Here are the highlights of my talk with Andy Copelan:
What are you initial feelings right now? Has it sunk in that Fairfield is your program now?
Copelan: It is, although it hasn't really sunk in completely. Right now I'm trying to just get acclimated to the situation and the place, get used to a lot of the day-to-day things that I'll be taking care of. We had a few of the boys stop by yesterday, which was good. But so far I've been very pleased. So far, so good.
Thoughts on Fairfield coming in - your knowledge of the program and the team?
Copelan: There is a lot of talent here - no question. I haven't really seen the team or seen film yet, so I'll hold off judgement on that part. I'll wait for that to formulate my own opinions. But this is a somewhat familiar place for me, plenty of friends and family in the area. Basically, my goal is just to hit the ground running with this thing.
What is your relationship with Ted Spencer? Any contact with him yet?
Copelan: Actually, to be completely honest, I've had no contact with him thus far. But we coached together at Blue Chip (Lacrosse Camp) and I think an awful lot of him. It really is sad to see him go, but it's good to know he'll still be a part of the administration.
Is there any pressure following Spencer, given he was the backbone of the program for so long?
Copelan: There's always pressure; that's just the nature of this job. That's the profession I chose. I understand that there is a winning tradition is here, but I'm certainly excited to put my own stamp on the program. Hopefully we can get that started as soon as possible.
You've spent the last three seasons at UMD as an assistant, but does a year at Marist as the head coach help going into this job?
Copelan: It is helpful. It really is. The most important thing, really, is to combine all of the experiences you have had as a coach and use that to your advantage. A year as the head of the program (at Marist) was a good experience, and then my years under (Dave) Cottle at Maryland was huge. Moving forward, I think all of it will be an asset. It's put me in a pretty good position.
Have you talked to any of the players yet? What has been your message?
Copelan: I have, yeah. That was one of the first things I took care of when this happened. First, I called all of the Maryland boys - those were hard phone calls. Then, next day, I called all of the Fairifeld kids to introduce myself, give them so background on me. Some even dropped by the office these last few days to meet me and sit down for a few (minutes). We'll probably hold a team meeting at some point next week when they get settled in. My message was simple: let's hit the ground running. I know it'll be a little bit different this year. But I just told them to come ready to work.