Next Man, or Woman, Up

Photo: Veteran Associate Head Coach Matt Brown directs DU’s prolific offense. Youthful Assistant Coach David Carle contributed mightily to DU’s appearance in this year’s Frozen Four in Tampa.

Credit DU’s athletic success to Pegg-Bradley Doppes and the DU athletics administration, especially when it comes to hiring and developing coaches.

A host of examples come to mind.

When Head Coach Bobby Muuss left the DU men’s soccer job for the prestigious Wake Forest skipper post last year, DU conducted a national search for his replacement. His eventual successor, Jamie Franks,  was already in the building. The result was a spectacular undefeated regular season and home NCAA playoff appearance. In his three years as an assistant at DU, Franks worked with the midfielders and forwards who amassed 110 goals in three seasons, ranking in the top 15 in the country in 2012 & 2013. His prior roles and responsibilities at the University of Denver included recruiting coordinator, budget manager, post game analysis of film, scouting, and assists in fundraising efforts. 

The unique part of Franks hiring was an aggressive push by existing players to elevate him to the top job. Even more unusual in this day and age – the athletics administration listened.

When Head Coach Jesse Mahoney left the DU women’s volleyball job this past season to return to his alma mater, the University of Colorado, Tom Hogan, a 3-year DU assistant head coach was plucked from the ranks. As an assistant head coach, he managed recruiting and acted as offensive coordinator for Mahoney’s successful program. He was a member of the coaching staff of the USA Women’s National Volleyball Team from 2002-2008. In September of 2007, he was named the U.S. Olympic Committee Coach of the Month after leading Team USA bounce to a 26-11 record en route to earning 2008 Olympic Games qualification. Hogan was also head coach of Team USA during the 2008 Pan American Cup in Mexico, helping the U.S. receive a berth in the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix and a fifth-place finish with a youthful team. No slouch.

Will lacrosse fall apart when legendary Bill Tierney decides to retire? Definitely not – veteran assistant head coach and offensive guru Matt Brown is in queue and ready to assume the reins of the national powerhouse.

In other DU athletic programs, there are young assistants earning their stripes. David Carle is one of the youngest assistant coaches in all of college hockey and he has already filled in for Jim Montgomery and managed a game, run lines, and managed practices. Just this past year, former  women’s lacrosse goalie Hannah Hook moved from the cage to the sidelines under Liza Kelly to begin the process of developing her coaching skills. She, like Carle, are backed by experienced assistants as well.

And the list goes on…Go to almost any athletic team at DU and the assistant coaches have the CV’s, experience and leadership skills necessary to run top notch D1 programs anywhere.

The secret formula for DU’s success is no longer a secret. When two out of every three DU sports programs either win their conference or go to the NCAA’s, they are doing it with excellent coaching.