Editor’s Note: As part of our ongoing Fall Interview Series, we bring you a check-in with Adam Sear of Ferrum College Lacrosse. Ferrum is a one year old NCAA Division III lacrosse program, and Adam Sear is now the Assistant Coach there and Recruiting Coordinator. Sear played his college ball at Maryland, is originally from Perth, Australia, and played for the Aussie National Team in Manchester in 2010.
Please give us a quick history of Ferrum Lacrosse. How long have you been involved with the program?
The thing about our history is that there is almost none. Our program had its inaugural season last year (2010-11) and it was a successful year for coaches and players alike. There was a club team here in the 80’s and 90’s but the team itself never had the opportunity to achieve NCAA
status. I had the opportunity to join this program in January of 2011 and it has been a blast ever since. Coaching here is an opportunity unlike any other and we’re looking forward to building not only our history, but also a rich tradition of success here at Ferrum College.
What are Ferrum’s goal for the 2012 season? What can we expect from the team? And what are the overall goals for the program over the
Our goal is to build a successful program quickly. Now this is easier said than done but we have made great strides in the year and a half that we’ve been working together as a group. Our guys are buying in to the mindset of “hard work produces good opportunities”. No one is going to hand us respect; it is something that needs to be earned, and our guys are very hungry to prove themselves. We would like to carry our momentum from last year into this year without taking any steps backwards. I heard someone say “you’re either getting better or getting worse, you don’t stay the same”. And that is something as a coach I want our guys to be thinking. Lets build up and build off of previous lessons to progress from our 6 win season in the Spring of ’11.
In the long haul we want to be nationally ranked. We speak about a “process” here at Ferrum. Do not let the overall end goal dominate your thought process, but rather, think about the little things you need to do to get better, which will help you achieve the overall goal. That is something that we constantly remind our guys of, and it seems to be creating a positive and competitive atmosphere so far.
Have you guys established a recruiting base? Is there a certain region you focus on, or a type of school (e.g. prep, public, parochial, private)?
As a new program we haven’t really found our niche in terms of a recruiting base. That being said our team is largely from Virginia, but we do represent 8 different states, those being Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Colorado, New York, and North Carolina. We
are having some good success in certain areas but as I said, we are yet to find a single solid recruiting base that we rely on.
What kind of players are you looking for at Ferrum? And what style of play do you hope to get out of these players?
Our mindset is blue collar. That has been our mindset from day one. We want kids that will sacrifice personal accolades for the betterment of the team. Its cliché to say this but we really mean it. Egos can be toxic to a team dynamic and as a coaching staff we have no time for it. Our
situation in terms of location is a unique one and we’re looking for people who want to buy in and work to earn the respect of our peers.
What are the school facilities like? Dorms? Athletic Facilities? And where are the institutions academic strengths?
Our facilities are only getting better. The school is currently in the process of building what we have called the “Hank Norton Center” which is a 29,000 sq foot, 5.5 million dollar athletic facility devoted solely to Ferrum Athletics. This building will have a 4,000 sq ft weight room, two in ground whirl-pools and brand new locker rooms which will be available to all Ferrum athletes. In the next year we will be renovating our stadium press box which will only add to its athletic dominance.
Our academic strengths are stretched over 32 different majors and 34 different minors. Our prominent departments are Environmental Science, Criminology, as well as both Business and Health Sciences. Our Environmental Science department is actually the second oldest department of its type in the country, behind Stanford which was only founded three or four weeks before Ferrum’s. As for our dorms they are very nice. We have just built four new dorms in the last 6 years to help with our increasing enrollment. Our freshman dorms are just like any other school in the country. They are sufficient but as you move up in class you are definitely rewarded.
Can you give us a rundown of the Coaching Staff?
Our coaching staff is small. There is only the Head Coach, Mark Frey and myself. Coach Frey is a native of McLean,Viriginia, and played his college ball at Ohio State and then later transferred to Western Maryland which is now known as McDaniel (NCAA D3). Before taking
his position here at Ferrum College, he spent the last 10 years out in California where he was an Assistant Coach at Chapman University and the Head Coach at Loyola Marymount University.
Where do you fall on the gear spectrum? Are you going Oregon football, or are you keeping it classic like Penn State?
Mate, we are DEFINITELY going for the Oregon style. Our colors are black and vegas gold so the uniform combos are endless. Our guys are geared up better than some other D1 programs. We provide our guys with two helmets (home and away) with argyle stickers, 2 sets of uniforms, Nike Huarache III’s, Nike Pegasus 28 running shoes, Nike sweatsuits, STX Cell gloves and arm-pads, Nike Dri-Fit polos, custom Adrenaline socks… Okay, I think I’ve said enough. We definitely like to look good and you know what, if our guys are happy then we are too. We would also like to thank our vendors at South Swell Sports for helping us out with all our gear.
Ferrum is one of many relatively young programs out there… what can a new program do to compete right away?
I am very new to the NCAA coaching lifestyle but I think it solely falls on recruiting. Recruiting is such an important part of what we do and that’s how you build programs. Now in saying that I think the support of your athletic department and your school is very important as well. There are so many people behind the scenes that make it all possible for us coaches to do what we do.
Who is on your schedule for 2012? Any games you’re particularly looking forward to?
Our schedule next year is a very competitive one. To name a few we have Washington and Lee, Hampden-Sydney, and Randolph-Macon on our schedule for 2012. One game our squad is definitely looking forward to is our game against Christopher Newport University. Our
school has a definite rivalry with them and the lacrosse teams are no different.
Why did you choose to coach at Ferrum? What was it about the school and program that drew you in as a coach?
The reason I chose to coach at Ferrum College was the overall opportunity that the school showed. To be part of something new and creating tradition is something special. It is also a great opportunity for me as a young coach to not only get my feet in the door but to go up
against some of the best D3 programs out there. I also can’t say enough about my Head Coach, Mark Frey. He has given me the opportunity to coach the way I want to, obviously under his guidance, but it’s great to have someone who has confidence in your ability to perform.
Why did you decided to stay in the US after graduating? And do you plan on returning to live in Australia at some point?
I wanted to experience life out of college in the States. I had an unbelievable experience in College Park as a student-athlete at the University of Maryland and I wouldn’t wish anything different. But you know the saying “good things don’t last forever”? Well, I wanted to explore my passion of lacrosse through a different vantage point and it is definitely proved itsself to be a challenging decision.
Will you be staying in shape and vying for a spot on the 2014 Aussie team that will play in Denver? 2010 was a pretty solid showing!
I will definitely admit that my playing has fallen on the back burner a little because coaching has become such a passion of mine. I’m actually training for a half marathon at the moment, which is definitely keeping me in shape. 2014 is a decision that I would never take lightly but as for now its definitely up in the air.
What do you think of the new Maryland Football uniforms? You’re an alum now, so you can be honest!
Mate, I’m ALL FOR THEM! Props to them for breaking the mold and going for it. As an alum, that red, white, black and gold is very close to my heart so the more of it, the better!
Ferrum is a much smaller than UMd… by just a bit! are you enjoying the more intimate experience?
The smaller schools is definitely different. However, it is as you say, a more intimate experience. The relationships I have formed with not only our athletic department but the whole school have been awesome.
Thanks for taking some time off of the Recruiting and Coaching beat to speak with us, Adam! Best of luck to Ferrum College in 2012! Want more 2011 Fall Interviews? Make sure to check out Michigan, Wesleyan, Denver and more!