Eric Chole led his first practice as interim head coach of the Mizzou Men’s Lacrosse Club on Monday afternoon.
Less than a year after his senior-season All-American performance with the team, Chole hopes to focus the club on a national championship run.
“We certainly have the talent, it just comes down to following through on our responsibilities,” Chole said. “Everyone knows what it takes and everyone seems to be on board.”
Chole has coached youth lacrosse teams, but knows that he still has much to learn. “I know there will be a learning curve, but I have good managers and upper classmen that are a big help, especially now while we are searching for an assistant coach.”
Club president Josh Nelson is one of the upper classmen lending an experienced hand. “Chole has our respect because he is the type of person who always gives you respect. He deserves nothing less than that,” Nelson said.
Freshman Seth Thornton wasn’t around to see Chole’s senior season, but said, “We (freshmen) still look up to him for what he did last year. He is an all-around successful athlete who knows the program well and I think he brings the team together.”
As for any worries about inexperience, Nelson said, “Being close to our age, he knows how we feel and what goes through our heads. “
Chole is a level-headed listener who likes to hear his players out. When asked about what type of coach he is, Chole said, “I want them to know that I have their back and they can relax. We need to carry respect, but we also need to have fun.”
— Story by Mike Anderson, photos by Karen Mitchell