Judd Lattimore out at Michigan

Apologies for the lack of content lately. Slow season and heavy obligations for the things that pay my bills have combined to lead to not a lot in this space. Hopefully it’ll pick back up, and soon.

Michigan Lacrosse Judd Lattimore Bucknell

Now-former Michigan assistant Judd Lattimore, in his Bucknell days

A source indicated to me a while back that staff changes could be coming at Michigan, but after the Wolverines finished the year on a relatively successful note (in that they were competitive with some teams that they probably shouldn’t have been able to stick with) and nothing had happened to this point, I thought they’d made it out of the woods without any changes.

However, that’s not the case, as Judd Lattimore is no longer listed on the staff page of the official Michigan site, and I’ve heard indications that’s he’s not only gone, he’s already primed to take a position at Penn. That costs the Wolverines their only coach with D-1 coaching experience, and one of only two (volunteer assistant Keith Euker was an All-American at Loyola) with D-1 playing experience. In the end, it sounds like a lack of chemistry ended Lattimore’s tenure prematurely. A lack of results on the field certainly didn’t boost the confidence among the staff members, to say the least.

It will be very interesting to see where Michigan goes from here. Lattimore has obviously been a successful offensive coordinator at just about every stop, and even if Michigan’s offense finished just No. 55 in the nation in 2012, he could be tough to replace. What I’m nervous about (and perhaps without justification, to be fair) is that Michigan will look to the club ranks to fill the assistant position, instead of looking for established D-1 or D-3 coaches to elevate the level of play among the staff. It has the same feel of the Michigan football team firing a good defensive coordinator (Scott Shafer) after 2008, only to replace him with a host of Rich Rodriguez’s buddies, rather than the best fit for success. Again, I have no indication they’ll do that, but it should be interesting to see where John Paul goes with his next move.

The recruiting perspective will also be a factor to watch, since Lattimore served as the team’s recruiting coordinator. Will the Wolverines hold on to all their underclassman verbal commitments? Will they continue to be successful recruiting? I have full confidence that John Paul – who has recruited successfully as a club coach in the past – will continue to recruit well going forward.

Stay tuned to see the latest developments in Michigan’s coaching staff.

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15 Responses to Judd Lattimore out at Michigan

  1. Jason says:

    No way they go to the club ranks for an assistant. The four finalists for the position Judd got were all d1 guys, including some with very impressive d1 coaching resumes. JP wants someone with big ties to east coast recruiting pipelines, which can only come from the D1 ranks.

    I am more concerned with guys having to learn a new style of play, as well as losing recruits. Michigan got in the game late for the 2014 class, and losing more guys on a shallow roster to begin with could be rough. If Michigan recruits well and gets into the top 20 quickly, that will give them credibility to get in on more of the top recruits. But if they keep hovering around the 40s they may not get the momentum they need.

  2. Dave says:

    This is the best news out of the program all year. Nothing was good about this coach. He had no respect for his players and most importantly he was the farthest thing from a Michigan Man. An elite program like Michigan has no time for a muppet like Jud. He will find himself changing programs every few years because no one can work or play with him. Knowing the game is one thing but being able to constructively coach a team is another. I suggest he looks himself in the mirror and finds out who he really is. Maybe it will humble him a little. Go blue. Thank god he is gone.

    • Tim says:

      That’s actually sort of the opposite I’d heard about Lattimore. His reputation, at least, was as a bit of a players’ coach. Now, whether or not he could teach guys to actually play the game and have success doing it is another story. I do know he was frustrated at times with the limited talent pool to work with (though he had to know what he was getting himself into taking mostly club athletes up against D-1 teams week-in and week-out).

    • Reg Hartner says:

      “Elite program like Michigan”

      Get over yourself. Michigan is a great school with great athletic tradition, but they were a first year D1 lacrosse program. Elite for MCLA but the day they went D1 everything changed. Players told me they liked Lattimore it was more he didn’t fit with the rest of the cocking staff. that happens sometimes but it’s not scandalo

      • Tim says:

        My read on the situation – good coach, bad fit – is the same as yours. My sources have pretty much confirmed that, as well. There were a few philosophical things from a program perspective that didn’t mesh between the coaches, as well.

