The new Richmond head coach opens up about leaving Loyola and heading up the Spiders' new program.
Dan Chemotti, in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, threw Category 1 winds at college lacrosse with the announcement that he'd be leaving reigning national champion Loyola for the opportunity to lead the new program at Richmond. The decision, which occurred at the sunrise of his sixth season on Charles Street, is not just a huge win for the Spiders and a significant loss for the Greyhounds, but should also send ripple effects -- the strength of which is still indeterminable -- throughout Division I lacrosse as the assistantship deck shuffles.
Lacrosse Magazine spoke with Chemotti yesterday about his decision. There's lots of good stuff in the interview, but the biggest -- and most important -- items are about his plans for the Richmond program.
How about the facilities, Robins Stadium, and University support you’re receiving?
The stadium is beautiful. The pictures I saw online don’t do it justice. When I was there, it’s truly an incredible facility. I’m really excited to be playing games there. The other facilities are great as well. I never expected to be coming into a place that has Loyola- or Johns Hopkins-type facilities. The sport is new to them, it’s new to the school. I’m excited to have my fingerprints on the creation of new facilities, as the sport evolves with the University.
If I had the opportunity to put my fingerprints on the creation of new facilities, I'd definitely require the following items in my building:
- Weight room/foreign car dealership: If you're going to dead lift Volkswagens, it's nice to have tons -- pun intended -- of inventory localized and available.
- Ice cream bar: No doink.
- Particle accelerator: I bet you don't have that in the Cordish Center, Johns Hopkins.
- Marionnette theater: Let's make film review fun and interactive.
How are you planning to fill out your staff?
I’ve received a lot of interest thus far, which is very exciting for me. But that is still a work in progress. I wish I had a solid answer for you or a couple names to throw out, but I can’t say that I do right now. I’m still figuring that out. As far as finding those assistants, I just want people of good character. I want people who are hard working and share the same values that I do. But No. 1 you’ve got to be a good person. I’ll look to name one assistant in the short-term, and then name another assistant in the summer.
I have a feeling that Chemotti isn't going to have too much trouble drawing coaches to Richmond. There are a few things at work here: (1) Chemotti is a known quantity, and the opportunity to learn under him is substantial for folks -- especially offensively-inclined folks -- to learn under him; (2) Richmond, given the funding that founded the program, probably isn't going to skimp on assistantship salaries; (3) The chance to build a program from the ground floor is going to be attractive for coaches looking to get their hands dirty and figure out the entire process that goes into running a program; and (4) There are worse places to live than one of Virginia's nicest towns.
Where do I send my resume?
What are your expectations for the program, and how this is going to move forward?
It’s tough for me to say, because, I don’t know what conference we’re going to be in, I don’t know what the club team looks like. But I want the guys to be able to take steps forward in our development every day. That’s a generic answer. But these are the small goals we’re going to set for ourselves. Every day we take the field, we need to finish as a better team that the day before. Those are the short-term goals. Obviously the long-term goal is we want to be competitive. We want to get schools excited to come down to Richmond, and play against us. And we want to win some lacrosse games.
This ties almost directly to a piece that I wrote about new programs and their championship potential. This is the intersection of the unknown and potential, which is a weird place to exist. Richmond took a strong step forward with its hiring of Chemotti, but the future -- the future before we're enslaved by robot overlords, mind you -- is still unclear for the Spiders.