In his fourth season as head coach of the Michigan men's lacrosse team, head coach John Paul has continued his quest towards building the Wolverines into an NCAA power afterspending the previous 14 seasons as head coach of the University of Michigan men's lacrosse club team, compiling a career record of 241-44. Under his direction, the team earned 13 straight Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) national tournament invitations (1999-2011), reaching at least the quarterfinals every year except one. His teams captured an unprecedented three straight national club team titles from 2008-10, and 11 of the last 13 Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA) championships, including each of the last five.
The 2014 season saw several varsity milestones,as the Wolverines won a program-record five games, including the team's first-ever back-to-back wins (Mercer on Feb. 14 by a 20-7 count, and at Detroit on Feb. 19 by a 14-13 count). U-M went on to make its first postseason appearance ever after a critical ECAC Conference win over Bellarmine on March 15 and finished with a 1-3 ECAC Conference mark to secure the No. 4 seed in the tournament. U-M eventually fell to the No. 15 Fairfield Stags in the first round by a 12-5 count.
U-M wrapped up the season with the No. 11 strength of schedule in the country according to TempoFreeLax.com. The schedule featured seven ranked opponents in No. 9 Penn State, No. 5 Johns Hopkins, No. 16 Cornell, as well as No. 1 Maryland and No. 15 Fairfield (twice) and No. 13 Yale.
In ECAC awards, Jackson became the first player in school history to earn first-team honors, while Brad Lott was named to the second team as a specialist. Four players in Ian King, Mikie Schlosser, Andrew Hatton and Robbie Zonino were named to the all-rookie team. The Wolverines earned seven ECAC Weekly honors, as Jackson earned the last offensive player of the week honor in conference history on April 30 for his record-setting performance of five goals against Robert Morris.
Additionally, Chris Walker and Mack Gembis earned defensive player of the week, while Lott earned specialist honors on three occasions. King also earned rookie honors on one occasion.
On June 17, 2013, Paul was inducted into the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame Michigan Chapter for his contributions to the game of lacrosse in the state of Michigan.
In 2013, Paul continued the transition to a varsity program with his first full recruiting class. Three players in Kyle Jackson, Mike Hernandez, and Gerald Logan all earned All-ECAC Freshman Team accolades, while 22 players earned All-ECAC Academic and All-Big Ten Academic accolades. Additionally, three players in Logan, Jackson, and Chase Brown were named ECAC Rookie of the Week for their individual performances throughout the season. Following the season, the team won U-M's Rachel Townsend Award, given to the Michigan team that completes the most community service hours.
In his first season as a varsity head coach, Paul guided his squad of primarily club players to a 1-13 record in the first season of varsity lacrosse at Michigan in 2012, and landed 14 players on the Spring Academic All-Big Ten Team. Paul stressed the building of an elite culture for Team One while moving a dominant club program to varsity lacrosse on an accelerated timeline, and has assembled one of the top recruiting classes in the country for the 2012-13 season.
Prior to U-M's first season as a Division I program in 2011, Paul was named 'Man of the Year' by Lacrosse Magazine for his influence of the game of lacrosse.
The Wolverines were ranked No. 1 in the MCLA poll for the better part of the 2008, '09, '10 and '11 seasons, and concluded 2011 with an 18-1 record, the CCLA title, and a No. 3 national ranking after falling, 7-6, in the national semifinals to Arizona State.
In the final four years competing at the club level (2008-11), Paul's teams posted a 76-2 overall record, 24-0 CCLA record and won three straight national titles and four conference titles. In 2008, the Wolverines did something no other MCLA team had, completing a perfect season with a 20-0 record, culminating with the program's first national club team championship. In 2009, the Wolverines duplicated the feat by again going 20-0 and repeating as national champion. U-M tallied a streak of 50 consecutive wins from the end of the 2007 season midway through 2010, and closed the year with an 18-1 mark, a fourth straight CCLA title and a three-peat as national champion. In that three-year span, Paul's teams posted a 58-1 mark.
Seventy Wolverines earned MCLA All-America recognition under Paul, including 22 on the first team. Michigan has also boasted 38 MCLA Scholar Athletes during his tenure. His teams produced 141 All-CCLA honorees, by far the highest total in the conference. In 2008, Brekan Kohlitz became the first Wolverine selected in the Major League Lacrosse draft when he was selected in the fifth round by the Washington Bayhawks.
Away from the field, Paul's teams excelled in the classroom and community as well, maintaining a team GPA well above 3.0. Team members made regular visits to patients at the U-M Mott Children's Hospital and participated in children's reading programs and a mentoring program at local schools.
Paul has been involved with Michigan lacrosse as a player and coach since 1986-87. A three-year captain for the Wolverines, he transitioned into the coaching profession in 1989 at Pioneer High School (Ann Arbor) while still at U-M. He served as an assistant coach at Michigan while also working in the athletic department's development office for five years. Paul assumed head coaching duties for the U-M club team in 1998.
Paul brings international coaching experience as well, serving on the coaching staff of the 2002 USA West team that won the International Open division of the World Lacrosse Championships in Perth, Australia. He also served on the USA West staff when the team claimed the 2005 Asia Pacific Games championship in Osaka, Japan.
Paul served as president of the MCLA from 2002-09 and is a former member of the US Lacrosse Board of Directors (2002-05). He also served on the Executive Board of the US Lacrosse Coaches Council and on the Board of the Michigan Chapter of US Lacrosse.
Paul was drafted in 1989 by the Detroit Turbos of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League. He also played post-collegiate club lacrosse for the Motor City Lacrosse Club until 1996.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan in history (1994).
He, his wife Lisa, and daughter, Amelia, live in Ann Arbor.
John Paul's Team / Player Achievements
2 All-ECAC Conference Players
7 All-ECAC Rookie Team Members
3 MCLA National Championships
5 MCLA Semifinal Appearances
12 MCLA Quarterfinal appearances
11 CCLA Championships
1 Player drafted professionally (MLL)
70 MCLA All-Americans
22 First-Team All-Americans
38 MCLA Scholar Athletes
141 All-CCLA Selections
John Paul's Year-by-Year Michigan Varsity Coaching Record
John Paul's Year-by-Year Michigan Club Coaching Record