Women's Lacrosse Coaches Blog: Looking Forward to Team One

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It's a great day to be a Michigan Wolverine ...

I am exhausted, oops, I mean excited to update all of you Wolverine fans on the status of our first recruiting class set to arrive on campus next fall 2013 and compete for the Maize and Blue in the spring of 2014.

TEAM ONE consists of 28 individuals from 10 different states. I am especially proud of the diverse personalities, which mirror the many states we have represented from the East Coast to the West Coast. We worked hard compiling this group of individuals based equally on character and discipline, as well as athletic ability. Michigan values the meaning of the student-athlete and celebrates one's differences.

This is how the states break down: one from California, one from Connecticut, two from Illinois, three from Massachusetts, five from Maryland, three from Michigan, three from New Jersey, five from New York, four from Pennsylvania, and one from Texas.

If you needed a breath while reading that list then you just experienced how I would sum up my first year at the University of Michigan -- breathtaking!

These individuals will gather in Ann Arbor 11 months from now, when we will stand together for the first time as the Michigan women's lacrosse team, to begin our journey together. Bound by pride, character and determination, we will strive to be the best in every way. Perhaps then and only then, I will catch my breath.

Stay tuned ...


Coach Ulehla

Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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This past Saturday, we had our first annual Staff vs. Student-Athlete softball game. The game took part within the friendly confines of the Oosterbaan Fieldhouse due to inclement weather.

Let me give you some of the highlights of the two inning showdown.

First Inning Recap

The student-athletes got off to a quick start thanks to a two run homer by Detroit's very own, Jordan Morgan. After this two run shot, the offense stalled thanks to some stellar defense by the staff. Spear headed by Jeff Meyer's diving effort to attempt a double play, the staff used this tone-setting play to hold the student-athletes scoreless for the remainder of the inning.

Staff Student Softball Game Staff Student Softball Game

Other highlights included a triple play by the staff, much to the amazement of the student-athletes.

The bottom of the first inning included an offensive explosion by the staff. C.J. Lee led off with a single, warming up the bats of the staff. The bats did not cool off until a total of seven runs were scored, much to the dismay of the student-athletes. Ben Belanger and Damon Grosz both hit two run homers to lead the staff's effort. Other highlights included me tweaking my hamstring on the way to first after a beautiful single through the middle infield. The staff also utilized some strategy, secretly planning for Bacari Alexander to strike out, causing mass laughter by the student-athletes. The plan worked to perfection, resulting in the student-athletes putting their guard down and Damon Grosz supplying the two-run blast to end the inning in a 7-2 score.

Staff Student Softball Game Staff Student Softball Game

Second Inning Recap

Taking advantage of some throwing errors by the staff, the student-athletes thought they would have enough to close the scoring gap. With their backs against the wall, they managed to produce three runs at the top of the second inning but ultimately fell short of their goal of tying the game or taking the lead.

With the victory in hand and nothing to play for, the celebration was on. The purely ceremonial bottom of the second inning resulted in the complete cooling of the bats for the staff. A pitching change executed by the student-athletes replaced Peoria's Max Bielfeldt, who was torched for seven runs in the first inning, with Lake Forest's Matt Vogrich, who threw a one-hitter in relief.

Final Score: Staff 7, Student-Athletes 5

Staff Student Softball Game Staff Student Softball Game


In response to the buildup, intensity, and outcome of the game, a few members of our program issued the following remarks.

Catcher, Bacari Alexander, Assistant Coach.  "U CONSCIOUS!"

Left Fielder, Travis Conlan, Director of Basketball Operations. "There were reports of an unidentified flying object in left field, making all kinds of winning plays. The players thought Megatron only played football."

Right/Center Fielder, Peter Kahler, Video Analyst. "Fellas, stick to hoops!"

Shortstop, Tim Hardaway Jr., Student-Athlete. "Yeah, we lost. I can accept that. But anyone who strikes out twice can't say anything to anybody. U CONSCIOUS!"

First Basemen, Jordan Morgan, Student-Athlete. "No comment."

Staff Student Softball Game Staff Student Softball Game

All in all, the event was tremendous. We had a great time and we will laugh for a long time about some of the moments that took place. We are all about making memories for our student-athletes here at Michigan!

Go Blue!

