|Princeton||Ivy||Chris Bates will not return. Matt Madalon named interim head coach.|
|Vermont||America East||Ryan Curtis stepped down. No interim/acting head coach named.|
|Binghamton||America East||Scott Nelson will not return. No interim named.|
|Hartford||America East||Peter Lawrence stepped down. Associat head coach Ryan Martin named iterim head coach.|
|UMBC||America East||Don Zimmerman retired. BOSS Zimmerman retires on July 1, 2016. There is nothing mentioned in the school release about an iterim/acting coach.|
|Jacksonville||SoCon||Guy Van Arsdale will not return. Alex Lopes named acting head coach.|
WOO! That's a lot! So this is going to be a series, because lord knows no wants to read me wittering on for as long as it would take to go through everything on the Big Board in one post. I'm going to dive into America East in this one and then we'll move down to Princeton and Jacksonville.
Before we get started, I encourage you to check out Lax All Stars' most recent In Your Face Lax Cast on all the dark coaching whispers out there, @OrangeLax's post on a potential new world for head coaches, and Jayskrem's post on Virginia and their situation in this In Lacrosse We trust post. All were great and worth your time.
(Ed. Note: Shout out to the kid on his new internship as well.)
Where's Virginia? Well more on the Cavs later. They don't belong on the board because there is no official statement yet. As of now, nothing's changed from the last post. Additionally, the UVA website still has the Brown loss as the most recent update. Hope is still alive if you had the ACC Network in our poll.
What will happen first?— College Crosse (@SexyTimeLax) May 17, 2016
With no official statement, everything is just rumors, hearsay, and speculation at the moment, so I didn't feel right putting them on the Big Board yet. However, on a side-note, as a
barely capable SEASONED Philadelphia-based blogger member of the ELITE EAST COAST MEDIA, I can confidently say, speculation is never a good thing.
I haven't read anything from the school since Inside Lacrosse's original report (Ed. Note: And I've looked!!!). Moreover, with nothing official and all parties staying quiet, it allows the school and Dom to continue negotiating. No one is boxed in with any previous statement which could provide the necessary room for a graceful conclusion to this whole fiasco.
Anyway, like I said, more on Virginia later. It's America East time now!
- How we got here: I think the NFL is the only place I've ever seen half a division (or in this case conference) need new BOSSES going into the next season. But here we are. Nice to see lacrosse growing the game. For the most part the separations were quite amicable. Coach Zimmerman is going out like the TRUE BOSS he is, with a new position and a CLASSY sendoff. Additionally, both Vermont and Hartford had harmonious separations as well with Ryan Curtis and Peter Lawrence, respectively.
*Cough* Binghamton. *Cough*
- In the interim: We do have one interim/acting coach in this group as Ryan Martin of Hartford was promoted to interim head coach in the press release. This seems like a smart play, especially since Hartford seems to be going in the right direction.
Director of Athletics Anton Goff stated as much in the press release when he said "I have all the confidence in the world that Ryan Martin will excel as our Interim Head Coach once Pete departs near the end of the month. Pete, Ryan and the entire coaching staff have built a culture of excellence within the lacrosse program, and I firmly believe there are more championships in our future." Good for BOSS Martin and I hope he gets a fair opportunity to prove his worth the next few seasons. We're going to look at some of the strength and weaknesses of the other open spots, but let's take Hartford out as they seem to have things pretty much locked up.
- Conference standing. UMBC and Binghamton both finished with identical 4-10 records. So they both need some work. Vermont made the AE Tournament and almost ran away with the whole thing, so at the moment, the Catamounts look pretty good. They also only graduate 7 seniors, so most of the team will be back next year.
Looking at the conference as a whole, all three must still contend with Albany, but the gap has shrunk. Nevertheless, the conference is also deeper now with Stony Brook and Hartford in the mix as well. It will take time for all three to get on Albany's level and be a consistent threat to win the AE. Vermont seems to be the one closest of the three.
- Recruiting. UMBC and Binghamton are blessed to reside in fertile recruiting states. This is obviously a major positive and could allow for a quick turnaround. New York and Maryland produce some of the best high school talent in the country. However, being in a state with a lot of talent means both programs must compete with in-state and national programs for those BALLERS.
Vermont is not as bountiful in terms of recruiting as NY or Maryland. However, while that's a negative, it isn't necessarily fatal for the Catamounts. Vermont is pretty close to Massachusetts and Connecticut which are healthy recruiting grounds and its proximity to Canada helps, as the Cats already have 6 Canucks (5 returning next year) on the roster. Vermont's not as blessed as Maryland and New York, but you could certainly be in worse areas for recruiting.
- In-state & regional competitors. I think Vermont has a big advantage over UMBC and Binghamton in that there are less competitors for in-state or regional recruits. Coaches are always on the recruiting trail, but they can't be everywhere, and a lot of times their attention is focused on known hotbeds. With no in-state competitors and only Dartmouth as the closest regional competitor, Vermont is well-suited to be competitive for the growing number of Vermont/Maine/New Hampshire/New England recruits each year.
Sure, if a kid from Vermont is amazing and garners a great deal of attention, the Catamounts will have to contend with national programs for that prized recruit. However, as the only D1 game in Vermont, they won't have to also fight off the big names and a handful of in-state competitors like in UMBC and Binghamton's case..
- Would a boss want to go here? Let's face it, there aren't that many D1 spots out there, so each position is valuable in its own right. However, leaving the dearth of positions to the side, I think all three positions are really attractive jobs, with UMBC and Vermont edging out Binghamton in desirability.
UMBC and Binghamton are attractive programs and I could see a present head coach leave if offered a position, but most likely I see a coordinator from another program if they don't stay in-house. UMBC has a bit of an advantage here as I think the way they handled Dom's retirement speaks well of the program and the university.
However, I think Vermont is the real sleeper here. It doesn't have any in-state competitors(or many regional ones for that matter), it's close to New England & Canadian hotbeds, they were pretty decent last year, and an overwhelming number of players return next season as they only lose 7 seniors. Of course, I'm just a
bloggerJOURNALIST so I don't know all the inner workings of these programs. However, from the outside looking in, Vermont seems like the program most likely to compete in the immediate future and would be my choice if I was an up and coming coordinator looking for a stable first head coaching gig.