Haas hired to coach North boys lax

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By Brad Stephens

North Oldham introduced David Haas as head boys lacrosse coach Monday night.

Haas takes over for Ryan Smith, who left for the same job at Kentucky Country Day.

Haas was most recently an assistant at St. Charles Prep in Columbus, Ohio, from 2011-12. Before that he was an assistant at KCD, helping the Bearcats to the state semifinals in both seasons with the program.

The Louisville resident said he'd been looking to get into head coaching "for a couple of years now" and thought North was a good opportunity.

"One of the big things that's very important to me is how you have the opportunity to really impact a team and I think it's important for coaches with experience to go to those who have not necessarily benefitted from great coaching in previous years," Haas said. "Ryan Smith did a great job getting the program where it is but I really want to help them build up to be one of the better teams in the state."

Haas, an agent for Liberty Mutual Insurance, played in high school in Birmingham, Mich., where he won two state championships, and in college for Bellarmine University.

He said North's middle school feeder system made the Mustang job attractive.

"Someone was telling me about 80 kids are in the program currently and having so many players play at a young age... makes a huge difference," Haas said. "I'm going to start working with the middle school coaches and putting in our system, just so that kids are starting to learn the North Oldham way in fifth grade, maybe sixth grade. So by the time they get to high school, it's more just about fine-tuning as opposed to teaching them all new stuff."

Haas is building his coaching staff and said he wants to "have my own people" while also involving some coaches currently with the middle and high school programs.

Haas met with team captains Jordan Batie, Mike George, Parker Waits and Chris Webb. He said he they were "excited about the program" and trying to get back to the state tournament after being eliminated in the district semifinals this spring.

"One of the big things I want to shift, especially at the varsity level: playing lacrosse at North Oldham is a huge privilege and it's something everybody's got to earn," Haas said. "We're just constantly hoping to earn that, earn victories, earn everything you've got."