- John

Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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It has been a quiet week inside the basketball offices here in Ann Arbor but a busy one for the program as a whole. The coaches, including myself, have been traveling extensively on various recruiting trips, working hard to bring the best and brightest here to Michigan. Our players, on the other hand, have been balancing their time between schoolwork and workouts now that classes are in full swing.

We are all gearing up for an exciting football matchup this weekend as our Wolverines take on the Fighting Irish this Saturday. Last year's nail-biting victory here at the Big House under the lights was so memorable. The game certainly lived up to the buildup.

The last couple meetings between Michigan and Notre Dame have come down to the final plays. We certainly will all be on the edge of our seats for this upcoming game.

We have a very special event planned this weekend with our student-athletes and our staff. We are going to see if the talents of the student-athletes and the staff extend further than the basketball court. I will fill you in on the details in next week's Beilein Weekly.

Best of luck this weekend to all the Michigan teams that are competing.

Go Blue!


Women's Lacrosse Coaches Blog: A New Year of Firsts

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Fall has arrived at Michigan and the excitement on campus that only the waning summer warmth can bring is all around! Ann Arbor is buzzing with students, the streets have been transformed into an ever-flowing sea of maize & blue, and athletics are in full swing once again. It's impossible not to feel the energy that radiates from Michigan this time of year as the new season brings a new year of beginnings, a new year of challenges, a new year of successes and, of course, a new year of amazing experiences!

For women's lacrosse, the fall brings a new year of firsts -- the first two players of our 2013-14 team have arrived on campus, the first workouts and practices are upon us, the first official visits to Michigan will be taken, the first National Letter of Intent signing day will be held in November, and the first full women's lacrosse class (2013) will be announced. Of course, these are a just a few of the many new firsts we will encounter as we embark on the final year of preparation before the official debut of the inaugural University of Michigan women's lacrosse team. The journey continues and the road ahead leads to a new escalating sense of excitement!

Can you feel it? Just as it's hard to ignore the flood of optimism and hope that envelops campus this time of year, it's equally difficult not to notice the enthusiastic anticipation surrounding the upcoming addition of women's lacrosse to U-M's athletic lineup. This time next year our complete team will be in place and we will be off and running, encountering a new first each step of the way as we write chapter one of Team One in our very own history book.

This year will be a special one for Michigan women's lacrosse and I can't wait to share it with you through this blog! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for a closer look at the women's lacrosse program each step of the way. I wish you a wonderful fall and GO BLUE!

Coach Valore

Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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If you have not driven by Crisler Center in a while, I encourage you to do so. It is really coming along and we can't wait to see the finished product. We thank the men and women who are working very hard to complete the Crisler renovations. We are thrilled that our fans will be able to experience big time college basketball within a big time venue.

Since my last post, school has begun and we have officially kicked off preseason workouts. The first couple of days in the classroom and on the court are organizational days. We instruct our players to really focus during these first few days because understanding now helps application later.

As our players are getting in shape to perform at a high level, Jeff Meyer and I have our own friendly competition going on in the weight room. We both are attacking our workouts to get in better shape for healthy living. I vow to keep working out five to six days a week all year long.

Jeff is a morning guy who prefers to get his workouts in early. I like the afternoons so I have been working out at the conclusion of the work day. It is nice to have a friend to push you to work out. Jeff is being a good teammate right now, and I am doing my best to keep up with the all planks, pushups and stretching he is doing.

The first home football game this weekend marks the first time we have the opportunity to bring in recruits. Football games serve as a great time to get to know prospective student-athletes and their families. The location of the William Davidson PDC gives us the opportunity to show recruits our facilities and at the same time let them enjoy a Big Ten football environment.

Go Blue!


Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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We are thrilled that the 2012-2013 academic year is about to begin. Over the next few days, our players will return to campus to start this year's journey.

Our staff is very pleased overall with how the student-athletes utilized their summer to get better in the classroom and on the court. Our guys were able to get some much deserved rest and time away from campus as well. The new NCAA rules regarding summer hours for our players worked out well. We had 16 total hours of workouts with them and I loved the togetherness and energy they showed in all of these workouts.

Our staff is energized and looking forward to the upcoming year with this group of young men. Every year poses new challenges but every year poses new opportunities. We all have a tremendous opportunity because we a part of and represent the University of Michigan.

Every person in our program is ready to attack the journey ahead one day at a time. Maximizing each day we are together will be very important with this team!

We can't wait to tune into the game tomorrow evening as our football team takes on Alabama down in Dallas.

