Who says a coach canâ€™t have success in their first season with a team?
Butlerâ€™s Brad Stevens compiled a 30-4 record as a first-year man with the Bulldogs. Even legendary IU basketball coach Branch McCracken led his 1938 squad to a final record of 17-3.
You see, it can be done. But itâ€™s not always probable.
Look at current IU basketball coach Tom Crean, for example. In his first year in Bloomington, Creanâ€™s team won just six games â€“ the fewest in team history. Crean had a valid excuse for his teamâ€™s lack of success, though: he inherited a depleted roster that returned only one scholarship athlete.
What, then, is the likelihood of Peter Tumbas having a successful season in his first year with the IU menâ€™s club lacrosse team?
Like many teams at IU, the menâ€™s club lacrosse program has a history (albeit a short one) of success. The Hoosiers have finished in the top three of their division four of the past five seasons, winning the conference in 2006.
But like Tom Crean, Tumbas has a rebuilding task ahead of him. Tumbas replaced former coach Matt Karweck, who left Bloomington to join the coaching staff at Division I Detroit Mercy.
A team that finished 2010 with a 9-8 record, the Hoosiers return just one-third of their roster from a year ago, something that may prove problematic for the rookie coach.
Tumbas isnâ€™t concerned, though. The University of Pittsburgh graduate chose IU over Division III lacrosse schools because of the teamâ€™s potential. â€œCoaching [at IU] gives me the most opportunity to build and create right away,â€ said Tumbas, â€œrather than as an assistant at an NCAA school.â€
In his first season with the Hoosiers, Tumbas would like to compete for Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference titles immediately â€“ a tough task considering the competition.Â However, winning is not the coachâ€™s only objective:
â€œMy goal for the lacrosse program is that Hoosier lacrosse is the best part of a studentâ€™s four years at IU,â€ Tumbas said.
The Pittsburgh native is not like most college coaches. Tumbas believes that connecting with players and teaching by example will lead a team to glory.
â€œAny coach can be a brilliant X and Oâ€™s guy,â€ said Tumbas, who NFL and NHL coaches Mike Tomlin and Dan Bylsma as his coaching inspirations. â€œBut not everyone is an effective leader and communicator.â€
The coach, a Creative Writing major at Pitt, even runs his own lacrosse blog (412 Lax) to stay up-to-date with fans and future recruits.
The long-term goal for Tumbas with the IU lacrosse program, though, is that the team will, one day, become an official NCAA Division I team — something he still believes is 10 or 20 years away. A personable man with lofty goals; if anyone can lead the Hoosier lacrosse team to the promised land, itâ€™s Peter Tumbas.
The Hoosiers have just two home games remaining on the season: April 13th against Purdue and April 22nd against Miami (OH). All home games are played at Evan Williams Field, located east of the IU campus.
For more information on the IU Club Lacrosse team, visit their team webpage.