Daily Archives: October 5, 2009

Western College Men’s Lacrosse: Mesa State College Men’s Lacrosse Hires A.J. Stevens As Head Coach As It Positions Program To Attract Out-Of-State Lacrosse Talent

A.J. Stevens comes to Mesa State Lacrosse after spending two years as the head coach at the University of Illinois. He spent two years as a member the Chicago Machine coaching staff. Stevens has served as the director of lacrosse operations and assistant coach for Chicago’s Major League Lacrosse franchise.

A.J. Stevens comes to Mesa State Lacrosse after spending two years as the head coach at the University of Illinois. He spent two years as a member the Chicago Machine coaching staff. Stevens has served as the director of lacrosse operations and assistant coach for Chicago’s Major League Lacrosse franchise.

A.J. Stevens has been named Director of Lacrosse/Head Men’s Coach as announced by Mesa State Athletic Director Butch Miller.

mesa state“We are excited to have Coach Stevens on board as our head men’s coach and to oversee the transition of lacrosse as an intercollegiate sport at Mesa State”, said Miller. “He has the experience, knowledge and proven record to make an immediate impact in the sport of lacrosse around the region”, added Miller.

  A.J. Stevens was named the head coach at Illinois during the summer of 2005 and quickly established the Illini as one of the premier lacrosse programs in the Midwest. In two years, he compiled a 23-13 overall record and a 15-5 Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference mark, having reached the conference championship game each season. Additionally, Stevens was twice named GRLC Coach of the year producing 21 All-Conference players, 9 Academic All-America honorees, 4 All-America team members, and one Offensive Player of the Year.   The Illini also completed each season under Stevens ranked in the MCLA top 25 poll.  Prior to his arrival, Illinois had not been nationally ranked in nearly a decade.

Prior to coming to Illinois, Stevens served as an assistant coach at Dartmouth College, a NCAA Division I school in Hanover, NH. During his tenure, Dartmouth began the transition from also-ran to a national contender in Division I college lacrosse.  Prior to joining the Big Green, Stevens was the head coach at Roger Williams University, a NCAA Division III school in Bristol, RI. He led the Hawks to a 7-7 overall record and a 5-3 mark in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. He was the head coach of the West team in the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Senior All-Star Game.  Stevens also served as head coach at Indiana University leading the Hoosiers to a 13-3 record.  He has a career record of 44 wins and 23 losses in four seasons as a head coach.

 Stevens played three years of varsity lacrosse for the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and was team captain as a senior.

Stevens and his wife Carrie, currently reside in Ottawa, IL with their newborn son, Cade.


There are three big pluses in the Mavs’ favor.

1. The Tuition
Simply put, Mesa State is a bargain for in-state students or those from outside. Because the school isn’t desperate to fill beds (there’s actually a waiting list for the dorms), it isn’t trying to make up any kind of budget shortfall on the backs of out-of-staters. As such, it’s a pretty darn good deal.

“You can go to Mesa State for less than you can go to Cortland State if you’re from New York,” said A.J. Stevens, the new men’s head coach and Director of Lacrosse. “With cost being level, I’ve got a shot if a kid wants to be a little adventurous and get off the Island for four years.”

The same is true for many of the state systems in the East. Add on the school’s decision to give “reciprocity” – or treating applicants essentially as in-state students – to almost every state west of Indiana and Mesa State has a pretty good hook for those wanting to play lacrosse at a decent school for a reasonable price.

“It gives us a fighting chance,” said Stevens.

This is why even though Mesa State is located in the center of some relatively fertile recruiting grounds in Denver, Salt Lake and Phoenix, most of his interest is coming from New York, New England, Canada, California and Oregon. Due to an institutional decision, Stevens won’t have any scholarship money to spread around, but at roughly $14,000 for room, board and books, it has critical numbers in its favor to pique prep interest.

As further incentive, Mesa State has an affiliation with Colorado-Boulder for its engineering students, meaning you can pay in-state tuition, play lacrosse for an NCAA Division II program, and graduate with a degree from Colorado-Boulder, which boasts a reputable engineering curriculum, according to Stevens.

