Zimmerman stays at UMBC Hopkins lacrosse pool lacks head coaching experience at Div. I

July 03, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The soap opera that is the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse coaching search took another twist yesterday as UMBC coach Don Zimmerman abruptly withdrew his name from consideration three days after interviewing for the position.

Zimmerman, who won three national titles and posted a 73-15 record as coach of Hopkins from 1984 to 1990, was considered one of three front-runners for the vacancy. He stepped down at Hopkins in 1990 after a 6-5 season.

"I've spoken with my athletic director [Charles Brown], and I've decided to stay here at UMBC," said Zimmerman, who led the Retrievers to their first Division I NCAA tournament last spring. "Through the whole process, I've come to appreciate the support from both the Hopkins and UMBC communities."

Zimmerman, who interviewed at Hopkins on Monday, joins Princeton coach Bill Tierney and former North Carolina coach Willie Scroggs as those who asked to have their names removed from consideration. The Blue Jays began interviewing applicants Monday, one week after forcing out Tony Seaman as coach, and their initial list of seven candidates has dwindled to four.

"My decision is based on the kids I've recruited," Zimmerman said. "I owe them the same loyalty I expect them to give to me and the program. It's a tough decision, but I couldn't be happier."

With Zimmerman gone from the list, the Blue Jays are left with a candidate pool that has no Division I head coaching experience. The remaining finalists are Washington College coach John Haus, former Gilman School coach John Tucker, Maryland offensive coordinator Scott Marr and Hopkins defensive coordinator Brian Voelker.

Several college lacrosse sources have indicated that the Blue Jays will choose Haus or Tucker and could make a decision as early as today, when the selection committee will meet again.

All the candidates went through a five-hour screening process earlier in the week, which included interviews with athletic director Tom Calder, the selection committee, four players and a faculty panel.

Calder declined to comment on Zimmerman, saying, "The search committee will get together [today] and will discuss everything."

The two front-runners, Haus and Tucker, both have ties to Zimmerman.

Haus, who interviewed on Tuesday, served as an assistant under HTC Zimmerman in 1987, when the Blue Jays won their most recent national championship. In Zimmerman's final two seasons as coach (1989-90), Haus was Hopkins' defensive coordinator.

Tucker was an honorable mention All-American midfielder on Zimmerman's first Hopkins team in 1984, which went 14-0 and captured the Blue Jays' fifth national title. Tucker, whose wife, Janine, is the women's lacrosse coach at Hopkins, spoke with officials on Monday.

Pub Date: 7/03/98

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