Raymond Excited for Hobart Opportunity, Return to CNY
|Greg Raymond, a Corning, N.Y. native, was announced as Hobart's new coach Friday evening.|
Hobart just announced the hiring of Greg Raymond as its head coach Friday evening. LM caught up with the first-time head coach on the phone. Read more about his career and the Hobart job here.
What attracted you to the Hobart opening?
A lot of things. First off, being from Cornin, N.Y., that's kind of a direct pipeline for Hobart players and alums. [Hobart] was kind of a constant through my career as a lacrosse player. My head coach at the high school level -- Rob Streeten -- was a Hobart alum.
Throughout my career at Hopkins [as a player] and Princeton [as an assistant coach], Hobart was a program that I always followed because they had such tradition and pride. It's something that was always there and will always be there.
It is a program on the rise and one that I hope I can put my spin on and keep in the right direction.
What was the process like?
They did a very thorough job, figuring out who I was, my vision as a leader, things I've been through as a coach, what kind of angle I would take for recruiting and the academic side of things. They just wanted to know who I was and whether or not I was the right person for the job.
It was a long day. I met a lot of people, had a lot of questions, but I really learned a lot about the environment that Hobart and William Smith provides and what they want to be as a program going forward. I came home from Geneva just thinking about it being a great place. I love the people on the committee. They made me feel at home.
I'm just privileged and flattered. For them to tell me that I'm a great fit for that program, it's something I'm very honored to be able to say.
Your wife played at William Smith. Did that play a role in the decision?
My wife loves the colleges, and always will. I've also had a lot of friendships with Hobart alums, even when I was at Hopkins, so I know the sense of pride that they carry themselves with and the appreciation they have for the education and athletic experience that this place gave them.
When you're thinking about a job, though, it's not so much about the location and if that's good for you. It's about finding a place where you can have a good career and be successful as a coach. You need to make sure that a place is the right fit for you, and Hobart lacrosse provided that for me.
The fact that my wife is from Auburn, N.Y., and I'm from Corning is just icing on the cake.
What is your vision for the future of the program?
There's a lot of things to do. I want to respect what's been done in the past, what TW [Johnson] has done to put the program where it is today and the young men he's brought to this place. I certainly appreciate the position that he's left me in. I just want to help push things a little further and take that next step.
I'm a defensive guy. I want this team to be focused on the idea that defense wins championships and is a key to success, because that's what I believe in my heart. That's the way I was coached and how I've always coached.
What are your feelings about the move to the NEC?
I think the new conference is an excellent gift for this program. All of the teams are competitive and have phenominal coaching, so it's always going to be a hard-fought contest when we take the field. It's just an excellent forum for us to perform well and put ourselves in a position to get that conference championship and have that road to the NCAA tournament.
Ultimately, I just want to go out and work hard, find the guys that want to be at Hobart. We're going to find the right way to work together to accomplish these goals.
You've worked with some of the great defensive minds in the game, playing for Dave Pietramala at Hopkins and coaching under Bill Tierney at Princeton. What lessons have you learned?
First off, with them as mentors, it's done so much more for me than just Xs and Os. I learned about people and how to work as a coach and be a leader.
Coach Petro and Coach T are probably the two best defensive minds that are out there. What they have really taught me is how to look at defense as a whole scenario. You improve the individuals from fundamental standpoints, but also teach them how to communicate and do things in a specific way that makes the whole team better.
If the individual does things the right way, every time, that individual execution drives the collective success of a team defense.