DePauw’s first and only lacrosse coach, Carl Haas, resigned on Aug. 16 from the program he was instrumental in founding. Haas has accepted a job as an assistant coach at Ohio Northern University.
His final record as DePauw’s head coach surmounted to a 15-44 record, despite adversity in the program’s first seasons. Although his career win total was small, the team’s regular season record steadily improved from 0-14 in the 2013 season, to 6-9 in both 2015 and 2016 seasons.
DePauw University’s Athletic Director, Stevie Baker-Watson, applauded Haas on his ability to not only start, but improve the program from its inception. When asked about the difficulties of starting a new NCAA program, Baker-Watson said, “In starting new programs, it is very fast. Normally, you give a coach a full academic year and a full recruiting cycle, but that was not the case with this. So he got things off the ground and did everything from ordering equipment and developing a schedule for a brand new program.”
Baker-Watson said Haas was “able to keep the program together for the past four years and we are very thankful for that.”
Haas’ resignation comes during a busy time for the DePauw athletic program as Blake Allen was announced to return as head coach of the baseball program and the introduction of Shea Davisson as DePauw Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach and Aquatics Director.
Haas’ decision to resign is close to the reception of new recruits and the beginning of fall training, and the athletic department has a short amount of time to fill his vacancy. Baker-Watson elaborated on the difficulty of hiring a coach so late, “Coaches and those who work in athletics are very loyal to their institutions and we have a very difficult time hiring during this time of year.”
Stepping up to fill the whole, will be assistant coach Sean Kulczyk. Kulczyk, who was hired this year, will take over day-to-day operations during the search process.
Despite Haas’ decision to resign, DePauw lacrosse has retained their recruits who committed last spring. Although DePauw has retained its incoming talent, the normal sixteen-day non-traditional fall schedule and training will undoubtedly change.
Haas leaves a legacy as one of the founders of the program, but DePauw lacrosse has had a difficult time retaining recruits, and current players feel Haas is responsible.
Senior Richard McGowan, who played his freshman year, is considering returning to the squad. When asked about Hass, McGowan said, “I don’t think he was the right fit for DePauw lacrosse, and his methods made me and others hate showing up every day to play a sport that we loved.” McGowan continued, “it made a lot of talented players stop playing and really stunted the growth of the program.” Current players have been told by Baker-Watson that they will play a role in the hiring process.
Despite Haas’s departure and the team’s lack of a head coach, senior Eric Speer is optimistic. “I think the future of the program is extremely bright,” Speer said, “We are returning seven seniors who made huge impacts. We also have a great recruiting class with players from across the country”.