Chestnut Hill is a 2 year old program with a well-known Head Coach that seems to be taking NCAA D2 Lacrosse by storm. We recently received the announcement that Chestnut Hill has signed on with Maverik, but since we’re not in the practice of posting Press Releases like it’s original content, we had to dig deeper.
I caught up with Brian Dougherty, All-World Goalie for Team USA (amongst other accomplishments) and Head Coach at Chestnut Hill. Brian was excited to talk about his program and it sounds like he’s got great things planned for this fledgling team. Right now, CHC is 4-3 and they have ZERO Seniors and only ONE Junior. Not bad for a squad that went 4-11 last year in their first season of NCAA lacrosse.
When Brian spoke of the decision to come to Chestnut Hill, he was unequivocal in his reasons to head to Philadelphia. “Chestnut hill is a beautiful school. Its location is ideal as well. We (also) play in the best conference in Division 2”, and he continued to say, “(and) I think things are definitely looking up in Philly”.
Coach Dougherty has serious plans for the team and plans on building a National Championship level program. Brian loves the location of the school and was also really pumped about being able to build something from the ground up. The opportunity to jump in with both feet and be a Head Coach right away was not something he was going to pass up. In fact, Brian says that Chestnut Hill was the only school he was even considering.
Brian’s arrival at Chestnut Hill was the product of good timing and opportunity for both parties. Coach Dougherty said, “The reason I never pursued being a Head Coach until this year was because I was always playing. I told myself that as soon as I retire from playing, that I wanted to be a head coach. Chestnut Hill just made perfect sense”.
Another partnership that made sense to Doc and Chestnut Hill was teaming up with Maverik Lacrosse. He said the “players love the gear” and that the opportunity to work with the best lacrosse players in the world, who are “determined to make the best lacrosse equipment in the world” was just too good to pass up. We’re sure this will be a great fit for both parties.
When we spoke about his coaching philosophy, Doc got right down to business but stayed humble, “my philosophy has been to keep things simple. Not to overwhelm these guys with a ton of things to remember. That will probably change as we all grow. My basic philosophy is to have fun, but compete every second you are on the field. We want to play a system one way and not have to adjust every week, and that will take some time”.
Chestnut Hill’s biggest win in program history came this year over Mercyhurst and Brian definitely thinks it can propel his team to greater heights, but he measured that win against a recent loss to Dominican College when asked if youth played a part in the loss. Coach Dougherty said, “I was disappointed we lost because I feel we were the better team. We were winning most of the game but couldn’t finish. It was definitely a tough loss to swallow. I guess that is to be expected with a young team, but it’s certainly not an excuse”.
Wheeling Jesuit and Seton Hill loom large on the schedule for CHC and as they’ve played a lot of home games so far, both of these road tests should do a lot for the maturity of the team. Brian’s expectations are the same as they usually are, he expects the team to go out and compete hard every day.
Doc wants the team competing for the playoffs, and eventually a National Championship, every single year. And this is yet another reason why Brian loves to play in the East Coast Conference. He says there are no games off and that forces his guys to play their hardest. And that just reinforces Doc’s basic coaching principles.