Doug McIver, a 2005 graduate of the Albany Academy, brings a wealth of experience to his role as Head Coach of his alma mater’s lacrosse program – a role he has served in since the 2014 season. While at LeMoyne, McIver served as the Dolphins starting goalie in back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances in 2008 & 2009. He was also a member of LeMoyne’s National Championship teams in 2006 & 2007. A two-time National All-American, McIver was the 2009 recipient of the Ensign C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award, given to the top goaltender in the nation in each Division. He was also the NCAA Division II statistical champion in a number of categories as a junior and senior, including save percentage and goals against average. He also was the only Division II player to appear on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List in 2009. McIver’s coaching experience also includes serving as an assistant coach at Guilderland High School, RPI, and a variety of camps.
Coach McIver recently took the time to answer some questions for Capital District Lax.
In addition to serving as lacrosse coach at the Albany Academy, you are the Dean of Students. What is your typical day like as Dean of Students?
DM: My role as Dean of Students covers all aspects of student life here at the Academy. Any issues that come up in terms of discipline, attendance or our student house system are directed my way. I also teach 9th grade leadership which allows me to get to know our returning students from 8th grade and all our new 9th graders.
How does your experience as Dean of Students help your management of the lacrosse team?
DM: I’m able to get to know our students on many different levels, as athletes, as musicians and as leaders. Every student at Albany Academy brings something unique to the table. By the time the spring rolls around I’ve been able to spend time getting to know our lacrosse players in different capacities. With that knowledge I feel I can communicate more effectively with our student athletes and work with them to buy into our culture.
Tell us a little about Albany Academy’s requirement for students to participate in a scholastic sport in place of PE classes.
DM: Our students participate in two community commitments. The vast majority of our students are involved in two sports. That being said, they may substitute a role in one of our theater productions, a role with our robotics team or a managerial position with another sports team. If the student is not participating in an after school activity like the examples I mentioned, our students do participate in PE. I believe it’s a benefit for students to participate in multiple sports, many concepts our coaches teach in lacrosse can transcend multiple sports. We also stress the value of competition. We want guys who like to compete no matter the situation, whether it’s the first day of practice for another sport or the New York State playoffs, we always want guys to compete.
What percentage of players come to Albany Academy as lacrosse players vs first becoming involved in the game through the school’s program?
DM: There’s a growing number of local families that are looking at Albany Academy for high level lacrosse. A unique part of our program that draws families to consider sending their son to The Albany Academy is our history. In our locker room we have all the colleges and universities where our alumni have gone on to play college lacrosse. It motivates our current team to see names like Kevin and Mike Leveille, and Merrick Thomson up there and know that they share a bond with those guys as Academy lacrosse players. Within our program about half our student athletes learn the game in 8th or 9th grade. The remaining group has background in lacrosse playing for their local youth program or club programs.
What off season lacrosse opportunities do you offer to your players, or encourage their participation in?
DM: I’ve worked with Albany Power for over 5 years now and have had the privilege to work with so many great kids and coaches. The growing list of student athletes the program has produced that move on to play at the next level is astonishing. Albany Academy hosts our day camp July 11-14 (www.laxcamps.com) which allows us to work with a wide range of ages and teach not only concepts for field lacrosse but also allow our campers to spend some time learning some of the basics of box lacrosse.
In 2015, Albany Academy went undefeated against Section 2 opponents, winning the Section 2 Class B title, and defeating Highland of Section 9 in the NYS tournament before losing to Yorktown in the regionals. How will you use your Section 2 Class B schedule to prepare the team for a possible return to post season play in 2016?
DM: We do the best we can in terms of scheduling as many quality local opponents as possible. This year we will use our Colonial Council league schedule (new in 2016) as well as our non-league schedule to help prepare our athletes to participate at a high level. The better teams we play during the regular season the better prepared we are for our post season opponents.
What is your pre-season outlook on Albany Academy’s upcoming 2016 season?
DM: Offensively we will want to push tempo and do the best we can to create unsettled situations. Defensively we return a veteran group who we expect to play aggressively and help jump start our offensive opportunities. Our motto for this year is “Never Settle” that will be stressed day in and day out to keep our focus during the spring and taking advantage of each day we have together as a team.
For continued updates on all aspects of the lacrosse program at The Albany Academy you can follow us on Twitter @AABoyLacrosse and Instagram @AABoysLax.
Albany Academy College Commits:
Class of 2017:
Uncommitted Impact Player