Ot­ten takes over CSM women’s lax

La Plata res­i­dent has loads of lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ence

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @SOMDhab­s­fan

The Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land’s women’s lacrosse team will have a new face be­hind the bench after it re­cently named long­time South­ern Mary­land lacrosse fix­ture Doug Ot­ten as its head coach.

Ot­ten spent the past two sea­sons as an as­sis­tant coach with the La Plata var­sity girls lacrosse team. Be­fore that he was Thomas Stone’s var­sity girls volleyball coach for six sea­sons. He also helped out with the Cougars’ var­sity boys lacrosse team. For the last eight years, he’s also coached boys and girls travel and re­cre­ation lacrosse.

“It’s go­ing to be dif­fer­ent; I guess I’m a lit­tle ner­vous,” Ot­ten said in a tele­phone in­ter- view with South­ern Mary­land News­pa­pers. “I’ve been coach­ing high school [re­cently], so it’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent mov­ing from there to han­dling a lot more stuff as far as the col­lege level. It’s not Di­vi­sion I, but as- there’s still a lot of other pects in­volved there.”

The La Plata res­i­dent is a NJROTC in­struc­tor at Thom- as Stone High School.

“We are happy coach Ot- ten has joined the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land as our women’s head lacrosse coach,” said Michelle Ru­ble, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Stu­dent Life and Ath­let­ics at CSM, in a school news re­lease. “He has been coach­ing for 11 years and is pas­sion­ate about the sport, aca­demic ad­vance­ment of our stu­dent-ath­letes and fur- ther de­vel­op­ing the pro­gram at CSM.”

Ot­ten takes over for Joyce Arter, who coached the team its first two sea­sons.

“I have al­ways en­joyed work- ing with young peo­ple,” said Ot­ten, a 21-year re­tired U.S, Army vet­eran, in the CSM news re­lease. “I helped young sol­diers when I was in the Army and be­gan coach­ing young ath­letes when I re­tired. Now, I’m go­ing to give it a try at the col­lege level.”

When Ot­ten heard there was go­ing to be a va­cancy, he first ap­proached daugh­ter Rylee, a La Plata High School grad­u­ate who will play la- crosse at CSM.

“I kind of went to her and said, ‘So, what so you think if I ap­ply for the job?’ and she’s like, ‘What­ever. What­ever you want to do,’” Ot­ten said. “I asked her if she was sure about that and she said, ‘Well, at least I know what [type of coach] I’m get­ting.’”

Ot­ten, who was of­fered the job about three weeks ago, said he is un­sure the type of team he has, though he said he had a list of about 10 pros- pects. He said it helps that he knows many play­ers from coach­ing.

“I don’t fo­cus on [of­fense or de­fense], I fo­cus on what we need to do in or­der to im­prove upon,” Ot­ten said when asked what type of coach he is. “I’m not re­ally one to go one side or the other. I guess that’s maybe one of my strong points. I’m not re­ally a one-sided coach. There are coaches who fo­cus more on of­fense or more on de­fense; I’m re­ally not that way. I fo­cus on what needs to be im- proved and I try to hope­fully strengthen the ar­eas we’re al- ready strong in. My fo­cus is to put the best prod­uct I can on the field and ad­dress what ar- eas need to be ad­dressed.”

Ot­ten said he doesn’t know how the team fared last sea- son, but said that’s OK.

“I didn’t re­ally look into that be­cause I’m not re­ally fo­cused on that,” he said. The Hawks were 5-8, 1-7 in the Mary­land Ju­nior Col­lege Ath­letic Con­fer- ence. “I guess my thing is I’d

like to be as good as last year, if not bet­ter, and then build the pro­gram from there. The dif­fi­culty I see or one of the chal­lenges I see is it’s a com­mu­nity col­lege so you only get girls for two years and some­times you only get them for one, so it’s go­ing to be re­ally dif­fi­cult to gather a good team when you only get a short pe­riod of time to work with them.”

Bri­anne Cleary, who played for North­ern High School and at­tended Pfeif­fer Univer­sity (N.C.), and Brooke Triv­ett, who has 10 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, will stay with the team as as­sis­tant coaches, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease.

CSM, which be­gan its lacrosse pro­gram in 2015, will open its 2017 sea­son on March 8 against Anne Arun­del Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the fact [CSM] gave me a shot at it and hope­fully I bring to the ta­ble what they ex­pect me to bring to the ta­ble and hope­fully we can build,” Ot­ten said. “Short-term goals would be to come in and build a pos­i­tive pro­gram. I didn’t re­ally look at long-term, but if I did, it would be hope­fully to es­tab­lish a pro­gram that would be suc­cess­ful mov­ing for­ward and girls would want to come play for us.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.