A bagel with Coach Nagle:

Senior Russ Bonanno
 
Senior Russ Bonanno
 
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Oct. 19, 2011

Stony Brook, N.Y. -

Stony Brook head men's lacrosse coach Jim Nagle recently sat down with GoSeawolves.org to talk about taking over the program among other things. Here's what he had to say.

On his thoughts about Stony Brook so far ...

It's been great.  As some people know, I grew up in this great community, so it's real good to be home.  I've been so impressed with the enthusiasm and spirit this school has about its athletics program.  The homecoming game against Lafayette was unbelievable.  To see our student body and our alumni come back and support Stony Brook made me real excited about my team and getting our season going.  This place has changed so much since I grew up here, and I'm ready to get things started. 

Differences between Colgate and Stony Brook ...

What stands out the most is the size.  Jim Fiore and the athletic department really care about the lacrosse program here, as evident by not only hosting two NCAA quarterfinals at LaValle Stadium, but also the 2011 and 2012 Women's Championship.  They want to do whatever they can to make men's and women's lacrosse successful at Stony Brook. 

On early practice and fall season ... 

I've had to make some adjustments personally.  When you're at the same school for 10 years, there's some residual changes to be made.  You don't have to go over so much because philosophies have been built up over time.  I didn't realize how much I had to slow things down and re-teach my entire system.  And that's ok.  I'm going to be learning as much as these kids are about my way of coaching.  The kids have been great though. 

On his new assistants, Craig Gibson and Andrew Watkins ...


 

 

Andrew will be working with our defense.  He played for me at Colgate, so we're very similar in our approach and philosophy.  I'm excited for Andrew and his opportunity to work with some talented players in the program.  Craig is great with the guys.  His ability to teach the fundamentals, string sticks, and develop our guys' offensive prowess is very important.  You really can't have offensive success without skill development, and that's something Craig brings to the table.

On recruiting efforts ...

I think regionally it's going to be about 50 percent Long Island, 25 percent surrounding areas like Westchester County and even further up north, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and about 25 percent Canadian.  Those are our niches, and places I think we can be successful to land the best student-athletes to come to Stony Brook.

On tournament at Loyola involving Greyhounds, Villanova and Siena ... 

We've been trying to learn and implement a new system of play, so we'll look to see how that's been going.  We're not really worried about results, but mostly about competition and executing the fundamentals we've been working on.

On 2012 schedule ...

It's going to be easier to get home games at Stony Brook than Colgate (laughs).  Hopefully teams will want to come to Stony Brook in February and March than they did at Colgate.  But we're going to play Towson, Delaware and Virginia this season, and we've added Maryland for 2013.  The fortunate thing is that a lot of schools want to come to Stony Brook and play at LaValle Stadium.  That's been a welcomed change. 

Coaching against Patriot League vs. America East ...

A lot of that is to be determined.  You got coaches like Zimmerman at UMBC, Marr at Albany and Lawrence at Hartford.  I have a lot of respect for those guys as well as what Vermont and Binghamton have done over the years, having played them when I was at Colgate.

On what fans are going to see in 2012 ...

I think they'll see a group of guys who will pull together and compete.  I think it will be a little different style of play.  I don't think we're going to be in 21-14 games, but closer to 10-8

On what attracted you to Stony Brook ... 

The commitment to lacrosse, first and foremost.  Jim and the department really emphasize the program as one Stony Brook must be good in.  I'm excited to be part of a growing tradition of Seawolves sports.  

On taking over a team that loses quite a bit of talent ...

It's certainly unique, but there's a realization that the returning guys are talented and they have to play a different way to succeed.  They've been real receptive.  I've tried to make sure they don't compare themselves to the past and just worry about the present.