Holman and Manny Believe Utah is the Next Denver


Ohio Machine star Macrus Holman followed his father, coach Brian Holman, to Utah lacrosse.

Will Manny was with the Boston Cannons one Thursday night over the summer, getting ready for another game, when he got an unusual call. It was Brian Holman, the North Carolina assistant with whom he had worked at camps and clinics but usually corresponded via text before speaking over the phone.

It must have been important.

“What do you think about the University of Utah?” Brian Holman asked Manny.

Utah? Manny, who was looking for a coaching job, never gave it a thought. Holman explained that he was considering taking over the lacrosse program at Utah and bringing along his son, Ohio Machine star Marcus Holman.

The mission was simple, yet farfetched: Build Utah, currently an MCLA team, into a Division I program and spark local interest in lacrosse. After talking for 45 minutes, Manny was ready for the challenge.

“It was an automatic yes for me,” Manny said.

Manny and the Holman family are preparing Utah for the 2017 club season, with the hope that the program will reach the Division I level in the next two years.

Fuel for Change

M. Holman: “After playing for my dad my entire life, I jumped at the opportunity to coach with him. I was ready for something a little more stable.”

Manny: “After my first year at Wagner, I fell in love with coaching. I knew what my career path was going to be. I’ve always done camps and clinics with the Holman family. The decision to try and grow the game, continue my coaching path and start this Pac-12 conference opened my eyes.”

Life in Utah

M. Holman: “Geographically, this place is unbelievable. Salt Lake City is very unique. The mountains are 10 to 15 minutes away. That immediately drew me in. Culturally, it’s a little bit different. I’ve never lived on the West Coast, so it was a little bit different.”

Manny: “It took me by surprise when I got to see the mountains flying in and the facilities where we’d be working, how beautiful it is, how I can go snowboarding again. I could really focus on myself and work with Marcus and just be pioneers.”

Lacrosse in Utah

M. Holman: “It’s what Denver was 10 years ago. Denver always had a love for lacrosse, but it didn’t really explode until Bill Tierney moved out there. It just kind of snowballed from there. We’re trying to create a similar effect here.”

The Recruiting Pitch

Manny: “We’re going to make it the next hotbed. Kids that come from the East Coast, see how beautiful it is here and they fall in love with it. The West Coast kids, it’s great for them. It’s like having a Syracuse or Virginia right in your backyard.”

Campaign for Growth

M. Holman: “Long-term, we’re thinking in five to seven years, how can we bring an MLL team here? How can we bring an indoor team here? It really is ripe as a place to grow the game.”

This article appears in the February edition of US Lacrosse Magazine. Don’t get the mag? Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

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