The fact that BC and JMU played for the national championship - both lacking top facilities and historic programs - shows the value of coaching in women's lacrosse. No doubt that both would be able to use ND's commitment and resources to establish an elite program here.
1. Halfpenny went from CAA to ACC and that hasn't worked out, do you think doing it again would work?
2. I think it's you on the softball board who backs Gumpf turning for a 18th season despite no Super Regional appearances, but are calling for Halfpenny's dismissal despite only one quarterfinal appearance.
For the record, if I was AD, Aoki, Gumpf and Halfpenny would all be out, but I am interested in your reasoning for Halfpenny over Gumpf.
K-B just won the national championship and had her team in the NCAAs several times prior to that from the CAA. In fact from my brief research JMU under K-B knocked Halfpenny's W&M team out of qualifying for the NCAA's her last 2 years there in the CAA conference tourney. Her one good year at W&M was 2008 when her team beat JMU, only to lose to Towson in the conference tourney as she did again in 2009. Also K&B was an All Americans as a player (like W-W) and as far as I can tell Halfpenny was only a smart player at Va Tech which never made the NCAAs.
As for the two coaches i am suggesting I think they bring different things and it depends on if they want to make a change. If K-B wants to make a change ND could be a destination since she is leaving her alma mater. She graduated in 97 so still young, only two years older than Halfpenny but with a NC already on her belt. W-W is younger but if she succeeds at ND she might want to move to her alma mater Maryland which dominates women's lacrosse. Either as I said would be a significant upgrade.
#2. Gumpf vs Halfpenny. Biggest difference is DG ALWAYS makes the NCAAs while CH didn't make it this year. ACC Lacrosse had 5 of their 9 teams make the NCAAs but no ND whereas ACC softball only had 2 of their 12 teams make the NCAAs this year-FSU & ND. I've tried to make this point and MinnesotaFats did it well, the ACC is not a softball conference and yet Gumpf keeps winning. I was surprised that folks said they'd be happier with the NW coach but her teams the last 5 years have definitely not been as good as DG's (see my linked post). This is because 10+ years ago her NW team made a long run to the CWS and ND under Gumpf keep getting only to the final 32 teams every year but not beyond. Things have changed dramatically in softball. 10 years ago the SEC had never made a softball final (1st time 2009) and the Big 10 was the 2nd SB conference to the PAC12 led by Michigan (NC 2005). Now the SEC has made 6 straight finals. They along with the PAC12 dominate with all 13 of the SEC teams making the NCAAs in 2018, This year the final 16 were from just those two conferences plus Oklahoma and FSU (No Big 10 team in the Final 16 partly because ND knocked out Michigan with 2 wins over them in the 2018 NCAA tourney).
The biggest support factor which affects softball recruiting big time is attendance. The 16 teams that made the superregionals were all in the top 20 in total attendance this year. Notre Dame was 103rd, out of the 296 D1 softball teams. But that still is in the middle of the ACC. The SEC's 13 teams were in the top 32 in total attendance with all schools averaging at least 450 folks per game with Bama tops at 2,732 per game. The PAC12 also has all schools with more than 420 per game with Oregon the highest at 2,131. Notre Dame only averaged 272/game, 6th in the ACC, as all ACC schools were less than 435 per game except FSU at 919. 12 SEC and PAC12 schools do better than FSU along with Michigan, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Michigan State. The recruits see this and want to attend a school where there are big crowds. It's amazing Deanna has kept ND so competitive all these years. A big factor is she is willing to play SEC and PAC12 schools every year and travel to their stadiums. I don't see any advantage to ND right now changing coaches given the dynamics in softball and the relative success ND continues to have.
Hope that clarifies my thought process with some facts and answers your 2 questions..
17 years at the helm and do you believe that Gumpf is the best recruiter we can hire? I see your points below and I don't follow recruiting that closely but other ND coaches take grief for not knowing how to recruit to ND.
Also, softball was on the bubble and last team in.
the current coaches run,which she extended now 17 years. You look at FSU, they already had been to the CWS many times and were able to get a strong MWC coach with Oklahoma and Stanford ties to take over and try to imporve. It took her 10 years at FSU to finally win it all and that's with lots more games in Tallahassee (34) that often get over 1000 fans. Given South Bend's weather we can't even host that many games at home (only 18) and no SEC nor PAC12 nor BIg 12 teams will travel here. FSU had Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Florida, Louisiana, Auburn and LSU all played FSU in Tallahassee. In fact Notre Dame played the Big 10 regular season champs and Big 10 tourney champs (Michigan and Minnesota) in Tallahassee where we went 3-1 against them. That was before we went 2-0 against Michigan in Lexington in the NCAAs. The best non-ACC team that came to SB was Northwestern for 1 game since we played in Evanston against them in 2017.
I do think she know how to recruit ND which is why here teams keep winning. I know people want NCs but NCAA streaks should not be taken lightly, particularly when 10 of her peers didn't make it this year. I truly believe Gumpf's tenure should be renewed until she misses an NCAA or one of the up and comers ACC teams (like Duke) pass ND by with a CWS appearance. Until then it's too risky to make a change. We could have another Aoki.
It's much harder to recruit softball (or baseball, for that matter) from or position than it is to recruit lacrosse. Lacrosse should be a no-brainer, with not only our facilities but also our academics, much like women's basketball and perhaps even easier. If BC and James Madison can recruit women's lacrosse, then we ought to be able to knock it out the the park. Softball (and baseball) are much trickier, especially with all of the powerhouse teams in the south and the west. There are not that many northern or midwestern powerhouse softball (or baseball) programs.
The bottom line is that Halfpenny has failed miserably, and that might be generous to say so. In most women's sports, ND has a HUGE advantage recruiting-wise because there is no real professional end-game so logically a recruit should want to go where she could play at the highest level and maximize her academics. Unfortunately, however, we've not been able to sell that in either softball or lacrosse.
on the ND athletic website when she was hired and shaking my head in disbelief that Swarbrick had hired her after reading her thin resume.