When going through the college selection process, recruits will often make decisions based solely on the quality of the team or program they are planning on intending. However, many coaches will be the first one to tell a recruit that there is also a life outside of lacrosse. Carl Haas of DePauw University is a successful coach when it comes to a growing program, but also understands what a student should get out of a college experience.
Coach Haas has been in the lead since the start, as he became the first men’s lacrosse head coach of DePauw University in 2012. He and his players had a 6-9 record in their 2015 campaign, doubling their win total from the previous year.
We sat down with Coach Haas to hear more about the Midwest school that’s on the rise as well as some of his favorite things about DePauw. Any recruit would be happy to find a program like DePauw that’s always trying to maximize it’s potential as well as giving it’s players an experience beyond the lacrosse field.
What advice do you have for players interested in Division III schools?
First of all make sure you’re doing your homework. As far as researching what type of school it is, size, location and also gaining a feel of the school by visiting. Also, when you visit a campus you should ask yourself, if I did not play lacrosse here would I be happy? Lacrosse is a major piece of your college decision, but if you can find a school that you know you would enjoy outside of lacrosse then you are on the right path.
What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?
We can’t see every kid out there, so if somebody has an interest in us definitely reach out to us. Also, film is so important now, as it gives us insight into players that we can’t go see at every event. So if you do reach out to us, with a video or just an email make sure you tell me about your grades, as we want to ensure that any prospective recruit could handle the academic rigor of a Division III school such as DePauw.
What type of players do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?
We want to get up and down the field, we want to run and gun. We’re always looking for guys who are fast. Beyond speed, we’ll look at a guy with a great skill set and also the guy who is a raw athlete. Although we may not have the amount of time to be in contact with players, I like to believe there’s more coaching at this level. Due to the limited time that we have with players, we have to make sure that what we’re asking them to do is very clear, specific and has the ability to be accomplished.
For our system, we take the strengths that people bring to the table and make them work on our team. We use the individual strengths that these players have and fit them into our system as we’d much rather do this than narrow in one specific skill type/player throughout the recruiting search.
What areas of player development would you recommend players focus on to elevate their game?
The speed of the game at the college level is easier adjustable than most people think. It’s the mental side of things that I find is what I find high school players struggle to adjust to. Some guys aren’t exposed to this so the way to combat this and better yourself is to be the smartest lacrosse player you can be, whether that means watching film, watching high quality lacrosse or studying your own game.
What is special about playing at DePauw University?
First of all, the style of play is definitely a unique asset of our team. If you want to play early we can offer that to you if you have the right skill set. Every year we offer first year guys a chance to play as we always put out the best guys no matter the age.
Our school is definitely a hidden gem in terms of location. This is starting to show as in this recruiting class we have guys coming in from California, Texas, North Carolina and Maryland. We are starting to reach out to the coast, which is very important as we look to find talent anywhere. Also, we’re highly ranked academic institution. We give study abroad opportunities, specialized business programs and we also have Greek life options if that interests a player. We strive to take a proactive approach about the return on investment for the students. We care about student athletes and their life after school.
Are there any last pieces of advice for players and families you’d like to share?
Be honest with yourself. Say you’re a rising sophomore and a teammate commits, it will often make you feel pressure to commit right after. You need to stay the course and go at your own pace and follow your own path. There are 2-3 times more Division III schools than Division I schools, so the chances are just higher you will play Division III than Division I. Be honest with yourself, be honest with your skill-set, be honest with how passionate you are and start to understand where you fit and which school you would excel at.
ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Carl Haas or DePauw University.