    • Cornerstone says:

      “Elite program like Michigan”.. your not serious right? You must be talking the other great Blue programs like hockey and football, same helmets different results. Check out Lattimore’s record as a player, coach, and coordinator from a real “elite ” lacrosse program like UNC before riding on the coattails of the other sports in Ann Arbor. I don’t think Lattimore is the one in need of humbling, oh wait, I guess JHU took care of that today to the tune of 18-9. Welcome to your second season of lacrosse at the “elite” level.

  3. AndyD says:

    Reg is right. Elite school. Elite athletics. Not an elite lacrosse program by any means yet. I have no doubt they will get there, but not even close now. Reg is obviously connected to players. I’m not, so I have no idea what they are saying. I do know there’s some serious culture change going on, and that process always leaves a lot of disgruntled people in its wake whether it’s a team or a business going through it. No surprise that some will have negative feelings.

    Coaches change jobs all the time. Lattimore more than most, looking at his track record. Don’t know if that says anything about him, but I wouldn’t read much into it. If the chemistry wasn’t right, it’s a good decision for him and for UM. Or maybe he just got offered a lot more money. Or maybe his wife/girlfriend/sig other got a job there.

    I’m sure JP will have plenty of good people reaching out, and I’m sure their success so far in recruiting will continue.

    • Tim says:

      Well, some of Lattimore’s job changes are pretty easily explainable. He went from Penn to North Carolina after just one year in Philly, but that was a move to take a top assistant job at his alma mater. He left North Carolina because the head coach got axed and he was a casualty of that.

  4. CKLaxalum says:

    Dave and Reg Hartner are both right and wrong. Michigan is not elite in terms of level of play(ers), lacrosse reputation, nor coaching staff. However, the Wolverines are elite in terms of facilities, academic reputation, school atmosphere, and funding (athletic department support).

    • AndyD says:

      Agree on all but facilities. The lacrosse team doesn’t have their own facilities yet. And those things you listed do not make them an elite team. That’s down the road a ways.

      • Tim says:

        Agreed, Michigan’s facilities right now are, at best, middle-of-the-road. The locker room and practice facilities are nice (not as many schools have access to both indoor and outdoor, turf and grass practice fields as you’d think), but the lacrosse offices… I doubt many schools are operating out of a double-wide at this point.

        Down the road, I’m fully confident that their facilities will be better than or equal to all but a couple schools. That’s going to take at least five years though. Things are in the very early planning stages at this point.

        • AndyD says:

          From what I’m hearing nobody will have better lacrosse facilities. But you’re right. It is going to take awhile to fundraise, plan and build them. JP may be unproven as a D1 coach so far, but he has definitely shown he can motivate people to donate huge amounts of money.

  5. CKLaxalum says:

    Gentlemen, I doubt the coach’s office matters to a player (or recruit). As you’ve said, not many teams have access to indoor (turf…former football facility) and outdoor (grass practice AND The Big House). In addition, the weight room, trainer’s room, locker room, film room, and dining facility are key…and Michigan is far above “middle-of-the-road, at best” in those departments.

    AndyD, most teams don’t have their “own” facilities. Also…academic reputation, school atmosphere, and funding (athletic department support) are a major part of any program. A team doesn’t exist independently from its school, or in a vacuum.

    • AndyD says:

      The lacrosse team has a dining facility? I doubt they have a real film room yet, and I guarantee the locker room is average at best. They are in the old soccer locker room in the baseball stadium which was converted out of storage space for soccer and was just big enough for that team’s smaller roster.

      Most may not have their own facilities, but some do. That is elite.

      There is no doubt that academics, support, culture, exposure, job placement, equipment and a host of other things all play roles in recruiting. Facilities are part of the whole. When you look at the whole, Michigan already has more than most. Some of that is certainly at or near the top of D1.

      And CK I don’t yet know if they have an elite coaching staff. They were certainly elite at the club level. Their “elite ness” at the D1 level remains to be seen. They haven’t earned that reputation yet, but they may very well be among the best for all I know.

  6. CKLaxalum says:

    AndyD, I previously mentioned that UofM does not have an elite coaching staff. Yes, D1 teams (can) have separate dining facilties from the regular student body. Depending on the school, some teams (football/basketball) eat all of their meals there. Other teams are only allowed to eat there on game days. As far as a film room, I would imagine that they use an existing one (as you pointed out, they already have a lot of these amenities).

    Also, keep in mind that even Syracuse shares the Carrier Dome, Hopkins shares Homewood Field, Princeton shares the Class of 1952 Stadium, etc. There are less than a handful of teams that have lacrosse-only facilities (Notre Dame and Denver come to mind).

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