Western Lacrosse: Colorado Youth Lacrosse Continues To Grow As Coaching Improves

The biggest improvement may be in the coaching. One reason soccer has stagnated  in the U.S. is the dearth of quality coaches. Lacrosse is booming in part  because of the quality of instruction.

Denver Men's Lacrosse Coach Bill Tierney

Denver Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Bill Tierney

Youth lacrosse in Colorado is booming. That has trickled up to high schools and  college. The Colorado Youth Lacrosse Association has 7,000 boys participating.  The Denver Lacrosse Club, part of the CYLA, boasts  750 in the spring alone.   Rod Allison has introduced inner-city kids to lacrosse with Denver City Lax.

The lacrosse craze has put a  Colorado twist on the national college lacrosse  scene. A sport that used to be as  East Coast as subways and crab cakes,  lacrosse has found a major feeding ground in the Denver area. The University of  Denver men’s team, ranked third nationally and only two years removed from its  first Final Four berth, has nine in-state players. Air Force has 11.  Thirty-three other Colorado prep products  are playing among  22 other NCAA  Division I men’s teams.

“You can get a kid from Colorado as good as the top kid anywhere,” said DU   coach Bill Tierney.

Tierney is considered the Mike Krzyzewski of college lacrosse. He coached six  national championship teams  at Princeton, yet uprooted to one of only three  Division I schools west of the Eastern time zone. He didn’t have a midlife  crisis. He’s not much of a skier. But he knew he could build a winner  at DU.   “There was comfort in knowing there was a good recruiting base here,” he  said.

In Tierney’s first year at Princeton, in 1988, he signed a Colorado prep  player: Chris McHugh of Manual High School. Tierney then had Coloradans on every  Princeton team through 2005.

Leading the Pioneers (9-2) into a showdown Saturday in Baltimore against  fifth-ranked Loyola (9-2), the  defending national champion,  is Eric Law, DU’s  leading scorer. He attended  Arapahoe High School. A senior, Law has gone stick  to stick against the stars from traditional eastern breeding grounds for four  years.

Read more: DU’s Tierney sees Colorado high school lacrosse continuing to improve – The Denver Post

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