Coach John Paul's Letter to U-M Fans and Supporters
John Paul

July 1, 2011

Dear Michigan fans and supporters:

The time was finally right. When Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon announced the elevation of men's and women's lacrosse to varsity status on May 25, 2011, all the stars had aligned. Since its founding in 1940, and continuously since 1965, the men's lacrosse team has carried on a proud tradition as one of the top club programs in the nation. The team thrived as it evolved from its pure club team roots to an eventual nationally dominant MCLA "virtual varsity" team. By the time the decision was made to elevate the program, all the pieces were in place to take Michigan lacrosse to the next level.

Building the Michigan varsity lacrosse program is going to be a process. The current Division I landscape is incredibly competitive, with an impressive and accomplished collection of teams, coaches and student-athletes. But the support this program will receive from Michigan will provide advantages that will help the team maneuver through any challenges. Our staff and athletes look forward to learning from the varsity teams and leaders who have come before us. There are plenty of road maps to success at Michigan.

I am confident that our team will handle the transition with class and dignity. Our program has always taken pride in the fact that we approached everything as if we were a varsity team. Our culture bred high expectations on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The mission of the athletic department is "relentlessly striving to make Michigan Athletics the Leaders and Best in EVERY WAY." The lacrosse team's mission has always mirrored that statement. Our goals will not change. We expect to compete for conference and national championships. We will coach student-athletes who strive to be the best on the field and off, and throughout their lives. We will make a positive impact in the community. We will develop leaders. Just like each of the other 28 varsity programs on this campus, we will make you proud to be a Michigan Wolverine.

Anyone involved in Michigan Athletics understands that when you wear the Block 'M' you represent the history and tradition of the university and every team that came before you. The Michigan lacrosse program has always respected that tradition. I am incredibly fortunate to have been a part of the last 26 years of the team's history, first as a player, then as an assistant coach, and for the last 14 years as the head coach. I am proud and honored to have this opportunity to lead the Michigan Lacrosse program into the next stage of its own tradition.


John Paul
Head Coach
Michigan men's lacrosse