2. The Facilities
In a stroke of pure luck, Mesa State finished off the massive renovations to its athletic complex and has money stored up to make additions in the near future.

Just before the economy went sour, the school finished a turf field dedicated strictly to soccer and lacrosse; it completed a $32M renovation of the athletic facilities, including new offices, locker rooms and weight room for varsity teams; it fully funded a strength and conditioning coach; and lured the lead exercise physiologist from the U.S. Olympic program to start a clinic.

3. The Coach
I have a great respect for the coaches who have led the westerly D-II teams at the outset. I think Joe Romano, NDNU’s first coach, was made for the position and would have had the Argos flying high at this point. With that said, Mesa State is starting with a coach whose resume will impress any prospective student-athlete.

Stevens has coached at the NCAA Division III level (Roger Williams), the NCAA Division I level (Dartmouth), the MCLA Division I level (Illinois, Claremont) and at the professional level (assistant and director of lacrosse operations for the MLL’s Chicago Machine).

When I spoke with Stevens several months ago about possible coaching opportunities that were out there, he said he always had his eye open – when his wife, an attorney, saw that the State of California was handing out IOUs instead of paychecks, any attachment to Arnold’s utopia was severed – but he was only going to jump at the right program.

Part of that choice included lacrosse not being a vehicle to populate the student body.

“I interviewed with the president of the school, who is a big fan of lacrosse and has two sons playing, and when I realized what he wanted to do, I was very excited,” said Stevens about Mesa State’s top Mav. “They are adding lacrosse because they want to be competitive, not to fill beds.”

Will Mesa State be challenging C.W. Post in either men’s or women’s lacrosse anytime soon? Likely not, but there’s a lot to like about the original blueprint the Mavs are using to build their program.

So what’s with the shill job for Mesa State?

If the Mavs succeed, it could give D-II – the most anemic of the NCAA divisions – a much needed influx of teams.

Waiting on the sidelines watching Mesa State’s fate is a host of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference institutions who are rumored to be toying with the idea of adding our sport. Fort Lewis and Adams State, which has women’s D-II lacrosse and will be adding it soon, respectively, are natural possibilities for the men’s game while Metropolitan State and Western State are two candidates for both genders.

Mesa State is a public school in the wilds of Colorado looking to build a national D-II contender. If it succeeds, the western paradigm completely shifts.

Western College Men’s Lacrosse: BYU Men’s Lacrosse Announces An 8-Game Fall Ball Schedule For 2009

BYU Lacrosse

The Brigham Young University Men’s Lacrosse Team has announced an 8-game Fall Ball schedule for the Fall of 2009. The schedule features scrimmages against 7 teams ranked in the final LaxPower.com MCLA Division 1 & 2 Top 30.

BYUlacrosse logoThe Cougars will begin their 2009 fall ball season on October 10th with an exhibition game against the University of Utah at the conclusion of the Golden Spike High School Tournament in Provo, Utah. The game will be begin at 4:00pm and will be the premier event concluding 2 days of high school lacrosse.

The Cougars will be facing perennial powerhouse Simon Frasier University October 17th on the North University Fields at BYU. The scrimmage will be the first time that Simon Frasier and BYU have met for a Fall Ball Scrimmage. This will be a regulation length scrimmage beginning at 3:00pm.

The next two weeks will take the Cougars across town to Utah Valley University on the 23rd of October for a 4:00pm start and then North to Westminster University for a Halloween Tournament in Sandy on October 31st starting at 9:00am.

The Cougars will conclude their fall ball schedule November 6th and 7th in Las Vegas at the Best of the West Tournament. Games will include Arizona State University, University of Arizona, University of California – Berkley and Cal Poly.

“We have put together a great fall ball schedule,” said BYU Head Coach Matt Schneck, “We will be playing quality competition and giving every player on the team an opportunity for some valuable playing time. Fall Ball is about learning our system and getting on field experience. As a coaching staff we are evaluating and giving players the opportunity to solidify their spot on team while seeing what we need to work on. With the implementation of new traditions both on and off the field, we are excited about the next 6 weeks.”

