Lijit Ad Wijit

Monday, January 3, 2011

BREAKING: Lindsey Munday screws the Mount, (Can't blame her); Hire Catanese

It appears that the Mount women's lacrosse team will have its third coach in less than a year. Lindsey Munday, the former Northwestern first assistant who was certainly the biggest resume hire in school history (I don't care how young or inexperienced she is, she was a part of FIVE national championships), is going to USC, according to the LA Times.

I'll say this, Los Angeles sounds a lot sweeter than Emmitsburg, but how can you leave a program before you ever coach a season there? What will she tell the players she's spent the last four months with? Now there is the potential of a lost recruiting class and a scramble to find what will likely lead to a lame duck coach.

Even worse, every coach in the athletic department who was pissed that Munday was receiving a ton of money (compared to them when they started) will now be wondering if it was worth it. I met one of the recruits signed by Sonia LaMonica before she ditched the Mount for Towson (where she was an assistant before, plus she didn't leave until the offseason) and they were ecstatic to have the chance to play for Munday.

I'm not sure what Trojan Land could offer a woman's lacrosse coach, but I'm sure it's much more attractive than what the Mount signed on to pay.

"It is an incredibly special opportunity to begin a new program and I cannot wait to recruit student-athletes who are passionate about lacrosse and about joining this amazing time in USC women's lacrosse history," Munday said in a statement that was quoted on the LA Times' blog, The Fabulous Forum.

There is no indication on the Mount's site that Munday has left, and she is still listed as the head coach. Expect any record of her to be gone within days, if not hours, as the Mount did with Milan Brown and company.

If I were in Munday's shoes, would I do the same thing? Without hearing the financials, it's not – OK I'll stop posturing. You're damn right I would leave the Mount for USC. This is a business, not daycare.

The only peculiar part of the move is that it comes during winter break, meaning by the time she packs her belongings and moves out of town, she'll never have to face the players she barely got to know. Can we please schedule USC in 2013 – the first year it will have a varsity team? (That's right; she won't even coach a meaningful game for more than two years.)

My biased but logical recommendation is to hire my good friend Katelyn Catanese, who was one of the best players in Northeast Conference history, and coached St. John's at Prospect Hall last spring. She led the girls to an undefeated season and an IAAM "C" Conference championship. Better yet, she's finishing graduate school at the Mount and could probably use a full-time job.


UPDATE: How could I forget this? (H/T to you know who.) Kind of puts a damper on the national championship hopes of our university president. This is what Powell said in August when Munday was hired:

"We're excited to welcome Coach Lindsey Munday to the Mount," said President Dr. Thomas Powell.  "She brings a national presence along with great talent and experience and exemplifies the formation of character we try and instill in our athletes. I am confident this dynamic coach will take us to the next level and bring home a national championship."

As the next coaching search begins, hope springs eternal yet again!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Weekend from Hell II: Why am I tortured?

It began and ended with coaches fighting for their jobs, these two days from hell. Never has a weekend held so much promise that four of my teams would all be playing significant matchups in a 30-hour period.

Rich Rodriguez led an underprepared Michigan football team to the Gator Bowl, potentially with his job on the line. Although athletic director Dave Brandon may have decided Rodriguez' fate after a resounding loss to Ohio State, if not sooner, it would not have hurt for the Wolverines to beat nationally-ranked Mississippi State to end the season.

Alas, an incompetent, if not apathetic defense allowed more points (52) than the school's basketball team has done on three occasions this year. Here's to hoping the Jim Harbaugh wants to coach at his alma mater.

With the Michigan game scheduled for 1:30 p.m., I was elated that the Winter Classic was delayed until 8 p.m. due to rain. This meant no choosing between my favorite college football team and my favorite hockey team – the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As it turns out, I would have much rather they played simultaneously. Watching Michigan get trounced before the Penguins failed to score more than once on what seemed like 60 shots on goal (actually 33) was like have my wisdom teeth removed then going back a couple hours later for a root canal. Couldn't they just get it over with?

No reason to worry, though, as the Mount's men's basketball team played a marquee matchup at Virginia Tech and the Philadelphia Eagles hosted their bitter rival, the Dallas Cowboys, in a season finale – both on Sunday.

It was only two years ago that I watched as the Mount squandered a six-point lead with two minutes remaining in Blacksburg. Surely this season we could come just as close. But the more I checked the score, the more I believed that there must be a malfunction with my iPhone application.

Halftime score: Virginia Tech 50, Mount St. Mary's 11.

The Mount had four players not make a single shot from the floor on four or more attempts. As a team, the Mountaineers shot 17 percent while the Hokies made a smooth 69.2 percent of theirs. It's not the way I envisioned Jean Cajou making his season debut. And it's certainly not a team I would have recognized had I been watching.

I'll leave it at that, though I will point out that there are still 16 Northeast Conference games remaining, and the Mount is 1–1, a game out of first. There's no time to waste, though, as St. Francis (Pa.), who beat the Mount once last year, visits Thursday, before Robert Morris goes to Emmitsburg on Saturday. Can you say defining games?

My final hope, then, laid in the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Although Jason Garrett had been unofficially named Cowboys head coach before the game by everyone but the organization, he certainly wanted to beat the Eagles. And Kevin Kolb certainly wanted to prove that he could win, too, even with a slew of second string skill players around him.

But just like Mike Vick the week before, a sack-fumble for a touchdown by the defense tied the game at 7, and sparked an upset. Not as key, though, as the Eagles failure to execute in the red zone, or stop Dallas from staging a late-game touchdown drive to go ahead 14–13, even with the refs botching the spot on a Jason Witten reception that should have been ruled a first down.

So Michigan could very possibly begin a search for a new coach within 24 hours, the Penguins are suddenly not so hot after winning 12 in a row, the Mount has zero momentum going into conference play, and likewise for the Eagles heading into the playoffs.

This Saturday, the Mount, again, hosts Robert Morris. The same day, if not Sunday, the Eagles host the Packers. And wouldn't you know, Michigan's season is over and the Penguins don't play either day. So already it can only hurt half as much as it does right now.