Veteran coach Geoff Hall is bringing his life-long love of lacrosse to Cayuga Community College as the new coach of the Spartans' Men's Lacrosse Team.
With almost three decades of coaching experience, Hall is excited to establish Cayuga's new men's lacrosse program, which is scheduled to begin competition in the spring of 2021.
"I looked at this opening to coach at Cayuga and start a new program, and I said it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I'd be kicking myself if I didn't jump on board," said Hall. "I believe in coaching to players' abilities, letting them develop and find their style of play to help give them confidence."
The son of prominent Central New York lacrosse Coach Tom Hall, he played lacrosse locally at Fayetteville-Manlius High School before competing on national runner-up teams at Cornell University and Washington College. He returned to Central New York after finishing college, serving as a volunteer and assistant coach at Fayetteville-Manlius, Cicero-North Syracuse High School and Le Moyne College.
Starting a new program is a challenge, said Hall, but he also pointed out that programs at two-year colleges offer student-athletes the chance to get on the field and compete right away.
"You see a lot of smaller four-year schools across the country launching lacrosse programs with huge rosters. But sometimes that means players end up barely getting on the field for a year or two," said Hall. "With two-year schools like Cayuga, you're going to get on the field a lot, and you're going to get a high-quality education at an affordable price without the student loan burden."
During years of playing and coaching lacrosse, Hall said he's developed fresh ideas to help the team get started and compete. But much of his coaching philosophy is founded in giving players confidence and getting teammates to believe in each other.
"Players competing as a team and believing in each other, that makes the difference in making a team successful," he said. "That puts them in the best situation to be competitive, and that's what it is about. If you execute the fundamentals and play as a team, success will follow."
Hall has been busy recruiting players, though those efforts have been complicated as schools and club teams shut down spring sports due to the coronavirus. He said he's looking for dedicated student-athletes who are looking to continue playing lacrosse and may need a year or two to develop their skills before trying to play at a four-year school.
At the same time, coming to Cayuga gives those players a chance to explore possible careers and start their college education, he said.
"My approach is more about developing a student-athlete, giving them the chance to keep playing but also helping to guide them toward a career. I want to make sure they have the tools to succeed in their next step, whether it's a career or a four-year school," said Hall.