Wow wow wow.
It seems as if Nate Watkins is out as the Head Coach of NCAA Division 3, Whittier College, in LA.
He is still listed as their Head Coach as of 2/9/09 at 1:03pm.
There is no real scandal here so far and he seems to have just taken a better job in Colorado, which makes sense given the current economic conditions but for this move to take place now between the Poets' last scrimmage and their first game [which they still won 15-5 vs. Div 2 Grand Canyon. The game was played in nearby AZ...] is tough timing.
Standout player, Defensive Coordinator and Whittier alum, Brian Kelly, has been named the interim head coach for the 2009 season and could be a great candidate to take over the reins for Whittier in the long-term although I would strongly suspect that the topic will not to be breached before the end of the season as there are a lot of talented coaches out there that may be interested in relocating to Cali.
Just when Whittier seems poised to make the return to contender status they lose a big name in Watkins. They retain Kelly who could turn out to be the stabilizing force the Poets REALLY need as well as James Morgan, the offensive coordinator from Hofstra [and before that, the Annapolis Area in MD].
Whittier still has the players , recruits, transfers and potential to be a good team but radical changes every year or two will do nothing to help the program, the players or the coaches who stay on. This is not a criticism of Coach Watkins but the reality of the landscape and competitiveness of Division 3 lacrosse.
Keep your eyes on Whittier to see what they can accomplish and how they fight through these changes. The Poets return to action on February 18th when Malcolm Chase's U. Southern Maine team [http://usm.maine.edu/athletics/Men] comes to town for a 4pm tilt.