Hannah Nielsen is the new women lax coach

Hannah Nielsen is the new women lax coach

Submitted by massblue on June 27th, 2017 at 1:28 PM

Did not see posted.  UM has found its women lacrosse coach.  Hannah Nielsen, who is perhaps to most celebrated women lacrosse player in the BIG if not the country, will lead the program.  She had a great career at NW, let's see what she can do for our program.

 

Link

Word is that Kevin Conry is Michigan's next lacrosse coach

Word is that Kevin Conry is Michigan's next lacrosse coach

Submitted by phjhu89 on June 20th, 2017 at 5:13 PM

Collegecrosse.com is reporting that Michigan is about to hire Maryland Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Kevin Conry as the head Lacrosse Coach.  (Ed Lee of the Baltimore Sun is claiming that his sources say no offer has been made yet, but we know Michigan tends to get things nailed down before the formal offer is made.)

If this holds up, its a great hire.  Conry is highly regarded as the architect that took Maryland to 4 straight Final Fours before breaking through and winning it all this year. (Maryland's offense has been great for years.)  Michigan clearly needed a defensive minded coach.  It would not surprise me to see Conry retain current Offensive Coordinator Conor Ford.  They were class/teammates at Hopkins, both graduating in 2004 (NCAA runner-ups their junior year - Hopkins would break through in 2005.)

NCAA Lacrosse Champ. Game: All Big-Ten Final, MD vs OSU

NCAA Lacrosse Champ. Game: All Big-Ten Final, MD vs OSU

Submitted by L'Carpetron Do… on May 29th, 2017 at 1:27 PM

Maryland takes on Ohio State in the NCAA men's lacrosse title game today at 1 PM, guaranteeing the conference's first national championship in the sport.  Ohio State has never made it this far and Maryland hasn't won since the early-mid 70s.  Maryland has made the championship an amazing 5 times under John Tillman and have lost every one.  They're the Buffalo Bills of college lacrosse.  

This is big for the conference and the game as a whole.  The B1G was the best conference in the country this year and they proved it in the tournament as well. They made a major effort a few years ago to make their presence felt and today they will crown their first champion.  If Ohio State pulls an upset, it may also serve as further indication that the center of power is shifting westwards.

It's also a major development for Michigan who is about to hire a new coach.  Four of the 6 conference teams made the tournament this year and Rutgers was the first team out.  The conference will likely be the best in the country over the next few years as well.  Michigan will have to hire a coach capable of competing for a national championship and its intriguing to think who it might bed.  Very interesting times and developments in the sport these days.  GO BLUE!!!

OT: Men's Lacrosse Championship Update

OT: Men's Lacrosse Championship Update

Submitted by WichitanWolverine on May 21st, 2017 at 3:33 PM

3 of the 4 teams are set for Championship Weekend: OSU will play Towson and Denver will play the winner of Maryland/Albany on May 27. The Championship game is on May 29 (Memorial Day). 

OSU advances to Championship Weekend for the first time in program history, and Maryland currently leads Albany 9-2. So the B1G could end up making up half the teams present next weekend. Further evidence that if Michigan lands a top-notch coaching staff, they could be in the playoff picture in the near future.

OT: 2017 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Tournament Underway

OT: 2017 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Tournament Underway

Submitted by WichitanWolverine on May 13th, 2017 at 1:23 PM
The tournament is currently underway with Penn State struggling to build a lead over Towson, 4-4. The game is on ESPNU. Other conference teams in the tournament are Maryland, Ohio State, and Hopkins. The games take place this weekend, next weekend, and then conclude the following weekend with the Championship taking place on Memorial Day. Bracket here: http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/lacrosse-men/d1

Potential Lacrosse Head Coaching Candidates

Potential Lacrosse Head Coaching Candidates

Submitted by L'Carpetron Do… on May 5th, 2017 at 11:29 AM

After a long career with Michigan at both the club and Division 1 level Coach John Paul has been let go.  A lot of us have a lot to say on this topic but I won’t get too into it. While the success on the field never met expectations JP still leaves behind a great legacy. I think a number of former players (even those who had differences with him) were sad to see him go. But now it’s time to look forward to the next chapter.

The word on the street is that Michigan is looking to hire a Big Time Coach. Some of the internet sources out there claim that this is now one of the marquis coaching positions in the country.  Some have gone so far to say that Michigan is willing to throw so much money at the job that basically any and every coach in the country is a potential candidate (I disagree and don't know how true this is). But let’s take a look at who might be the next coach to lead Michigan to the Promised Land.

Top Tier Division I Coaches and Legends

Since apparently every coach in the country is potentially on the table, I figured I might as well give you a briefing on the best ones in the game (even though most of them are not really an option).

