The University of Arizona ‘Laxcats’ Men’s Lacrosse Club has announced the hiring of
Mickey-Miles Felton was hired as University of Arizona Men's Lacrosse Head Coach
Mickey-Miles Felton as head coach. Felton, 64, returns to the Laxcats’ helm after an absence of eight years, having guided the team to three appearances in the national championship tournament of the United States Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates, the administrative entity that preceded the current Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) as the official structure for men’s collegiate club lacrosse in the United States.
Felton was selected to resume his guidance of the team following a recent period of instability in the program’s leadership. Mary O’Mahoney, of the University’s Department of Recreation, who has worked with Felton for almost 15 years in administrative partnership, stated:
“I was happy to hear that he’d been named coach again, and I think he’ll bring consistency and make the guys understand the tradition involved in being on this team. Along with that history, he’ll make a connection with the players and not just be about the Xs and Os on the field. I think he is one of very few people who can do that.”
Current players are enthusiastic as well, especially the seniors, who have now had to adjust to four different head coaches in as many years. Echoing the sentiments expressed by Ms. O’Mahoney, Laxcats team captain Alex Beauchamp also recognized the importance of the over 35 years of lacrosse expertise Felton brings to the table:
“We’re very excited with bringing Mickey in. The team is very excited, and everyone I’ve talked to is very excited. We’re supposed to have a great freshman class coming in as well, so we should be looking pretty good. With all due respect to our past coaches, what Mickey brings to us is his experience, and he’s also bringing in guys with him that have experience as well, and I think that’s going to make the transition a lot smoother.”
Team president Frankie Connell, UA senior, concurs and pointed up the relevance of Felton’s responsibility for the team’s glory years back in the ’80s and ’90s when he said:
“I’m very happy to have him back and involved with the program. I think this year is going to be great, and I think we can definitely move forward to make this program better than it’s ever been-essentially back to where it was.”
Those close to the Arizona program, including board members and parents, are similarly enthusiastic about the prospect of welcoming back the architect of the Laxcats’ legacy of success. Brooks Singer, Laxcats player-alumni and head coach at Division III Catholic University observed that a primary objective of the program “is and has been to establish some stability and some continuity among the components of the program. The ultimate goal is to provide a positive playing experience for the student-athlete.”
Felton, in Singer’s view, is the obvious choice. “His direct experience with the [Arizona] program, his overall experience coaching and running a top-tiered MCLA program, his work over the years to create a positive overall player and student-athlete experience, and the fact that his passion for the Laxcats program–and lacrosse in general–was not matched by anybody.”
Ron Cammorata, a Laxcat parent and member of the select committee that hired Felton, stressed the legacy aspect as well an referring to Felton as an “icon” of Arizona lacrosse, likening him to John Wooden of UCLA fame in that both are inextricably bound and inseparable from the successes of the programs they guided. The committee selected Felton over some 30 to 35 competing applicants.
Felton began his career in lacrosse as a player at Connecticut’s Cheshire Academy in 1963, and became the Laxcats’ head coach in 1976, serving in that capacity until his retirement from the position in 2001.