The men’s lacrosse team will start their season under new head coach Chris Feifs, who was announced as the seventh head coach of the program on June 29.
Feifs has had nine years of college coaching experience, though this is his first head coaching position.
Prior to coming to UVM, he spent seven years as the defensive coordinator and face-off coach at the University of North Carolina.
During this time, the Tar Heels had seven straight NCAA tournament appearances, according to UVM athletics.
During Feifs’ tenure, North Carolina was Atlantic Coast Conference regular season co-champions twice. In 2013, the Tar Heels secured the ACC title under Feifs’ tenure.
In addition, Feifs mentored faceoff extraordinaire R.G. Keenan, who earned first team All-America honors in 2012. Keenan was the first Tar Heel to earn this recognition since 1996.
Feifs’ time with UNC culminated in winning the National Championship in May, according to UVM athletics.
Before working at UNC, he spent two years as an assistant coach of Virginia Military Institute. With Feifs’ help, the program reached its first ever MAAC tournament, and in addition, made it to the championship game for the first time in the school’s history, according to UVM athletics.
Feifs also gained some scouting experience while working with the Virginia Military Institute, according to a report by UVM athletics.
When asked about his transition to UVM, Feifs had nothing but good things to say.
“It’s been awesome; I love it here,” Feifs said. “People are really friendly, and all the athletic administration [have] been super welcoming to me and just made the transition really easy.”
In addition, he seems very optimistic about the upcoming season and the program’s future.
“What I’m most excited about with this team is how hungry they are for success, and so far they’ve shown they’ll do whatever it takes to win,” Feifs said. “If we can keep everyone healthy and keep working at the level that we are right now I think we’re going to be in good shape come season time.”
This past week, Feifs attended the Fourth Annual 3D Lacrosse Coaching Summit in Denver, Colorado, and he talked about “developing individual and team defense”, according to 3dlacrosse.com.
The conference was about spreading the game and it focused on 3D Lacrosse’s methodology of developing kids, by not just playing games, but teaching them tangible skills, Feifs said.
“I’m all about teaching the right way to play the game, and also sharing idea within the [la- crosse] community,” he said. “The summit was a really good opportunity for us to gain exposure for Vermont, but also to give back.”
Feifs has had a positive impact on the program so far, senior co-captain Ben Cox said.
“Coach Feifs has set the bar very high,” Cox said. “He wants to win a championship, he wants to be one of the top teams in the country, and so do we.”
Junior co-captain James Leary said he has high praises for the coaching staff.
“Everyone on the team loves them,” Leary said. “They’re awesome guys first and foremost, and that makes it a lot easier for us to push through some of the harder stuff. I think everyone’s really excited.”