Bill Tierney, Jason Lamb, and now Flip Naumberg. The coaching carousel is in full motion right now in LaxNation. The long time CSU coach announced on his always entertaining “Flip’s Journal” Blog that he is stepping down as head lacrosse coach of the Rams.
Flip has been dealing with undisclosed personal issues this season, leading to a leave of absence from the Rams this year, but had been the coach for 14 years.
Excerpt from Flip’s parting journal entry:
In the spirit of trying to do what is right for CSU Lacrosse I am going to take a step back from head lacrosse coach this year. It has been a very hard decision to make. Alex Smith has been my assistant for several years now, and I feel that it is time for him to spread his very capable coaching wings and to be even more or officially in the front of the cockpit and flying the program plane. I will assist him in that as much as I can…
..I am sorry about the way things went this year. I know I made it hard on everyone, the players, the coaches, and the parents and families with my personal issues. It was never my aim to bring the program down. Everyone did a great job, and really we came very close to getting to some pretty lofty goals in spite of it all. The team improved so much during the season, and I think that was clearly evident by how close we came to beating Chapman, the eventual finalist, at the MCLA championships after losing badly to the Panthers earlier in the year.
CSU (along with a other dominant teams like UCSB) was one of the early examples of what a true “virtual varsity” program should be when many other teams were still glorified beer league squads. Flip, like Jason Lamb at BYU, was one of the coaches to help lead the dramatic shift in “club” lacrosse out West. Say what you want about CSU (and I have 4 years worth of good and bad memories..going back to their All-American D-pole Plonkey lighting people up, getting scored on from a mid-field blast my sophomore year, and finally beating them in OT in the ’07 semi-finals) but they always attracted talented lacrosse players with a brash style all their own. Flip may have been more or less a figurehead in his final few years as HC but you can’t overlook the impact he and the Rams have had on the USLIA / MCLA during his tenure.
I wish him the best of luck and will really miss his zany journals with often hilarious music quotes. Hopefully we can convince him to keep covering the game on CSUlacrosse.com and sharing his POV with the lacrosse world.
- 412lax’s blog is reporting on Flip’s departure as well.