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Washington College hopes to make announcement on head coach by July 1

Washington College is still in the process of interviewing candidates for its vacant head coaching position, a school spokesman said Tuesday morning.

The spokesman said the college’s timetable includes making an announcement by July 1.

The Shoremen have been without a head coach since May 12 when J.B. Clarke resigned. Clarke, who had also been the school’s assistant athletic director, had guided Washington to a combined 138-63 record and seven NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. In 2004, the school reached its first Final Four since 1998.

But the Shoremen went 4-10 this season and had to deal with a hazing incident prior to the beginning of the season.

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:30 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Washington


Ed, do you happen to know who are the coaching candidates?

Ed: I'm afraid I haven't been able to find out who is being considered. I will continue to beat the bushes and see what I can find.

Is it true that WAC is demphasizing athletics...including lacrosse?

Ed: I haven't heard anything close to that.

Mr. Lee,
I wanted to comment on, "Is it true that WAC is demphasizing athletics... including lacrosse?"

As a WAC alum and former student athlete, this seems to be a concern by both alum and current coaches at the school. There is a palpable undercurrent of feeling that the administration and admission/financial aid faculty aren't as supportive as they could be when it comes to student athletes there. WAC coaches are complaining about how difficult it is to get recruits to come to WAC because of the high tuition price and decrease in support in providing financial aid to student athletes. It is important to note that while other centennial conference schools' VP of Admissions state that successful college athletic teams bring not only more applicants to the college but more qualified applicants to the school, WAC's VP of Admission, Kevin Coveney, stated, "At the D-3 level, there is little, if any evidence to support the notion that “winning college athletic teams bring more applicants and more qualified applicants to the college overall.” It happens at the D-1 level but D-3 is quite different. I do not recall any lift in applications when WC won the national championship in men’s lacrosse; and, despite modest team records over the past two years, we have had record numbers of applications and enrollments. I do think that successful athletic teams contribute to campus spirit and I would like all of our teams to enjoy greater levels of success."

If you look at WAC's success on the field from 2000 to 2010 you will also see the concern about "demphasizing athletics" there. Baseball has had only 5 winning seasons during this period and only one conference tournament appearance. Men's Basketball has had only 2 winning season in 11 years and made their conference tournament 3 times in that period. Men's Swimming has had only 4 winning seasons and men's soccer has had 2 winning season in the past 11 years with no conference tournament appearances. The two bastions of collegiate athletic success at WAC, men's lacrosse and men's tennis have also stumbled during this time frame. Men's Tennis, at one time never losing a single match in the Centennial Conference over an 8-10 year time span, has not made the NCAA tournament in the last four years and is a mediocre team in the Centennial. Finally, as everyone is well aware on this blog, WAC's men's lacrosse has been on a downward spiral and is in the most humblest of states right now, even though, it's AD is a former WAC lacrosse player and coach.

This "demphasizing of athletics" is more of an apathetic attitude towards athletics by WAC's administration and I find it a bit peculiar that the men's lacrosse team's dive into the quagmire of mediocrity coincides with Bryan Matthews ascension to becoming VP of Administrative Services. He is part of the Senior administrative staff at the school and I wonder if he is towing the college's line just to save his position instead of ensuring athletic success at the school across the board.

Coach Clarke's resignation was on May 12th and we are approaching July with still no announcement of WAC's new LAX coach. Maryland hired their new coach quicker than that and so did Penn State. Maybe the men's lax and athletic environment overall at WAC is so uninviting that no one wants to take the job because they know they are doomed to fail.

It will be interesting to see who ends up with the Head Coach's job there in the end. But, if they end up with a guy who leaves both lax experts and WAC lax alumni scratching their heads thinking, "what in the hell where they thinking in hiring this coach," then everyone will know that it is true that, "WAC is demphasizing athletics...including lacrosse." The decision on the new men's lax coach will not only point the direction that the lax program is going in but it will also point where the administration is leading the athletic department as a whole.

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.

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