We wish all our fall sports the best of luck in their seasons. We wish all our student-athletes a successful academic year.

Go Blue! Go Blue! Go Blue!


Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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Camp season is officially underway for Michigan Basketball!

We began last weekend with a successful Father/Son Camp in the William Davidson Player Development Center. During the camp-opening lecture, it occurred to me that the 2012 Father/Son Camp marked the first camp in program history to take place in the Davidson Center. We are very excited to utilize this wonderful facility in our summer camp program.

This weekend, we will host 100 teenagers at the College Practice Camp. We enjoy this camp because it simulates what we put our student-athletes through during the course of a practice session.

"Fathers Only" Session with Coach Beilein.Campers taking it easy between drills.

The online registration capability for camps is a step in the right direction for us. So far, the feedback we've received has been positive. Please continue to be patient with us as we work to make the camp experience a pleasurable one from start to finish.

As a staff, we are thoroughly looking forward to this summer with our student-athletes because of the new NCAA rules that allow us to work them out on the floor. The little time that we have is so valuable and we are so appreciative for it because it gives us an opportunity to lay out a foundation and establish expectations with our players.

Skill work and development.Engaging and interactive lectures.

Most of my time recently has been spent preparing for the return or arrival of all our student-athletes. I have done a fair amount of traveling over the past few weeks, so this week I am also catching up on some office work. With the construction taking place at Crisler Center, it makes us realize daily how blessed we are to coach basketball at the University of Michigan.

Go Blue!

Women's Lacrosse Coaches Blog: On the Road Again

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Whew. Where do I start? It's been quite a couple of months on the recruiting trail. My initial plan was to blog about the two trips I embarked on following California before heading out for a two-week visit of the Northeast. However, each time I sat down to update everyone on my recent travels, something came up and it wasn't until today (when I scheduled a good 30 consecutive minutes in my day) that I was able to finally sit down and write about all the exciting things that I've experienced in the last month on the road. I have been waiting patiently for the opportunity to share all the excitement with you!

After California, my recruiting travels took me to Texas, where I was able to watch some of the best teams in the state play while I was there. I enjoyed getting to know some of the high school coaches, and much like I felt in California, I was excited about the tremendous growth of the sport and the level of talent down there! The trip to Texas was extra fun and special for me because while I was there I was able to catch up with one of my best friends from college and her beautiful family who now live in Houston. Of course, she and I couldn't help but reminisce about all the good times we had playing lacrosse together!

Shortly after returning from Texas, I hopped on another plane, this time headed for Florida. While in Florida, I was able to see a number of top teams, many of them ranked nationally, as teams from near and far traveled south in search of some sun and warm temperatures during their spring break. I have to admit that I too enjoyed the 80-degree temperatures and even managed to fit in a quick trip to the beach after one morning of lacrosse! Much like my trips to California and Texas, while in Florida I was not only able to watch some very talented lacrosse players out on the field, but I also had the opportunity to meet with some very talented high school coaches, connect with them about their programs, and talk to them about our growing program here at Michigan! I really enjoy being able to get out there and let people know about all the great things going on with our program!

Most recently my recruiting travels brought me to the Northeast -- specifically, Connecticut, New York & Long Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Being a New Jersey native, I was looking forward to a trip home to visit some of the area's best high schools for lacrosse, as well as visit with family and friends. It was a long time out on the road but very productive! During this trip I was able to watch some of our future Wolverines in action playing with their high school teams. It was great fun and got me even more excited for when our players step foot on campus and out onto the field next fall!

With a good couple of weeks in the office, it's now time to hit the road again! Tomorrow morning I'm off once more to the Pa./N.J. area before heading to Maryland and eventually making my way up to Long Island for the 2012 Final Four and national tournament over Memorial Day weekend. Can't wait to check in after my trip and tell you all about my latest recruiting adventures!


Coach Valore

Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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Wolverine Nation, it has been a while and I am excited to update you about what is going on in the Michigan Basketball Program.

Since the winter term concluded, the majority of our student-athletes have traveled home for some much deserved rest and relaxation. Their time away from campus with family and friends is just as important as the time they spend here during the school year.

For the last few weeks, the William Davidson Player Development Center has been shut down because of the ongoing construction at Crisler Center. The construction workers are extending the Crisler concourse to make room for improved concession stands, restrooms, and much more! The expansion happens to extend right over the roof of the William Davidson Center, and it has forced us to leave the premises for a few weeks. We can see the giant cranes working on the Davidson Center and are excited about the changes occurring right before our eyes. Crisler Center is going to be an amazing venue when it is completed!

