Marquette announced on Saturday afternoon that they are working on a contract extension that will keep men’s lacrosse head coach Joe Amplo in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future.
The news of a contract extension is presumably in response to the report on Friday that Amplo was in New Jersey to interview for the vacant Princeton head coaching position. In addition to the Princeton job, which is historically one of the most dominant programs in lacrosse, the Virginia head coaching job is also open after the Cavaliers gave Dom Starsia his walking papers after 23 seasons. The interest in Amplo stems from what he’s accomplished in Milwaukee in such a short time.
Amplo is the first and only head coach in Marquette men’s lacrosse history. He was hired in February of 2011, but didn’t coach an official Division 1 game until February 23, 2013. Amplo has invented lacrosse in Wisconsin out of thin air over the past five years, compiling a 32-29 record in four seasons of competition. His Golden Eagles squad just finished up their best season in program history, going 10-6 overall including a Big East tournament championship courtesy of a 10-9 win over #1 ranked Denver. That conference tournament victory gave MU the Big East’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, marking the first time that the Golden Eagles reached the national championship tournament.
In short, if you’re looking to spark your historically relevant program back to national significance, you could do worse - much, much worse, honestly - than a guy who has gone from having to go to the store himself to buy balls for the first practice in program history to an NCAA tournament appearance in just five school years.
Instead, though, Amplo will remain at the helm of a Marquette program poised to stay at the forefront of national discussion going forward. Even though MU is losing 19 seniors, the biggest senior class in the country, Lacrosse Magazine’s Patrick Stevens has the Golden Eagles at #15 in his very early 2017 preseason top 25. Things don’t only look rosy for MU’s on-field performance, by the way. This contract extension definitely means that Amplo will be the head coach when Marquette breaks ground on the Athletic Performance Research Center in 2017, as well as taking things one step closer to Amplo being the head coach when the lacrosse team finally gets their own locker room on campus - that’s right, they don’t have a locker room at all right now - when the APRC is finished and open for business.
Here’s what Amplo had to say about his forthcoming extension, via the press release on GoMarquette.com:
"I am so grateful for the confidence and trust that Dr. Lovell, Bill Scholl and other members of the Marquette community have put in me. Leading this program since its inception has been a wonderful journey. The players have challenged me to become a better person and taken the entire Marquette community on a ride that is filled with joyous memories. My wife Jen and three girls have made Marquette Lacrosse our family business and we could not be happier to continue this journey as we look to keep building this program to remain amongst America's great lacrosse programs."
And here’s Marquette Vice President and Director of Athletics Bill Scholl:
"Marquette is committed competing at the highest level in lacrosse and we are thrilled that Joe is again affirming his commitment to this program. Joe's work has positioned Marquette among the sport's leaders in a very short amount of time and we are excited to know that he is going to continue to be with us in Milwaukee."
The men's lacrosse team will be leaving on a 10 day trip to Italy on Monday. In addition to the obvious sightseeing tours, the trip will also include three games against the English national team.