November 20, 2013

Blair Named First Head Coach at CSU-Pueblo

from press release

PUEBLO, Colo. - The newly-formed Colorado State University-Pueblo men's lacrosse program has its first head coach, as former Hope (Mich.) College and Grand Valley State (Mich.) assistant Sean Blair has been named the Pack's first coach.

Blair comes to CSU-Pueblo with a solid resume of not only playing and coaching in national tournaments, but also assisting in starting a new lacrosse program at an NCAA institution from scratch.

"I'm fired up to take on this unique opportunity at CSU-Pueblo," Blair said. "With the demonstrated support of the administration, we will make exciting things happen and get high-character student-athletes who want to get a high-class education and play exciting lacrosse."

Blair served as the assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Hope, which began its first season of lacrosse in 2013, helping the squad to an 8-5 record in its inaugural campaign, securing a berth in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament and ending the season with a fourth-place finish.

At CSU-Pueblo, Blair will build on that experience to forge his own program as the head coach, with the lacrosse program taking the field for the first time in Spring 2015, playing in the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (WILA), an NCAA Division II lacrosse conference. Blair, along with the women's lacrosse and men's and women's soccer programs, will benefit from the construction of a new lacrosse and soccer complex on the CSU-Pueblo complex. The first phase of the project will be a turf field ready for play by next year, followed by a stadium and field house addition by the 2016 lacrosse season.

"With the new facility and the new program, we will have the unique opportunity to look for players that want to build a program and be on the first wave of establishing tradition," Blair said.

Blair said his vision for establishing the program at CSU-Pueblo includes becoming the dominant recruiting power in Colorado, creating a family-based atmosphere that permeates through the program, and supporting a shared work ethic focused on the goal of winning the conference championship.

"We're going to be positioned to see some growth playing in the WILA," Blair said. "Starting from scratch, it will be an uphill battle to climb to the top of the mountain, and it will be a challenge, but an exciting challenge. We are looking for high-character student-athletes who will bring effort, energy and enthusiasm every day to help us to ultimately gain national prominence."

Prior to arriving at Hope, Blair was the defensive coordinator at Grand Valley, helping the team claim three consecutive Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association titles (2010, 2011, 2012) and make three Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association Tournament appearances (2010, 2011, 2012), including two Final Four appearances in 2011 and 2012 and National Championship game appearance in 2012.

While at Grand Valley State, Blair's defensive players received eight All-American awards, in addition to ten All-Conference awards. With Blair on staff, the team remained in the MCLA National top-ten rankings.

In all, Blair comes to CSU-Pueblo with five years of collegiate lacrosse coaching experience, helping his teams to a cumulative record of 72-16.

Blair played lacrosse at Grand Valley State University from 2005-2008, earning a team captain title as a junior (2007). In 2008, he helped lead the team to a 20-2 record, their first CCLA Conference Championship and first ever MCLA Tournament appearance and National Championship game. In 2008, he was the first Grand Valley State University player named to the MCLA Division II All-Tournament team as a Defensive Specialist.

Originally from Kalamazoo, Mich., Blair graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor's of Science in Group Social Studies. He and his wife Kristin and daughter Lillian reside in Pueblo.

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