Women’s Coach: Doug Dolan, Denville, N.J.
Doug Dolan did it right. After coaching his daughters in softball and basketball, they traded in softball for lacrosse and he wanted to make sure he was doing right by them and the other girls on the team.
For the past eight years, Dolan has been coaching girls’ lacrosse and is currently the head coach for the U15 Gold travel team and assistant head coach for the U15 Select Team for Rock Den Renegades. He has gone through the US Lacrosse Coaching Education Program Level 1 and 2 curriculum and certification to be the coach he is today.
In addition to being a USL CEP Level 2 certified coach, Dolan was the director of the program for the past four years.
“All girls’ lacrosse coaches should undergo CEP training,” Dolan said. “I see so many coaches at supposedly higher levels who undergo no training. The game is about the basics then higher-level strategies. The game is also constantly evolving. You don't know what you don't know. The US Lacrosse CEP courses and online libraries are a treasure trove of information. I look back at how little I knew eight years ago, how much I know now, how much better of a coach I am now and how much better so many of our girls coaches are in Renegades and it is because of US Lacrosse and the training that is offered. Any coaches who are not taking advantage of the resources available are foolish.”
He plans on furthering his education and is working towards Level 3 certification.
April - This month's recipients received Under Armour gear selected by the CEP staff, and one dozen balls and lacrosse stick courtesy of STX.
Men's Coach: Richard Yelk, Shillington, Pa.
Richard Yelk wears many hats as a lacrosse coach. As the newly appointed head men's lacrosse coach at Penn State Berks, Yelk spent the previous two seasons as the assistant. At the high school level he has been the head coach for the Governor Mifflin HS JV boys' team for the past five years and will return to the Keystone Games this summer to volunteer his time coaching the 7/8 youth Berks County Team for the second consecutive year.
Yelk recently obtained CEP Level 3 certification and believes education is key to positive growth of the sport.
"I personally believe that anyone that coaches should have to attend the US Lacrosse CEP clinics, and become certified; it would help with the safety of the game."
The learning does not stop at the CEP clinics and online courses. Yelk attended the 2014 US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, where he attended as many sessions as he could to further his coaching education.
"I would tell anyone that is serious about coaching lacrosse, whether it be a parent or a college player, experience or no experience playing the sport, that it is a must to attend the convention," Yelk said.
Additionally, he also found that CEP certification helped him communicate to his players in a more positive manner, which has resulted in players truly understanding how dedicated Yelk is to them and the sport.
"If it weren't for them [the players] I wouldn't do what I do. Thank you to Coach Schmidt and Mr. Tulley for the opportunity to coach at Governor Mifflin, and Josh Pokrywa for giving me a position at PSU Berks a few years ago, and most importantly my wife and family for understanding all my time spent coaching."