Again, which of the Mount's three new coaches is under the most pressure to perform in their first seasons?
Robert Burke - Men's Basketball. Highest-paid coach in school history, strong resume as an assistant as a member of the staff at offensive juggernaut Siena, Big East power Georgetown, and most recently, respected Patriot League contender American. Burke is replacing the man, Milan Brown, who, by all accounts, was the most liked as well as the most successful at the Mount in the last five years. No sport won multiple NEC (or MAAC) titles in the last half-decade, but Brown was fortunate enough to win one. He is the only sport to notch an NCAA victory in that same window, albeit in a play-in game. As big-shoes-to-fill goes, Burke takes the cake.
Anna Nagro - Softball. She's only 24 years old (turning 25 in September). There's not much more to say there. Coming from D'Youville College in New York, Nagro has not been involved with an NCAA Division I program since her playing days at St. Bonaventure. While she may be a great coach, and we should all hope that she is, she replaces men's golf coach Kevin Farrell as the youngest at the school, is probably the youngest coach of any sport in the conference, and I bet she's one of the 25 youngest head coaches in any Division I sport in the country. Oh, and some of the softball players from last years team (returning and graduated players alike) ran the last coach, Larry Alvis, out in a revolt of sorts. This after they didn't sniff the playoffs (they've only made it once in the last five years.) Meet your team, Anna!
Lindsey Munday - Women's Lacrosse. See yesterday's post for my overblown rant on the main idea here - she comes to us from Northwestern. Not only was she the top assistant at arguably the greatest NCAA program in any sport of the last decade (she wasn't a coach for the entire decade) but she also played there. Twice she was a Tewaarton (think Heisman for lacrosse) semifinalist as a player. After Sonia LaMonica snagged the Towson job, which Munday also vied for, the Mount snagged Munday. Even with the third coach in as many seasons taking over the program, we may be better off with Munday than we ever could have been with LaMonica. I'm also hearing that she is well-compensated with an intricate, multi-year contract to boot. None of that, though, equals the pressure placed on her by President Thomas H. Powell, who laid this quotation down in the press release: "I am confident this dynamic coach will take us to the next level and bring home a national championship." If Munday does that, I'll be the first to buy her dinner and a drink at Ott's. Look at the bright side: At least Powell didn't say how soon he expects that national title. (Again, I like the ambition in the quotation, it's just a real pressure-cooker.)
Without further ado, please, comment to your heart's content.