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Xanders: Towson Turns to 'Blue-Collar' Recruits for Success
The opening to Xanders' piece is particularly interesting:
Once a new coaching staff takes over a program, cultivating a fresh, hard-working culture and building an identity becomes a top priority. The culture change immediately works its way into recruiting, as coaches look to bring in a particular type of player that fits the new chemistry.
So when Towson head coach Shawn Nadelen stepped into the leading role three years ago, he reflected back to what players made the Tigers successful in their heyday under legendary head coaches Carl Runk and Tony Seaman: tough, hard-working kids from blue collar areas. They want players who grind out wins by not backing down, rather than players who win games with pure skill and flash.
Anyone familiar with Towson's staff knows they epitomize that hard-nosed, hard-working style. Nadelen hails from upstate New York, while assistants Anthony Gilardi, Dan Cocchi and Scott Rodgers are all natives of Long Island's South Shore, a community with a strong blue-collar lineage: firefighters, policemen, construction workers. That workmanlike mentality is highly visible within the program.
The implication of this, of course, is that Towson intends to overachieve regardless of its talent base, utilizing work ethic as its basis for achieving success. You can see that in Towson's efforts under Nadelen: In 2012, the team was slightly stronger in its actual win percentage (46.67 percent) compared to its Pythagorean win expectation (40.23 percent), earning about a win more than what was expected based on the Tigers' performance; in 2013, Towson duplicated the feat, holding a higher actual win percentage (55.56 percent) compared to its Pythagorean win expectation (53.72 percent) (but the team's expected and actual win totals were the same). That's grunt-it-out, take-care-of-business lacrosse, and it's most evident in this fact: Based on year-end values, Towson would only have a 22.46 percent chance of winning the 2013 THUNDERDOME! Tournament title, trailing Penn State (40.23 percent) and just edging out Drexel (21.43 percent). Yet, the Tigers ended up dragging hardware home to the Baltimore area for the right to face Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
2014 Face-Off Yearbook: CAA Rankings, Outlook
THUNDERDOME!: The league that demands Penn State's presence but doesn't want anything to do with Penn State.
Sheridan to Coach Team Thailand in 2014 World Games
I'd coach Thailand just for the food.
Men's Lacrosse: Busy Off-Season for the ACC's Newest Team
The Irish Lacrosse team are active this off-season. Jim Marlatt and Stephen O'Hara named Captains; Irish picked 5th in Preseason-ACC Poll; Marlatt named to Preseason All-ACC Team; Some scheduling notes
Villanova Lacrosse: Men picked 3rd in BIG EAST; 4 players named All-Conference
Wildcats come in behind Denver and St. John's in preseason Big East rankings.