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ISSUE 117 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 5/7/2004

New coach, new results

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor

Friday, May 7, 2004

When the St. Olaf lacrosse team decided to part ways with volunteer head coach Adam Gamradt, it was uncertain who would patrol the sidelines for the five-year old program.

Finding a volunteer, the team does not have the budget to pay a coach, with the proper experience proved difficult and as the first game loomed the team was in desperate need of a skipper. It turns out the answer was closer than expected. The solution; studio art major and Denver, Colo. native Eric Dion 05.

Dion overheard his roommate, lacrosse goalie Lance Kuehn 05, casually mentioning the situation to a friend when he decided to intervene.

Having attended a few home games for the Colorado Mammoth, an indoor lacrosse team based in the Mile High city, Dion had a general grasp of the rules and strategy of the game but admits he still had a lot to learn.

I was at a disadvantage having never play-ed lacrosse be-fore, Dion said. But I knew generally what needed to be done and was confident I would pick up whatever I didnt know as the season progressed.

Good may be an understatement. With Dion patrolling the sidelines, the Oles finished higher than any team in the programs brief history.

Even with the teams startling improvement in his rookie season, Dion does not success go to his head.

I subscribe to the Jack McKeon school of managerial thought, Dion said. The goal of a coach is too just not get in the players way and let them do what they are capable of. For what its worth, I think I did a good job of staying out of thier way.

Whatever he is doing, he will most likely get a chance to do it again next year.

They have not formally welcomed me back yet, Dion said. But I am pretty certain they are not planning on getting anyone else, so I look forward to coming back.

With the issue of his return all but resolved, the only remaining question is whether or not Dion will receive a raise entering next season.

Anything is an upgrade of nothing, Dion quipped. But the team takes care of me and have fun with the guys so it is a great experience.

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