2009 Brigham Young University Men’s Lacrosse Fall Ball Schedule

Date Time Opponent Location
Oct 10 4:00 pm Utah Provo, UT
Oct 17 3:00 pm Simon Frasier Provo, UT @ BYU
Oct 23 4:00 pm Utah Valley Orem, UT
Oct 31 9:00 am Westminster Sandy, UT
Nov 6 7:00 pm Arizona State Las Vegas, NV
Nov 7 TBD Arizona Las Vegas, NV
Nov 7 TBD Cal – Berkeley Las Vegas, NV
Nov 7 TBD Cal Poly Las Vegas, NV

For more information about BYU Lacrosse, visit BYULacrosse.com or contact media@byulacrosse.com

U.S. Men’s National Lacrosse Team: Highlights From “Split Squad” Scrimmage At US Military Academy On Sept. 26, 2009 (Video)

In preparation for the 2010 World Championships in Manchester, England, the United States Men’s National Team held a split squad scrimmage at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. on Sept. 26, 2009.

The 41-man squad divided into Team White and Team Navy, playing a game by international rules (quarters are 20 minutes, running-time, and the game is called a lot tighter, most notably).

In an extremely competitive game full of the nations top players, Team White squeaked out a win over Team Navy, 14-13.

The national team has two more fall ball events before the 41-man roster gets cut down to the 23 who will be traveling across the Atlantic to try to win back the title.

Western College Men’s Lacrosse Profile: University Of Denver Men’s Lacrosse Middie Charley Dickenson

Inside LacrosseSB: In your bio it says you chose DU for the coaches and the future of the program. What can you say about both of those things now that Coach Bill Tierney is at the helm?

Charley Dickenson #8, Sr., Middie  Ht: 5-7, Wt: 160, Highland Park H.S., Dallas, TX

Charley Dickenson #8, Sr., Middie Ht: 5-7, Wt: 160, Highland Park H.S., Dallas, TX


My twin brother (John) and I came because of the coaches but this place really sold itself. Now things have changed and right now everyone is really excited. There is so much enthusiasm and respect for Coach Tierney. I’ve never seen anything like it. The future is looking great.

SB: You recorded a team-high of 36 points (14 goals and 22 assists). How do you see your role changing from last year to this year?

CD: I don’t think it’s going to change much at all. I want to continue being the leader on offense. I’ve got great weapons like I did last year to compliment my game.

SB: What have you noticed thus far along the lines of different styles between former coach Jamie Munro and the current staff?

CD: I think it may be too early to completely notice the difference. But right now everything is fundamentals. It’s going to be disciplined and that’s great. I came from a very similar system in high school football and I like that. Simple defense and offense but disciplined.

denver lacrosse

SB: You’re listed at 5’7”, 160 pounds. What do you use as an advantage for being such a great scorer and ball feeder?

CD: Intelligence and quickness. That first step is so important when trying to beat your man. If you have speed you can accomplish anything in lacrosse.

SB: What’s it like playing on the same team as your twin brother?

CD: A lot of people say we have ESP and I think it’s true. So often we know what the other is going to do. I know his tendencies and he knows mine. That’s a big advantage.

SB: How do you expect Coach Tierney to help you with your overall game?

CD: He’ll certainly make me a better student of the game. I know so little compared to him. That and my defense in particular. That’s one thing I want to improve upon.

SB: Denver was voted by Inside Lacrosse as the “Best Lacrosse Town”. Agree or disagree.

CD: I know that it’s become huge out here. From youth to high school to college and pro lacrosse it’s just huge. And the weather—you just can’t beat it.

SB: What can we expect this year in terms of a turnaround from last year’s 7-8 record?

CD: Everyone was so disappointed with last seasons finish. We are going to do a complete 180. None of us are going to accept a losing season. And that’s going to start with a big first game.

SB: In closing, what was the first thought that came to mind when your first heard that Coach Tierney was taking the job at Denver.

CD: Winning.