Dom Starsia - former Virginia coach, probably the odds-on favorite for his career credentials and name recognition. By far the biggest name available coach out there even though he was squeezed out after some bad years. He’s retired right now but has hinted he wants to get back into it. There were heavy rumors last year that he would take the helm at Utah if they added a D-1 program. His UVA teams had under-the-surface discipline problems, however.

Dave Pietramala - Petro’s name always comes up around the Michigan job and word is he really wants it. Hopkins is always formidable but the Jays have been slipping the last few years.

Bill Tierney - probably the all-time greatest, turned Princeton and Denver into powerhouse championship factories. But, he’s at the end of his career and probably won’t be moving unless he wants to add more to his legacy.

John Danowski - the John Beilein of lacrosse - he’s the best pure coach in the game. But probably won’t leave for a rebuilding job at a different program.

John Tillman - superb all-around coach and the youngest of this group. Doubt he would leave Maryland though.

John Desko - Syracuse is Syracuse and I’m not sure how much he has to do with their success. I played with a guy years ago who said the team basically runs itself.

Kevin Corrigan - Ditto for Corrigan - the program seems to succeed despite him (I also never heard good things about him). He’s basically the JP of ND lacrosse: he's been the coach from the start and his dad is a former Irish AD. So he’s very unlikely to move anyway. Plus, Michigan doesn’t need to hire an ND guy.

Other top coaches, but unlikely to move: Jeff Tambroni (Penn State), Lars Tiffany (UVA), Charlie Toomey (Loyola).

Likely Candidates

These are mostly younger guys who will be the next generation of great coaches. They're likely to be the target candidates for the job.

Scott Marr - Albany is legit now all thanks to Marr. He’s been the program’s only coach at the Division 1 level and not only are they good, but they are also the most exciting team to watch in the country. Marr also brings a recruiting pipeline to New York State and Iroquois Nation which are freaking talent goldmines. Somehow he has yet to be poached by prestigious blue blood programs. But for some reason this seems like the time. I think this would be the best hire Michigan could make.

Joe Amplo - Dude is young and has proved to be a great hire for Marquette which has had success in its first years in D-1 and he's already taken the Golden Eagles to the tournament. He’s a Long Island boy so he can get those players to campus. Most importantly he can coach defense. Wonder what he could do with more resources.  

Andy Shay - another solid young(ish) coach who has Yale at the precipice of being a national power. Can recruit smart kids who can get into a competitive university which is a plus.  

Other guys in this category: Joe Alberici (Army), Shawn Nadelen (Towson), Dan Chemotti (Richmond), Ryan Polley (BU).

Outside the Box Hires

These are some left-field candidates (basically my wild ideas).

Jim Berkman this guy has won 11 national titles at D-III Salisbury State. That’s pretty good. Over the years, there have been a number guys to come up to D-1 from the lower divisions and make an impact. I’m curious if Berkman could do the same for Michigan. Would give Michigan major recruiting connections in the state of Maryland.  

Gary Gait - on-the-field Syracuse legend who currently coaches the Orange women’s team and was named ACC Women’s Coach of the Year for 2017. It’s a different game but I wonder how well he would do coaching men. Michigan would become an immediate destination for the best talent from Canada and upstate NY. Probably not a serious option but might at least be worth a call and friendly chat, purely for his legend status.

Matt Danowski - one of the best college players of all-time and has a built-in mentor in his father he can call for advice (he’s currently a Duke asst). Could be risky because youth and inexperience are major issues. But if he has the same talents as his dad, Michigan is looking at a 25+ year generational hire and likely multiple national championships.

Kevin Conry - like Danowski, would be a major gamble because he’s so young and has no head coaching experience. But he played under Petro and has coached for Tillman for years and ranks among the game’s best assistants. He’s a good recruiter and he coaches Maryland’s defense which is always one of the top units in the country.

Others: Ben DeLuca (asst, Harvard), (+ Mgoblogger Kevin Holt)

Anyway, thought some people might be interested in seeing some potential candidates. Of course it could be anyone outside of this group as well.  But if I had to pick three guys who should absolutely get calls they would be Marr, Amplo and John Danowski (although Matt may be the more realistic option). I think my biases shine through a little but in any event this should be a really interesting hiring campaign. Hopefully Michigan lands someone who brings the program a lot of success. GO BLUE!!!

Lacrosse Falls to Penn State 17-13 in Season Finale

Lacrosse Falls to Penn State 17-13 in Season Finale

Submitted by L'Carpetron Do… on April 30th, 2017 at 10:05 AM

 

Michigan lacrosse finishes its season today with a game against 9th ranked Penn State in the Big House. Michigan is eliminated from contention for postseason play and this marks the last game of an up-and-down season. There is a lot to build on from this year but they have to correct a number of problems that still linger. Game is at the Big House at 2 and will be aired on Big Ten Network on tape delay at 6.

