Head coach Dallas Hartley and the Chapman University Panthers return for another Championship run this year after making it to the semi-finals in 2014. Contending for a national championship has become an expectation, not a goal, for the small school with big expectations. The Panthers, who have earned tournament berths for seven straight years, appeared in the Final Four in 2014 for the fourth time since 2008.

Head Coach Dallas Hartley took some time out with us talk about his coaching philosophy and background.

 Tell us about your lacrosse background.  Where did you play? How long have you been coaching?I played at Sonoma State University 1997-2000.  I was the head coach at La Costa Canyon H.S. from 2003 – 2010 and have been the head coach at Chapman since 2010.

What style of play do you like to use?
I like the old school 2-way midfield up and down style of lacrosse with an aggressive offense and defense.

What is the make-up of your coaching staff?
Currently we have Jason Leneau, a former Boys’ Latin, University of Virginia, and L.A. Riptide Player.  He runs our Strength and Conditioning program, our Face-Off play, the substitution box and works on the defensive side of the ball.

Our longtime Defensive Coordinator Daniel Kirkpatrick just took the head coaching position of the women’s team at Chapman so we hired Kyle Morrison to coach the defense.  He is on the board of the SLC and is the former head coach at Cal State Fullerton and coached at USD before that.  He played at the University of Arizona and San Diego State.

Did you have a pre-game ritual as a player? What was it?
I liked to keep it loose and fun.  I would joke around a lot with my teammates to keep them loose as well.  We try to find something each year that becomes a ritual for us but it needs to be organic, not forced.

Favorite lacrosse memory as a player?
H.S. memory:  At San Dieguito H.S. in 1996,(Now La Costa Canyon) Beating our rival Torrey Pines in Double Overtime in the San Diego Semifinals to go to the championship game in 1996.

College memory: At Sonoma State in 2000, beating Colorado State who was #1 in the MCLA, and we were #2 in the MCLA 12-11 before our home crowd in the regular season.  It was the first time Sonoma State was ever ranked # 1 in the MCLA.

Favorite lacrosse memory as a coach?

  1. Chapman winning the SLC Championship in 2011 over ASU.
  2. Making it to 8 straight championships at LCC, winning 4 (2005,2006, 2008, 2010)
  3. Going undefeated at LCC in 2005 and 2010.
  4. Having the highest team G.P.A. in 2009 and 2010 in the State of CA for a h.s. lacrosse team at LCC.

Name three things on your lacrosse bucket list

  1. Win the MCLA Championship.
  2. Have a team G.P.A. of 3.5 or better.
  3. Have all of our players graduate and give back to this great game by coaching, reffing, or getting younger players interested in the game.

What one piece of advice do you have for the young player looking forward to playing in high school?

    • Off the field:  Study!
    • On the field:  Hustle and be coachable!  There is a position for everyone if you play hard and you do what a coach tells you to do.  They will find you a role!

What one piece of advice do you have for the high school player hoping to play in college?
Get good grades.  It’s the first thing coaches look at when after you contact us or we see you play.

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