In the middle of what mainstream sports media had called “the worst sports day of the year,” erupted the biggest news to hit the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) since Michigan going NCAA Division I. After eight years as the volunteer assistant coach of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels men’s lacrosse team, Brian Holman is leaving Chapel Hill for Salt Lake City, Utah.
Joining Coach Holman at the helm of the University of Utah men’s lacrosse program as it prepares to push for NCAA Division I status? His son Marcus and Will Manny, two former DI All-Americans turned coaches and Major League Lacrosse All Stars currently in their prime. The new staff has also retained former head coach Rick Kladis as Director of Operations, which offers up a very, very good sign.
So while it may have been a slow sports news day in the mainstream, don’t let the complainers fool you. Lacrosse had a good day. The Utes had a good day. The State of Utah had a good day. And you probably had a good day too.
Please find the Utes’ press release below along with a short video interview we shot with Coach Holman following UNC’s National Championship win in May.
Utes Hire Brian Holman As Head Coach, Program Sets Sights On Move To D-I
SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah Men’s Lacrosse team announced today that Brian Holman has been hired as the head coach and will be taking the reigns effectively immediately. With the hire, the team moves into preparation mode in hopes of becoming the newest school to add men’s lacrosse at a Division I level.
Holman has spent the last 8 years as an assistant coach at North Carolina with varying responsibilities. Fresh off the heals of a National Championship, his most noted position was that of goalkeeper coach but also ran the substitution box and helped coordinate the offense with main offensive coordinator David Metzbower. Holman also oversaw all UNC camps & clinics which grew exponentially during his tenure.
“I’d like to thank Joe Breschi for allowing me be a part of the Carolina lacrosse family,” said Holman. “Honestly it was one of the greatest experiences in my life. It was an honor to coach at such a great institution and coaching great young men and will be an experience I will carry with me the rest of my life.”
Holman played collegiately as a goalie at Johns Hopkins in the early 80s where he won the National Championship as a Freshman in 1980 and helped the Blue Jays finish second in the following three seasons. Holman also coached at Johns Hopkins, was an assistant at the Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, head coach in the Maryland Youth Lacrosse Association and had a stint as head coach of the Breaker’s Club Lacrosse Team in Baltimore, Maryland.
“My family and I are honored to become part of the Utah Lacrosse program and university,” said Holman. “We are so excited for the opportunity and challenge that has been presented to us and we cannot wait to get to work. I would like to thank the university and the Founders Club for giving us the chance to bring the highest level of lacrosse to Utah and the West.”
Joining Holman will be his son, Marcus Holman, and Will Manny.
Marcus Holman joined the MLL after graduating from North Carolina in 2013 and is currently playing for the Ohio Machine. Holman is a versatile attackman who currently leads the team in goals with 32 and has 13 assists on the season. Holman also plays for the United States indoor and outdoor teams.
“I’m looking forward to this unbelievable opportunity to grow lacrosse in the Western part of the U.S. at the University of Utah,” said Marcus. “I can’t wait to get my feet on the ground with this incredible staff and positively impact the U of U program. Along with this opportunity comes a chance to inspire the youth lacrosse players of the Salt Lake City area, which is something I’m very passionate about.”
Manny is an attackman for the Boston Cannons and is a UMass graduate. Manny leads the Cannons with 25 goals, 18 assists and 45 points. Manny was in the top 2 for goals, assists and points in the 2014 and 2015 seasons for the Cannons.
“I am beyond excited to continue my coaching career at the University of Utah with both Coach Holman and Marcus,” said Manny. “After the last two years coaching Division I at Wagner College and receiving my masters degree, I fell in love with the profession and have made it a lifestyle. Heading West to Utah and growing the game is an opportunity of a lifetime. The plans we have in place for the near future are tremendous. I can’t wait to be a part of the Utah Family and community!”
Both Manny and Marcus led their respective teams in points in the 2016 MLL All-Star game last weekend. Both were also Tewaaraton finalists, Manny in 2012 and Holman in 2013. The two will lead the offense.
“My staff and I truly look forward to ingratiating ourselves in the Utah lacrosse community and being an asset in any way possible I am also incredibly fortunate to bring with me some of the most passionate, dedicated, assistants in the game in Marcus Holman and Will Manny,” said Holman. “We look forward to what the future brings. With the landscape of lacrosse growing and evolving nationally, the program will look to make the transition to become an NCAA Division I team as soon as possible.”
Former Head Coach Rick Kladis has been named the Director of Operations for the program and will remain part of the coaching staff as a general Assistant Coach for Holman.
“After putting my heart and soul into building this program for the last 8 years, I’m thrilled to have Brian taking the reigns,” said Kladis. “Having the opportunity to work with this new staff is just a dream come true.”
The Utes will continue to compete in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) and open up the 2017 schedule against the Chapman Panthers, the defending MCLA D-I National Champion, in Orange, CA on February 16, 2017.