Monday, July 21, 2008

Full Court Press(ler)?

With the "national search" now underway for Ted Spencer's replacement, I figured I'd dig through some potential candidates and figure out who makes the most sense for the Stags:

The Sleeper:
  • Mike Pressler, current Bryant head coach - Bryant University? It's a little known D-II school on the verge of going into the fledgling NEC division. Why? Pressler, that's why. The former Duke lacrosse coach got a bad wrap based on the Duke rape scandal, but the success he achieved in Cameron is unquestioned (153-82 in 16 seasons, 3x ACC Coach of the Year). He makes sense for a lot of reasons:
    • Bryant may have been his version of a temp job. At the time, it was the only school that would offer him a position. Now, with the team about to make the jump into Division-I, he must decide whether to see it through to maturity or jump to another program and make an immediate mark.
    • Pressler proved that he did not live off of talent alone at Duke. He went 11-4 in his first year at Bryant and the team won its division.
    • Pressler is a native of Wilton, Conn., and has obvious ties to the New England region.
The Safe Choices:
  • Darryl Delia, former Fairfield assistant coach - Six years as Ted Spencer's right hand man is about as good of a resume as you can get. Aside from being an "offensive specialist", Delia also proved he can be the main man when he led the Yale Bulldogs to a 9-5 record as an interim head coach in 2003.
  • Andy Towers, current Dartmouth assistant coach - Towers has been all over the Division I lacrosse world, but his ties to Fairfield are his strongest asset. An offense and face-off specialist, Towers has had stints as an assistant at Brown, Yale, Fairfield (2002 and 2003), and, most recently, Dartmouth.
Wild Cards:
  • John Haus, former North Carolina head coach - Recently ousted in favor of Ohio State head coach, Haus has a world of experience, a more than decent track record of turnaround success (4-1o in '04 to 10-6 in '06) for the Tar Heels, and connections to the mid-Atlantic that Fairfield would love.
  • Matt Kerwick, former Hobart head coach - Another sound choice from a prestigious lacrosse school. Mild success as a head coach, though.
  • Andy Shay, head coach Yale - Limited success with the Bulldogs (25-26 in first five seasons), but obviously a strong affiliation with Connecticut and the New England region.
  • Lelan Rogers, assistant Syracuse - Aside from an impressive pedigree, Rogers has proven he can coach not only at a premier program, but also as the head of a program on the D-III level. He went 76-17 in five years at Cortland College.
Personally, I don't see how you don't at least call Pressler to gauge his interest. Same goes for Haus. As for the others, it's hard to see one that sticks out to you that would not be considered a retread (Kerwick, Shay) or no significant upgrade from Spencer (Delia).

In that case, I'd say Towers is the logical choice, with Pressler as a fan's hope.


Ryan P. Daley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Gene Doris, hire Mike Pressler. It will be one of the best hires you have ever made! Keith, what is the word on campus? Have you seen anyone in the WAC on their way to an interview?

- Stag Alum