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Lax Loot Program

Coaching Education Program

Lax Loot Program

The US Lacrosse Coaching Education Program presents its 2014 Lax Loot Program, rewarding US Lacrosse CEP certified coaches who show a true enthusiasm and love for the game as well as efforts in furthering their education as coaches.

  • Obtain US Lacrosse CEP Level 1, 2 or 3 certification
  • Actively improve your coaches skills - whether it be at in-person clinics, reading lacrosse blogs and commenting, building practice plans on Mobile Coach, ANYTHING that will improve you as a coach!
  • Share your strides to improving as a coach and/or some lacrosse knowledge with other coaches on social media using #LaxLoot on FB.com/uslacrosse & @uslacrosse (Twitter and Instagram)

The Loot

Coaches selected receive:

  • Trendy coaching apparel
  • Coaching gear essentials

*prizes vary depending on time of year and availability

Loot Logistics

  • One men's and one women's coach bi-quarterly (at minimum - more often if available resources allow)
  • You will be notified via email if you have won
  • You will get a mini-profile on this page/asked to submit a photo

Lax Loot Coaches of the Month

May

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."

March - This month’s recipient received Under Armour gear selected by the the CEP staff (two pullovers, a pair of socks and a hat) and a STX Crux women’s lacrosse stick.

Women’s Coach: Mia Jafari, Southfield, Mich.

March’s Lax Loot winner, Mia Jafari, recognized she needed more help on the lacrosse field this season, so she convinced her field hockey friend to accomplany her at the 2014 US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion. To make sure she got the most out of the trip, Jafari had her attend the CEP Level 1 clinic at convention in addition to the several convention sessions throughout the weekend.

Not only did Jafari commit herself to improving as a coach for her players, but she also helped with the promotion of the women’s CEP Level 1 clinic in Detroit this past January and recruiting of coaches at the local level. The result? Fifteen women’s coaches received training from all across the state.

Jafari, a US Lacrosse CEP Level 2 certified women’s coach, leads the team at Lawrence (Mich.) Technological University outside of Detroit that plays in the Wolverine–Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC), a college athletic conference of twelve colleges and universities in the U.S. states of Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.

She is the school’s first head women’s lacrosse coach, and has coached at the college and high school level. She was an assistant coach at Davenport University during the 2011-2012 season where she worked with the goalies. She also headed the girls’ lacrosse program at Northview High School in Grand Rapids helping to turn the varsity program around from last in the conference in 2011 to a second place finish in 2012.

Jafari is a graduate of the University of Oregon where as a member of the lacrosse team she played defense, midfield and attack for two years. Jafari has been playing lacrosse since 2000 when she played on the boys’ teams in East Grand Rapids. It wasn’t until 2004 that Jafari played on an all-girl team at Rockford High School near Grand Rapids.

February – This month's recipients received Under Armour gear selected by the CEP staff, a USL-branded Fox40 whistle, and one dozen balls and lacrosse stick courtesy of STX.

Men's Coach: Jason Griswold, Meridian, Idaho

Preparing for his upcoming season as the varsity assistant coach for Centennial (Idaho) HS, Jason Griswold came across a post at uslacrosse.org/blog, "Confessions of a B-Team Mom," written by Erin Smith, USL Director of Education and Training.

Griswold, a Level 1 certified coach working towards Level 2 certification, is the first men’s game USL Lax Loot winner of 2014.

The post inspired Griswold to reach out to Smith thanking her for writing the post and agreeing with her sentiments about developing players’ skills that are useful both on and off the field.

“I read your article, actually, I read it several times through,” Griswold said. “I am a former junior varsity coach, and I am a huge believer in developing the lacrosse skills, social skills, communication skills, and problem solving skills of my player. Thank you for writing this article. It’s very much appreciated, and I’m hopeful that it can open more levels of communication between coaches, players and their parents.”

Griswold went on to breakdown her blog and share with her about how it specifically related to his coaching experience.

“Jason’s email, in addition to his involvement with the sport, is encouraging and exciting for us here at US Lacrosse,” said Smith. “We realize that a lot of these coaches who achieve certification are doing so as volunteers. We want to thank every coach who has taken the time to make a positive experience for their players, and teaching them life lessons.”