On Aug. 4, Utah announced that men’s lacrosse head coach Brian Holman was stepping down. This announcement came as a shock to many in the lacrosse world given the progress made at Utah and the timing of the decision.
The Going Offsides team discussed in great detail many of the likely options, along with some unlikely ones, and ventured some speculation as to why Utah and Holman parted ways.
Utah Lacrosse & Brian Holman Part Ways
Why the timing was interesting
Here we sit with three or four weeks left before most Division I teams will start practice, and Utah has no coach. Terry Foy reported just Wednesday that:
Brian Holman stepped down as head coach last week, and the timing of his departure is surprising. I was with Holman on July 31 at the UA Underclass Tournament, and Utah accepted a verbal commitment from a 2022 last Wednesday — both moves that indicate that this outcome was, at least to some degree, unexpected.Terry Foy via Inside Lacrosse
So it was surprising timing, and it was also surprising given the foundation laid and the positive momentum that Holman and his staff seemed to have. Additionally, we know that many of the administrators who had shown some degree of support for the fledgling program had moved on or retired from Utah.
Is this an issue of a culture shift within the athletic department back towards higher revenue sports? A rift between Holman’s vision and that of the new athletic director? Or is this possibly a case of a new AD wanting to install his own guy whose vision closely aligns to their own? It’s unlikely we’ll ever know as Holman strikes me as the type of guy who is too professional to badmouth a former employer.
So, Who’s next?
Social media was set ablaze as lacrosse accounts leaked possible candidates. At the top, the following names stood out:
- Sean Kirwan (Virginia assistant)
- Ryan Wellner (Notre Dame assistant)
- Bobby Benson (Maryland assistant)
- John Galloway (Jacksonville head coach)
- Jason Lamb (deep Utah ties, Virginia Southern coach)
Some more names that we personally thought of throughout our conversations:
- Chris Bates (formerly Princeton, currently Archers LC)
- John Paul (former Michigan coach, former Atlas LC)
- Andrew McMinn (Robert Morris head coach)
- Keegan Wilkinson (Marist head coach)