Haus: Pressure 'all part of the job' New Hopkins coach ready to face demands

July 08, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

John Haus might not have any Division I head coaching experience, but he's not naive about the high expectations linked to Johns Hopkins lacrosse.

Haus, 36, who led Washington College to its first Division III lacrosse national championship in May, was named coach of the Blue Jays yesterday. The defensive coordinator at Hopkins from 1989 to 1994, Haus returns to Homewood to become the 21st coach in the school's storied 115-year lacrosse history.

He replaces Tony Seaman, who was forced out on June 22 by the school's alumni for not winning a national title in eight seasons. Although the Blue Jays have won an unprecedented 42 national championships and a record seven NCAA titles, they are in the midst of an 11-year drought -- the longest gap without a title in their history.

"I understand fully that there is a lot of pressure involved in this job," said Haus, who had his wife and three sons sitting in the first row at his news conference. "I take full responsibility as the head lacrosse coach here and being able to take on that. I think it's all part of the job. I am just going to come in and do the best job I can.

"The people here at Hopkins tried to find the best lacrosse coach out there to lead this program to a spot that they haven't been in a long time. When the process was over with, they obviously picked me and have a lot of confidencein me as a coach, as a leader and as someone who does things the right way."

Haus, the only person to win NCAA men's championships as a player (North Carolina, 1981, '82) and a coach, left Hopkins in 1995 to become the coach at Washington College, where he posted a 47-21 record. In his final three seasons in Chestertown, he won 41 of 54 games including eight of 10 in the playoffs as the Shoremen advanced to three consecutive championship games, winning the title this year.

The Blue Jays selected Haus from a candidate pool that included former Gilman School coach John Tucker, Maryland offensive coordinator Scott Marr and Hopkins assistant Brian Voelker. Haus announced yesterday that he will keep Voelker as defensive coordinator.

"When this position became available, he came to my mind as obviously a very strong candidate," Hopkins athletic director Tom Calder said of Haus. "During the course of the interviews, I noticed he's even matured more than when I knew him as a coach here. He's been through a lot. He's turned a program around. He's gotten kids from all over the East Coast to play for him at a small school."

Haus has yet to meet with any Hopkins players, but Blue Jays sophomore defenseman Pat Miller knows Haus from several recent lacrosse camps.

"He's a very intense guy, which I do love," Miller said. "I like the pressure and the intensity on the field. I hear he pushes you on the field and makes you work. And then off the field, he's very personable and down to earth."

Haus, who was Seaman's top assistant from 1991 to 1994, said he doesn't feel awkward replacing Seaman. Many in the lacrosse community consider the Hopkins position the most demanding job in the sport, an opinion underscored when Seaman was forced out after compiling a 77-33 record with four national semifinal appearances.

"Coach Seaman is a good friend of mine and I respect him more than anything in the world. I think he's an outstanding lacrosse coach," said Haus, who signed a contract that will be reviewed on an annual basis. "It's just I'm the lacrosse coach here now and am excited about that. And I'm sure he's excited about his new position as well."

John Haus file

Playing, coaching highlights

1980-83: Won two national championships and two Atlantic Coast Conference titles as a two-time All-American defenseman for North Carolina.

1984-87: Assistant at Loyola High School.

1988: Assistant at Johns Hopkins.

1989-94: Defensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins, where the Blue Jays allowed an average of 10.4 goals per game. Hopkins reached the national semifinals three times and had a 53-25 record during his tenure.

1995-98: Head coach at Washington College, posting a 47-21 record and three NCAA Division III title-game appearances, including the championship this year. Named Division III coach of the year in 1996. Coached 18 All-Americans, including five first-team selections.

1998: Named the 21st coach in Johns Hopkins' 115-year lacrosse history.

Coaching record

Yr, Rec., Postseason finish

'95, 6-8, No playoffs

'96, 13-5, NCAA runner-up

'97, 14-4, NCAA runner-up

'98, 14-4, NCAA champ

Pub Date: 7/08/98

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