Greg DeMars came to Indiana to earn his MBA. He leaves this spring with a graduate degree and memories as an Indiana University men’s lacrosse coach.
My Two Years with IU Lax – Coach Greg DeMars
My name is Greg DeMars and I am one of the assistant coaches on Indiana University Men’s
Lacrosse Club. I came to Bloomington in August 2010 from Detroit where I was working in
finance to pursue my full-time MBA at the Kelley School of Business. Like our seniors, I am
graduating Friday, so I am taking the opportunity to share my thoughts on IU Lax before
being pushed back out in to the real world.
My lacrosse playing days began in high school before there were youth programs. I was never
a skilled offensive player, but rather I always understood the game, from field positioning to
reading the movements of the other player. I committed myself to being a defensive middie.
Much like we tell our players now, I knew I had a role to fill, and I set out to be the best
defensive middie I could be. Fortunately, I was able to continue my lacrosse career at the
University of Dayton, where I served as captain and treasurer for UD Men’s Lacrosse Club.
When I think about my time at UD, playing lacrosse for my university is one of my favorite
IU Lax is at a very exciting point in its transition under Coach Tumbas. I first met with Coach T
at Kilroy Sports Bar in August 2010, right after I moved to Bloomington. He too had just moved
to Bloomington and had simple proposition for me: join IU Lax as one of his assistant coaches.
Like any player considering club lacrosse, I had to give his proposition some serious thought. I
was concerned about the time commitment between MBA classes, the job search, MBA social
life, and coaching a college lacrosse team. In the end, I joined him in coaching IU Lax for my
two years in Bloomington. Looking back, it was a great decision, as I know that coaching IU Lax
will be one of my favorite memories from my short stay in Indiana.
I knew nothing about the IU Lax program before I joined the team. However, over the last
two years I have been a part of an amazing transition. 2011 was a difficult season: we went 2-
12, we lost some quality players, and we graduated three incredible seniors. However, we put
in the difficult work and the table was set for a much better 2012. A number of freshmen and
sophomores saw significant playing time last year, and Coach T put in an incredible effort to
recruit talented players to IU. He even had me attending camps and showcases while I interned
in Connecticut this past summer. We finished our regular season this past weekend against
Illinois. Although we did not get all of the results we wanted, we did finish 5-5, including 3-1 in
our GRLC division. We will be playing in the GRLC Tournament this weekend and I could not
be more excited for this team.
Our transition would not be possible without the total commitment from our players, coaches,
families, and alumni. A measure of gratitude is owed to each.
First, to our alumni. Our alumni base is small, but growing. Alumni are the historical link of
any program, and we are fortunate to have alumni interested in what we are doing back in
Bloomington. There have been countless times where I have seen alumni at our games, run
into alumni in Bloomington, or met alumni in cities like Chicago. Their continual support
is appreciated, and I look forward to joining their ranks after graduation and the GRLC
Next, our parents. We have some of the most amazing, dedicated, and generous parents I have
seen at the college level. After every game or road trip, our parents are there with food and
drinks for the ride home, with smiles, and with handshakes and hugs. The parental support of
our program has really blown me away, and I cannot be more grateful. As coaches, whenever
we need something, whether it’s someone to run the clock, film the game, print programs,
bring water for the players, organize and sponsor the team banquet, our parents are there
without question. I am truly honored that they brought me into their family. The parents also
honored each of the coaches with a gift at the team banquet. I wish I could thank every parent
individually for their generosity and support.
Now, our players. It is not always easy coaching college kids, especially when you are less than
10 years older than them, and especially when they think they know it all. But we have some
fantastic players and young men. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the players both on and
off the field over the last two years. As a student at Kelley, I see many of the players around
campus or around town on the weekends. They are always quick to come shake my hand, say
hi, and chat for a few minutes. The players have allowed me to be plugged in to campus life,
and I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts on lacrosse, the real world, and leadership with them.
To the seniors, specifically, over the last two years, I consider many of you my friend and I look
forward to seeing you accomplish great things post-college.
Finally, to the coaches. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Coach Tumbas. Not only did he take me on as an assistant coach, but he taught me a lot about running a team, involving parents and alumni, recruiting, leading college players, and many technical aspects of the game. Coach T as a man of few words never gave me a hard time if I had to miss practices or games for MBA commitments, and he respected my opinions on various team issues. I am very grateful for the opportunity to coach. I also want to thank my fellow assistant coaches: Coach Garvey, Coach Syverson, and Coach Nelson. IU Lax is incredibly fortunate to have three extremely talented and dedicated assistant coaches to continue on next year. I have enjoyed getting to know each of you professionally and socially, and consider you each my friend. I may not know as much about lacrosse as they do, and I certainly was never as good as they are, but they welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to contribute to the team in the best ways that I could.
To the IU Lax team, the GRLC Tournament this weekend is going to be a chance to celebrate.
On behalf of the coaching staff and players, I would like to sincerely thank Coach DeMars for his time and energy over the last two seasons.
Coach DeMars is wearing the crimson hat, white pullover, and black pants.
Photo credit: @btownlax