Overall it was a good season for the boys - they finished with at least 8 wins which is a program record and are still receiving votes (somehow) for the Top 20 poll. In 2016 they went 3-10 and were one of the worst teams in the country so this was a great turnaround for this program.

However, there are some smoke and mirrors here. The record is largely the result of a stroke of scheduling genius by JP in which Michigan played very weak out of conference opponents. Of their eight wins, only one came against a team with a winning record (another came vs Furman who finished at .500). It helped the team build confidence but did little to prepare them for the rigors of Big Ten play. And it obscured some serious flaws in Michigan’s game.

A closer look reveals a team that is very much like last year - stagnant on offense, undisciplined on defense and terrible on faceoffs and in transition. Their losses - at Notre Dame and against all Big Ten opponents - were uncompetitive blowouts. What’s worse - they looked terrible too - often in front of a home crowd and/or on national TV. The matchup against Ohio State before the spring game which resulted in an 18-7 victory for the Buckeyes was particularly painful.

Michigan has been bringing in decent recruits the last few years but the product on the field has not significantly improved and there could be shakeups among the coaching staff this offseason. A change at the head coaching position is not out of the question. 

 

UPDATE: Michigan fell to Penn State 17-13, officially ending their 2017 campaign.  This was a much better showing from a Michigan team that was routinely blown out by more talented teams.  I didn't see the game but followed along with the score and it seemed close most of the way.  Not the result we were looking for but I'm glad they played with some pride to make it respectable.  Here's to hoping they make big improvements in 2018.

Lacrosse Falls to #8 Hopkins, 19-9

Lacrosse Falls to #8 Hopkins, 19-9

Submitted by L'Carpetron Do… on April 22nd, 2017 at 10:32 AM

Lacrosse lost to Hopkins today 19-9 in Balitmore. This is the fourth consecutive blowout at the hands of a conference opponent and Michigan has now been eliminated from contention for a spot in the Big Ten tournament in two weeks.  

Hopkins is a supremely talented team but Michigan played extremely poorly. Aside from the offense which is overly patient, Michigan looked frantic and undisciplined. They just looked lost and were outplayed. A lot of Michigan's woes can be traced back to poor coaching and I think JP and Michigan will have to take a hard look at making serious changes in the offseason, even at the head coaching spot.

There was an interesting (well perplexing) moment early in the game when Hopkins received an illegal stick violation resulting in a 3 minute unreleasable penalty.  With 2+ plus minutes in the penalty, Michigan scored to make it 3-2 and on the ensuing faceoff got a loose-ball push call which gave the ball to Hopkins. Michigan didn't double the ball off the restart and then a minute or so later they didn't double again off another restartThey made a somewhat lame attempt late in the penalty but backed off. For the most part they didn't bother to even pressure the ball and basically let Hopkins sit on it to kill the penalty. The nerd-ass ESPNU announcers were even making fun of the decision not to double. There is no conceivable reason to do what they did and in the case of Michigan Lacrosse Fans vs. Defensive Coach Who Should Be Fired, that will be Exhibit A. It was an exercise in mind-blowing incompetence. 

The good news for Michigan is that this was the best season they've had at the Division 1 level. They won 8 games and notched a victory over a ranked opponent. They're much improved from last year in which they were one of the worst teams in the country. And they'll get one more chance to end their season on a high note when they host Penn State in the Big House next week.  

Lacrosse Loses to Rutgers 14-7, Falls to 8-3

Lacrosse Loses to Rutgers 14-7, Falls to 8-3

Submitted by L'Carpetron Do… on April 8th, 2017 at 9:24 AM

Lacrosse lost to Rutgers 14-7 in front of a good spring day crowd in the Big House. But, it was much worse than that; it was 13-3 at one point before Michigan got a few back when Rutgers eased off the gas.

This was not a good L for Michigan. Rutgers is pretty good but Michigan played sloppy and could not stay with them. They were outplayed in every facet of the game. Michigan did not have anyone capable of gaining separation on a dodge or a cut to get off a shot. The offense was stagnant, overly patient and frequently turned the ball over. The defense was equally bad as they let up 8 goals to a freshman attackman, constantly lost cutters and didn't land checks. 

The good news: Ian King became Michigan's all-time leading scorer by tallying his 89th career goal. Also - goalie Tommy Heidt played heroically.

This was a bad day for Michigan but they have to put it behind them. They have to get ready for a game Ohio State squad who is ranked #9 and plays really hard. That's next week in the Big House before the spring game. They can't put in another performance like they did today.  Here's to hoping they bounce back- Go Blue!