In the meantime, we have been working out of temporary offices in the Michigan Stadium press box. This temporary work environment has energized our staff. We have enjoyed watching the men's lacrosse team practice in the mornings or afternoons in the Big House. It is amazing the similarities in practices across the different sports. The emphasis on proper passing, proper catching, and proper spacing in lacrosse is amazingly similar to that of basketball.

We have also enjoyed seeing individuals and special tour groups run out of the tunnel and leap to touch imaginary "GO BLUE M Club Supports You" signs in Michigan Stadium.

I want to take this opportunity to once again welcome Kim Barnes-Arico to the Michigan family. We are thrilled that she is the new leader for our women's basketball program. I believe Kim is a tremendous coach, and she brings instant credibility and excitement because of her knowledge, style and experience.

Stay tuned for more updates about Michigan Basketball. I will do my best to continue updating our friends and fans on what is happening with the program throughout the summer.

Go Blue!

Women's Lacrosse Coaches Blog: Spring Has Sprung

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Spring is here and that means ... happy recruiting trails for me. My first stop before a long recruiting trip was a day trip to Grand Rapids, Mich. I was ready to get started. When I arrived at the facility just two hours northwest of Ann Arbor, I was excited to be in the state of Michigan recruiting for the University of Michigan. There was a sense of pride I felt while watching these two high school teams compete against each other. They were enjoying the true essence of the sport I hold so dear to my heart. I am happy to say that the spirit of lacrosse is in Michigan and only growing stronger. At halftime, I looked over to an adjacent field and got a thrill out of watching a team of local youth boys attempting to comprehend what their coaches (most likely parents) were saying as they tried to implement an offensive motion. These boys were tiny and couldn't have been older than 7. I love to see kids of all ages experiencing the joy that lacrosse offers. Hail to Michigan.

Next stop was the great state of Illinois in the suburbs of Chicago. As I drove past the city on my way to the high school, I was taken by the majestic beauty of the Chicago skyline. My day was filled with great lacrosse on what turned out to be a beautiful but chilly, windy day. The chill in the air was okay for me, because I got to sport all of my great Michigan adidas gear! Thank you Dave and Alec for taking care of me! BUT, I was texting with Jen who just happened to be in sunny warm Florida recruiting wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Hmmm, something is wrong with this picture. In the end, I experienced some competitive lacrosse and excellent athletes. Great job, Illinois. I was very impressed. These girls got game!

I woke up the next morning in the Iron City of Pittsburgh, Pa. I forgot what it felt like to drive on small, crowded roads. Over the hills and through the woods ... how do they get around when it snows?? I watched two teams battle it out on the field on a gorgeous evening. Is it me or are young girls getting quicker and faster? The competitive spirit is alive and well in western PA. That night, I enjoyed the city of Pittsburgh and an elaborate Italian meal ... so delicious. I was shocked by the cleanliness of the city, but where was everyone? It seemed like a ghost town. They must have gotten word that JENNYU was in town! The skyline was incredible with the river flowing freely below it. Kudos Pittsburgh!

New York, N.Y., here I come.

Oh, how I had missed the traffic, accent and classic NY road rage. Why do they keep honking at me?? I enjoyed two days in the madness watching some great lacrosse. Without a doubt NY develops some incredibly talented lacrosse players. I can't wait to go back and see more.

After a quick but wonderful night stay in Wilton, Conn., with my brother Tony and his family, I traveled up north to Albany. Three hours in the car and I found myself sitting at a high school field waiting to watch another two high school teams battle it out. This day I wish I had more Michigan gear; it was cold ... brrrrr! These two teams were quick, athletic and competitive. Girls lacrosse is alive and well in upstate NY. It was a very memorable way to end my trip.

On my flight back to Detroit, I reflected a bit. I love representing Michigan Lacrosse and can't wait to coach the young women who have made a commitment to join this fabulous journey of building our lacrosse program. There are many talented lacrosse players all over the country. I am so happy to have the opportunity to spend this spring traveling the states looking for those student-athletes that stand out among the rest as not only great players but also leaders in every way. It's an honor and privilege to wear the Blue and Maize.

Until next time, GO BLUE!

Coach U