Brian Holman Interview

      Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Coach Brian Holman. Brian is the head Lacrosse coach at Utah. Utah as well all know is the most recent school to announce a DI Lacrosse program. Utah will start play as a DI school in the Fall of 2019. So in 2 seasons, we will be seeing that big red U on the side of a helmet during a DI lacrosse game!!!



     I remember when I heard the news of Utah going DI there was an excitement rushing through me because I knew what this meant. A PAC-12 school with a PAC-12 budget adding DI men's Lacrosse! That is music to my ears. The last FBS school to add DI lacrosse was Michigan in 2012. So, this is huge for the sport of lacrosse and I feel like Utah is the 1st of many dominos to soon fall in regards to FBS schools add DI Lacrosse.



Q&A with Brian Holman of Utah Lacrosse


Q: What was the attractiveness of the job at Utah?


A: "The opportunity to create and start a program from scratch at the highest level at a school with the power of a PAC-12 conference school, power 5 conference school. There is a lot of attractiveness there and being able to build it the right way. The other part of it that was as prominent in that decision was to affect the game of Lacrosse hopefully for a greater good. You know having another large school jumping into the Lacrosse mix bringing it further west where there are so many kids playing Lacrosse today. Lacrosse has given a lot in my life and the ability to maybe start a program and help other programs start out west was really enticing."

Q: Will it be any different when you all go DI than running a Club program?


A: "We are running the club program as a DI program but it will be drastically different. The level of play from club to the level we want to play in, which is the highest level, is taking the elevator up about 10 stories right. No discredit to club lacrosse but the level of play at the highest level of DI is second highest in the country beside the professional league. As far as organization and as far as practices, how we travel, what the expectations are, and as far as building the culture we've already established that and started last year and will continue to build off of that. So, from the peripheral, we are as close to a Division I program as we can be but there is still a lot more work that needs to go into it for sure."

Q: What is the Day in the Life of Utah Lacrosse at this moment in time?

A: "At this moment it is similar to most DI lacrosse players. We are in our fall session. Our fall session is broken up into two phases. The first phase is what we are going through right now which is lifting and conditioning 3 nights per week, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. We will get on the field after labor day and we will practice 3 days per week from 7-9 AM and we will lift from 6-7 PM. That will carry us through the end of October. Then we will go into what we call our skill phase which is where we will cut practices back an hour. We will usually go from like 8-9 but the majority of that work will be skill work, shooting, dodging, and footwork. We will also mix in some basketball, soccer, sand volleyball, and swimming and just compete. It's not much different from what most DI programs are going through right now, I can imagine. We don't go 4 days we just go 3 and I think that's enough for these kids to handle right now."

Q: How is recruiting on the west coast different from the east coast?

A: "Not really that much different. When I say west coast I'm talking about Texas and Colorado over. When you go through a Division I lacrosse right now and look at all the kids that are playing at the highest levels I think there are over 200 kids playing DI lacrosse from those states that we would consider west. The only thing that is marketably different is the overall IQ level might be a tad bit behind at this stage and the pace of play for most of the west coast kids is a little bit slower than those on the east coast. So, those two things are different but honestly, there is not that much of a gap between the higher level players on the west coast vs the east coast."

Q: What advice do you have for HS players trying to get recruited from those non-traditional hotbeds?

A: "Honestly, it's just being who you are because if you spend too much time worrying about recruiting you will lose out on just developing your skill work and your athleticism. If you get a chance to play in a tournament don't worry about being recruited. Just worry about being the best player and teammate you can possibly be. We are not all looking for the best athletes and the best players all of the time. We are also looking for guys that are really really working hard and that are really good teammates because those are the traits that are going to carry forward. I think try to play in some tournaments where there will be coaches. Don't travel all over the country playing in 30 tournaments because it will wear you out and won't make sense. IF YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS SOMEONE WILL FIND YOU. TRUST ME SOMEBODY WILL FIND YOU."

Q: What would you say the state of the game is right now?

A: " I think the state of the game is really healthy but I also think there is kind of a crossroads right now. You know Lacrosse has grown very fast very quickly but the infrastructure to make Lacrosse great hasn't grown as fast. What I mean by that is coaching, officals, and just overall knowledge to educate young people on the game. I think the best thing that can happen for Lacrosse at some point is for it to settle down on the growth and sort of build the infrastructure back into the growth. Because a lot of bad lacrosse is just bad lacrosse right, it doesn't mean it's great. There are a lot of kids that are under a really serious misconception, parents as well, thinking that everybody that plays lacrosse is good enough to play in college and that's just not the case, right. I think it is at a good stage. I would love to see the MLL gain and grow more. I think this is the greatest lacrosse that we have going in this country right now. I would like to see young kids have more exposure to Major League Lacrosse and the professionals. Overall I think it is at a pretty good stage."

Q: If you could change anything about lacrosse what would it be?

A: I would probably put in a shot clock, a "visible" shot clock. I would have it go through all stages starting with High School so that we learn to play at that pace. We are the only sport that I know of that has a shot clock but doesn't have a visible shot clock. That doesn't make sense to me. So, I would make that a rule and put it through High School and say hey we are gonna play at this number. Another thing that I would change is I would get a fantastic TV contract for the Major League Lacrosse. Other than that, that is it. "

If you would like to actually listen to the full interview you can check out our LPC podcast aslo on rvilleusa.com. That podcast will be dropping next week.

Coach Holman, I found to be a great guy who loves and cares about lacrosse just as we do here at rvilleusa. I think he is a great promoter of the sport and love him at the reigns of that new Utah program. I feel that id he plays his cards right which it seems like he already is that we could see major success sooner rather than later. 

This is a bold prediction but I believe that in 5-10 years Utah Lacrosse will Win a national championship! You heard it here first and I firmly believe that. 
So Vegas what can you give me for that!

I hope you all enjoyed this article and the podcast as well. I can assure you that there will be more on the way.

 Have a great day and stay hydrated!






Comments