On Saturday afternoon, we were treated to mystery tweets from Marquette men’s lacrosse head coach Joe Amplo. Combined, his tweets read as follows:
We win with people and I am so grateful for the team of people who believe in my vision for our program. #wearemarquette
I am proud to be a small part of all the great things going on at Marquette. We have a very bright future together.
We win with people and I am so grateful for the team of people who believe in my vision for our program. #wearemarquette— MUcoachAmplo (@MUcoachAmplo) June 10, 2017
I am proud to be a small part of all the great things going on at Marquette. We have a very bright future together.— MUcoachAmplo (@MUcoachAmplo) June 10, 2017
Kind of weird and out of nowhere, but this all made a lot of sense quickly, as the official MLax Twitter then sprung into action to add some context.
First, this GIF:
And then this press release announcement:
The opening line of the press release explains that Amplo’s announcement of commitment to Marquette comes “amid recent speculation.” It doesn’t come right out and say it, but this is presumably in relation to the vacant head coaching position at Michigan. On Thursday, Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala shot down rumors that he was interested in moving from Baltimore to Ann Arbor, which I suppose means that Saturday was Amplo’s turn to do the same.
I have to admit, it’s kind of weird that Pietramala and Amplo would both be instantly tied to the Michigan job. Pietramala has been in charge of the national powerhouse Blue Jays program for the better part of two decades now, and Amplo passed on the Princeton job last summer, getting a contract extension along the way. Amplo is the only head coach in Marquette lacrosse history, and he’s literally created the program from nothing when he was hired in 2011. He went from being the only representative of the program to coaching the Golden Eagles to back-to-back Big East tournament championships and back-to-back NCAA tournament apperances in just six years, which is an amazing accomplishment if you think about it for longer than two seconds.
Credit where credit is due: Michigan certainly has their sights set high if they have been seriously considering either Petro or Amplo. I just don’t know why either man, especially Amplo, would voluntarily leave their current jobs to take over the six year old Wolverines program that has finished at or above .500 only once..... and that was this past season and UM still fired head coach John Paul anyway.
The press release from Marquette doesn’t say anything about an adjustment to Amplo’s salary, but here’s the statement from athletic director Bill Scholl:
“Joe is a phenomenal lacrosse coach, but an even better person,” MU Vice President and Director of Athletics Bill Scholl said on Saturday. “Joe’s values closely align with the mission of Marquette University and his passion and dedication to the young men in this program is unrivaled. In a very short time Joe has proven himself to be one of the best lacrosse coaches in the entire country and we couldn’t ask for a better leader for our student-athletes on the field and in the community. We are excited to have Joe, his wife Jen, and their three daughters, Sophia, Charlotte and Lily remain as part of the Marquette family.”
That’s some pretty effusive praise to heap on a guy if you’re not giving him a pay raise, especially the “best lacrosse coaches in the entire country” part. If they’re going to say that, you’d have to figure that Marquette has to at least be considering paying Amplo like he’s one of the best coaches in the nation.
Hopefully, between this and Amplo telling The Marquette Wire that MU is a perfect fit for him, we don’t have to repeat this rumor dance again next June.