Utes Add Familiar Faces to Coaching Staff
09.11.2012 - By Tim Haslam

The 2013 Utah Men’s Lacrosse Team will have new faces on the sidelines. Former Head Coach Craig Morris had to step down from his position due to conflicts with his education career, leaving former Offensive Coordinator Rick Kladis to take his place as the new head coach.

“Coach Morris did a lot of great things for the team,” said Kladis. “I learned a huge amount from working for him and I’m excited to continue building on our efforts during the past 4 years. Craig and I worked together very closely the last four years and so the transition has been pretty seamless.”

Rick Kladis & Mike Pappas

Rick Kladis & Mike Pappas

Mike Pappas will continue to serve as the defensive coordinator but will be helped by former foe, Dallas McLellan, the new goalie coach.

“Kladis gave me a call about two weeks ago informing me that he was the new head coach for the U and got straight to the point letting me know that he wanted me as his goalie coach,” said McLellan. “I took a year off from the game to work, climb and travel and this summer I decided that I wanted to be a part of the lacrosse community again. Ping is going into his senior year and I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with him.”

In addition to McLellan, Utah has added former BYU and Utah standout, Mark Manning to be the new offensive coordinator.

“I love the game and I love helping the game grow so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” said Manning. “It will be great working with a former coach. Rick and I have a relationship of mutual respect. I have known him since he was my coach when I played Team Utah back in the day and obviously I’ve worked with him as a player at the U as well. We work well together and we have the same vision for the team which is important in taking steps forward.”

Manning and McLellan know each other well, having played with and against in high school and college.

“The Waterford vs Juan Diego games were always the ones I looked forward to the most,” said McLellan. “Mark and I traveled every summer with Team Utah and then finished off our high school careers heading to the Senior Showcase. I had a great time playing goalie for Rick when he coached us on Team Utah.”

Dallas McLellan & Mark Manning

Dallas McLellan & Mark Manning at the Senior Showcase

“I’m thrilled about the staff,” said Kladis. “Pappas is able to build a very well-bonded defensive group better than anyone I’ve ever seen, and with the addition of Dallas, I’m excited about the potential of our defensive group. Mark is another ideal hire in my mind and I’m excited to work with him to build a potent offense. Having played for me, he knows me very well and of course he will have all sorts of his own thoughts to contribute. Our players will relate to him well and have a great opportunity to learn from one of the best.”

The Utes will look to win the RMLC as well as games against Arizona State, Grand Canyon, Colorado, Colorado State and BYU.

 Pictures courtesy of Haslam Photography and ShootingStar Photography

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  • Skylax2

    Congratulatoins to Kladis and the other coaches. Sounds like the team is heading in a good direction.