Gator Watch: Fall Ball Part One

Gator Watch: Fall Ball Part One

We're digging in The Swamp and tracking Florida's MCLA program all fall.

Coach Hanrahan's outfit finished the 2023 campaign on a two game losing streak in the national tournament and conference tournament after running off a nine victories in a row.

What's next after a 12-3 season?

Senior James Dugan, his 6'5" frame, and team leading 40 points have moved on.

Two way middie Tyler Yarnall, defensive middie Thatcher Kelly, and top cover man Kenny Geremia are also among the key graduation losses.

However, five of seven All SELC athletes including all four All Americans are back in Gainesville.

A question MCLA coaches often wonder is, how are successful programs run?

Are the students in charge? Does the coach make every decision? What are the expectations of the program?

Coach Hanrahan has been the top man since 2017. He's had just two losing seasons with one of them being a pandemic mangled 2021.

We asked, how much better is the program overall now compared to your first couple of seasons?

That’s a hard question for a coach to answer I think. A lot of this job and what we evaluate has very little to do with the W/L column.

I was hired by guys who wanted to change the culture and who wanted to strive for greatness. They set this all in motion and believed in it.

So, I guess it depends on how we are defining “better”. Those early teams had great culture, some great talent. Our whole enterprise today benefited from their efforts.

Now, I think I can confidently say that the talent and depth these days is at an all-time high. That’s in part due to our efforts, but also probably a result of the changing landscape of the sport/the MCLA as a whole.

The desire was there from the guys on day one. We’ve learned a lot in 7+ years, so of course we have improved incrementally every year.

Talent and depth are at an all time high.

That all makes for a pretty good combo and explains a lot of our current success.

From a purely objective standpoint, I guess you can just look at our national ranking in 2017 and our national ranking in 2023 and make your assessment.

Coach Hanrahan

The Gators are a month away from competing against the alumni in what's always a special fall weekend for lacrosse programs around the country.

A deeper dive into Gator returners and newcomers is on the way.

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