 minutes from Ski Mountains, 25 minutes from some great surf, an hour to Boston and the campus is beautiful. The NH seacoast is a special place. Then, there is the lacrosse program. The school has built a very cool organization that is really student driven. I think that a lot of kids get excited when they see how much control they have over the team while they are a member. I like to tell players that they can build this team into anything they want, all they have to do is choose a goal and work for it, the coaching staff and school will do all we can to support them.
Thanks for the great interview Coach, good luck this season. To find out more about the Wildcats’ lax program, head over to their team website here.
If you’re interested in learning more or contributing, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].