It's been a long time--12 seasons, to be exact--since the men's lacrosse team has won a national championship, and Hopkins fans are hungrier than ever for a Big Win this year. John Haus knows this, probably better than anyone else in Baltimore. "There are very high expectations here, and I take responsibility for it," said the Blue Jays' new head coach, a few days after the team's opening game win over Princeton, at Princeton. (That last detail is important, since the Tigers hadn't been beaten at home since May of 1991; the Blue Jays' 12-11 victory broke Princeton's 41-game home-field winning streak.)
I spoke with Haus on the eve of the Blue Jays' second game of the
season, this one against powerhouse Loyola College. Though
pleased by his team's win over Princeton--and by the Blue Jays'
No.1 ranking in two major pre-season polls--Haus knows that his
players have their work cut out for them. Their schedule is
fiendish: after Loyola, they face Syracuse, Virginia, and North
Carolina in rapid succession. "Our guys were very excited [after
Princeton], and rightfully so," he said. "However, it's just one
game. They need to forget about it and push forward."|
Seated in his office in the White gymnasium, the 37-year-old Haus is clearly at home. Pictures of his wife, Lisa, and three young sons line his desk. On his bulletin board, crayoned drawings of hearts and choo-choo trains are tacked up next to the Hopkins schedule. Haus spent seven years at Hopkins as an assistant coach (1988 to 1994) before heading off to Washington College and taking the Sho'men to the NCAA Division III finals for three straight years. So he's familiar with more than a few faces at Hopkins, and with many alumni and fans.
Haus is a coach known for his quiet intensity. "I believe in discipline and structure. I believe in the fundamentals," he says, simply. Under his leadership, players run laps if their concentration wanes during practice, or if they forget to go to study hall. There are many at Hopkins who believe that Haus's brand of disciplined play will make the difference between the Blue Jays having a good season--or a great one; between the Hopkins men making it to the NCAA semifinals and losing, or emerging from the finals with the national championship.
For his part, Haus intends to shield his players from undue pressures to win big. Let them concentrate instead, he says, on training hard, playing hard--and enjoying themselves: "I want my 42 players to have fun out there, and not to worry about those things. That's my job."
With the arrival of spring and lacrosse season comes the magazine's annual drive for voluntary contributions. I can't resist making one additional plug here: we depend dearly on your donations to help us keep pace with the rising costs of postage and production. So please do consider showing your support to the magazine this year!
Sue De Pasquale, Editor
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