Starting a sports program from scratch may seem like a daunting task, but if Glenn Carter has proven one thing during his 16 years of coaching experience, it’s that he’s certainly not afraid of the challenge.
Carter was named Keystone College’s first head men’s lacrosse coach earlier in the fall, and has a lot of work to do to in preparing a team, and a program, for its inaugural season in the spring of 2015.
“I love the challenge,” Carter said. “I chose to come to Keystone because I have a track record of helping new areas of lacrosse grow, and I hope to grow it here.”
“The first thing I needed to do was beginning to cultivate contacts,” Carter said. “Nowadays high school coaches aren’t just going to respond to e-mails, so you have to get on the phones and get to the games. It’s important for them to hear your voice and see your face, so I’m on the road at least three out of five days travelling to find some players.”
Because Carter was hired in late fall, his recruiting was already well behind where he would have liked it to be, but that hasn’t stopped him from journeying up and down the East coast to find the players that he’s looking for.
He said his biggest focus areas are upstate New York, northern New Jersey and Philadelphia, near his hometown. He also has kids from Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts on the radar.
“I’ve already had a couple students here come into my office and want to give lacrosse a try,” Carter said. “It’s a tough road for the guys who haven’t played the game before because it’s a lot of skill and field I.Q, but they’ll have the opportunity to come out. There’s also been a big interest in the campus community as well and people are excited to come and watch a contact sport like this on campus. It’s really all about getting out there and putting the word out about the program,” Carter said.
Carter is used to starting programs from the ground up in the past. He played a vital role in transforming the University of Richmond lacrosse program into an NCAA Division I team.
Prior to the University of Richmond, Carter was head coach at Ursinus College (Division III) for eight years, and led them to national recognition through beating several nationally ranked teams. He has also coached professionally for the World Champion Philadelphia Barrage of Major League Lacrosse.
“It was an honor to coach Major League Lacrosse under coach (Tony) Resch,” Carter said. “He was one of the best coaches I’ve ever been with. He was the best teacher and shower how to be tactful and not be fiery all the time. I learned a lot from him.”
Carter has served as head varsity coach for the Friends Central School in Pennsylvania, sending many young men to top Division I, II, and III colleges and universities and has also served as director for Black Bear Lacrosse, which operates many instructional camps around the country and travel teams that serve the Philadelphia metro area, giving student athletes the opportunity to get noticed by colleges and universities.
He also founded Team Venom travel lacrosse, which has quickly become one of Central Virginias best travel clubs, and North Meets South Lacrosse, which provides clinics, leagues, tournaments and many more lacrosse opportunities to kids in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Before Ursinus, he was also the assistant head coach for the Neumann College Knights and helped lead them to an ECAC South Region Championship.
Carter also played as a defenseman for the Knights under then head coach Randy Mills, a lacrosse pioneer who started the Neumann lacrosse program and served as the inspiration of Carter becoming a coach.
“I was more of a player-coach on the field,” he said. “My junior year, (Mills) sat me down and said that coaching was something to look into because of the kind of player I was on the field.”
Off the playing field, Carter continues to lead, and hopes to bring that strong sense of leadership to the Giants’ sideline.
“I always want my players to respect the game,” he said. “I never see my players act disrespectful on the field and that’s number one for me. I have a fast-paced, run and gun style of play, and I’d like to be competitive in the conference for our first year. If we get some good recruits and have a good showing we can hit the ground running and be competitive right away.”
And while Carter tries to bring in interest to Keystone’s program, he also hopes to gage the interest of local school and youth programs to help continue expanding America’s fastest growing sport.
“Getting youth leagues kickstarted is definitely where it starts,” Carter said. “We’re trying to be ambassadors of lacrosse in the area and help Northeastern Pennsylvania lacrosse grow. Basically we’d like Keystone to be the hub of lacrosse activity and bring people in as part of the lacrosse community.”
Carter hopes to start small scale by offering future clinics, private lessons, camps, or bringing in travel leagues, all of which will be played on the college’s brand new, $3.4 million synthetic all-weather athletic complex.
Anyone who has questions regarding Keystone’s men’s lacrosse program or of future community lacrosse events can e-mail Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org.