MEN'S LACROSSE | Former Terps Assistant Takes Top Job at GU
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 00:08
When legendary men’s lacrosse Head Coach Dave Urick retired in July, Georgetown Director of Athletics Lee Reed promised a national search for his replacement. It took only a Metro ride, however, for the Hoyas to find Kevin Warne, who was named head coach Aug. 14.
Warne, who spent two seasons as an assistant at Maryland, helped to lead the Terrapins to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA championship game.
Warne sat down with The Hoya as he moved into his office last week.
“I’ve been here a week, but it’s been great,” Warne said. “One of the things I think is that Georgetown is a school that speaks for itself. [With] the reputation academically and, obviously, the lacrosse tradition around here, people are excited.”
Since taking the job, Warne has connected with his players and members of the Georgetown lacrosse family.
“I reached out to all of them and spoke to them and just started to let them know who I am and what I’m about and really just started to set the tempo [for] how things are going to go under me being the head coach here,” Warne said.
During the coaching search, some outlets speculated that Georgetown’s facilities, which do not compare favorably with other top schools’, would make it difficult for the team to snag high-level recruits. But Warne argued that other strengths could be equally important selling points.
“Sometimes you’re not really worried about all the bells and whistles,” he said. “The school, education, the location and the lacrosse tradition … I think are strengths that you can really pull from.”
Before his stint at Maryland, Warne was an assistant coach at Harvard. With both the Terps and the Crimson, he coached against some of the best teams in the country, also a hallmark of Urick’s tenure.
Although moving to a weaker out-of-conference schedule might earn the Blue and Gray a few more wins, Warne says that’s not something he’s interested in.
“If you want to beat the best, you’ve got to play the best. We’re not afraid of anybody. We’ll play anybody,” Warne said.
And despite the fact that Syracuse — one of Georgetown’s main Big East rivals — is leaving the conference after the upcoming season, the league remains a very tough place to play lacrosse.
“It prepares you, obviously, playing those out-of-conference games, when you get to the meat of the Big East schedule and you’ve played a lot of tough teams,” Warne said.
A graduate of Hofstra, Warne has also spent time on the staff at Delaware and at UMBC, which went to the 2007 NCAA quarterfinals during his tenure as associate coach.
Throughout his career, Warne has been known for his animated sideline displays, both positive and negative.
“That’s just me being me. One of the things I realized is that you’ve got to be real as a coach,” Warne said. “You can’t be fake, [or else] I think kids will see right through that. I love when guys do something well, and I also get animated when they do something wrong. So it goes both ways, but I am who I am.”
Warne also jokingly cited his Long Island upbringing for his distinctive coaching style.
“Being from Long Island and having a lot of emotions and having a lot of passion, that’s one of the [qualities] that I thought was one of my strengths as a coach,” Warne said. “I want the guys to feed off that, and I want those guys to know that there’s somebody that’s supporting you, one way or another.”
Given that the team lost time over the summer on the recruiting trail, Warne and his new assistants, who were named yesterday, will need to get to work immediately on trying to reload.
And with the team limping to a 7-6 finish in 2012, it may take more than a jolt of sideline antics to return the Hoyas to the forefront of the national lacrosse conversation next spring.
As the process unfolds, Warne says he will be keeping one piece of advice from Urick in mind.
“The biggest thing [he said] is to just be yourself,” Warne said. “I think that’s pretty true with anything, and I think that’ll be a good thing for me.”