Lubs stepping in as head coach
When the news broke that Cam Holding was leaving the Michigan State men’s lacrosse program, it was a tough pill to swallow for Spartan players and fans alike. In just three years, he had transformed them from an annual first-round out to national champions. But now that the dust has settled, the MSU lacrosse community can take a sigh of relief with the program in the hands of a familiar face.
A little over a year ago DJ Lubs was out of coaching. Since then, he has joined the Michigan State Spartans as defensive coordinator, led them to historic numbers, won a national championship and now been promoted. For the 2018-2019 season, Lubs will enter his first year as head coach for the Spartans.
“I was stoked and immediately humbled when the team offered me the position,” said Lubs. “There are plenty of great coaches in the area and especially in the U.S. that would love to be in my position and I was thankful to be in the position to be able to accept the offer and continue the work Cam started years ago while putting my own spin onto it.”
Holding leaving and Lubs taking over transpired in less than a month. It was a fast turnaround for Lubs that he wasn’t necessarily expecting.
“It left me in a whirlwind!” said Lubs. “The process happened so quickly that it hardly had time to register.”
“The toughest thing is, as a competitor, I didn't want to just be handed the head coaching position. The prideful side of me was thinking, ‘Well, you didn't really build this,’ and I had to quiet that voice because I've been working for this position my entire life. I decided that East Lansing is the best place for me.”
Once the initial excitement wore off, Lubs was forced to get right to work. Assistant coach Nate Smalls departed following last season as well which left Lubs with only face-off coach Joe Mikkelson left on the staff. As a result, his first task is a daunting one: finding replacements.
“The departure of the rest of the coaching staff stinks, but life happens,” said Lubs. “You can't replace individuals, but my plan is simple: find talented, passionate, and excited individuals who want to build something great in East Lansing.”
With fall ball getting under way this week, Lubs is ready to hit the ground running.
“Last year was an amazing ride, and we'll look to build on the strong foundation we laid last year,” said Lubs. “Improving on our own standard and continuing to improve our Spartan Lacrosse was a major part of our success last year and is one that our program firmly believes in.”
“My experience last year with the team was amazing and, I'm most excited about putting this team on display. We return a deep, hungry, seasoned roster (six All-Americans) that knows what it takes to win with leaders all over the field. This team truly enjoys each other's company and their chemistry brings an electricity that you cannot fake. I'm excited to get back to work with this team. It's going to be a fun ride.”
Now at the helm of Michigan State is someone who came off the street to lead the Spartan defense to just over six goals a game in only a year. Imagine what can happen in a few more.