Paul Officially Named Michigan Men's Coach
Michigan announced the hiring of John Paul as head men's lacrosse coach on Friday, making official what was all but official when the school announced it would transition its lacrosse teams from club to varsity status.
The men's team will begin NCAA Division I play for the 2011-2012 academic year and the women's team will start the following year. The national search for a women's coach is ongoing.
Paul coached the Wolverines club team to a 241-44 record over the last 14 seasons and won three straight MCLA championships prior to this season, when the Wolverines lost in the MCLA semifinals. He's been involved with the program as a player or coach since 1985.
"I'm proud and I'm honored, incredibly honored," Paul said on Michigan's official athletics website. "As much as this program has a rich and proud tradition, this is absolutely something new and we're all proud and honored to be a part of that."
Paul was hitting the road to recruit in Texas on Friday. An assistant coaching staff was not named.
"John Paul has been an integral part of our lacrosse program over the years," Michigan athletics director Dave Brandon said in a statement released through the university. "He has built the club program to a championship level and will help us make the transition to varsity status. We look forward to his leadership and guidance of our program."
On the day Michigan's varsity announcement was made, Paul spoke to LaxMagazine.com about the transition and what to expect from the program in the future, and the challenges of going varsity next season with essentially a roster of club players.
He touched the latter topic in an interview on the Michigan website Friday.
"Certainly there are going to be competitive challenges," Paul said. "We're used to winning and we're used to winning at a pretty good rate. That's going to be challenge to get back to that level, but that's our goal."