Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
The qualities that our institution is looking for when considering student athletes are what kind of student they are, more than strictly intelligence. If a student may not have all the advantages other students have in terms of critical thinking abilities or overall knowledge, they make up for in active participation, willingness to improve their learning, and a hard work ethic. Athletically, the same applies. Though we are looking for talented players, intagibles such as hard work and dedication are more important than pure skill. Finally, we are looking for student athletes that have good moral and social character that show respect for themselves and their institution. We want players that will represent themselves with dignity and class at all times, not just on the field or on campus.
Could you give an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
Since I am new to coaching, I cannot think of a current example to give right off the top of my head. As far as a player, when I played Lacrosse in college, one of my teamates and best friends portrayed all of these attributes, though not at first. When we came in as freshmen, my friend Matt Nealis was a good lacrosse player, but a lazy student and a poor representative of our program in the community (He wouldn’t object to any of these claims). In fact he was the only freshman to ever play on that team that was kicked off campus his first semester in college. By his junior year he was team captain. Our senior year we won our conference championship for the first time. Matt had always been a model of leadership and hard work when it came to what it took to be a good division I lacrosse player. He was first team all-conference his junior and senior years. However, he was able to grow tremendously those last two years as far as becoming a better student, and doing the right things all the time in the community by becoming a model citizen and staying out of trouble.