Club Sport Spotlight: Towbey Kassa

Towbey Kassa, is the Director of Athletic Solutions at Fathead and work heavily with Oakland Athletics with their graphics across campus. Kassa has played lacrosse since the 5th grade. After playing throughout his high school and university years here at Oakland, he got drafted to play in the Major Lacrosse League for the Chicago Machine’s 2009 season. He is also the coach for the Women’s Lacrosse Club here at Oakland University and spent some time discussing what it is like to be the coach of a collegiate level Lacrosse team.

What got you involved with coaching?

Well when I started playing lacrosse at Oakland University my coach really made an impact in my life on and off the field, and I told myself that I wanted to do the same for other players.

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Is this the first team you’ve coached?

No, I have coached Troy High School varsity boys and girls. Won a state championship with Troy High girls in 2002. I also coached the Men’s team at Oakland after I graduated.

How did you get involved with the Women’s Lacrosse club at OU?

In 2006 one of my old players was the captain for the women’s team. They were not happy with their current coach and the direction the program was going. She asked me to help her build the program and help put a good product on the field, so I took her up on it

What was it like starting out with W. Lacrosse/ what is it like now?

The program was on the verge of folding, the WCLL (Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League) wanted to kick us out! There was no organization no accountability. We had players that were on the team for the wrong reason. I was able to come in and start fresh. I made some rules and gave the students an option to help be part of something special or step away. I told them that you don’t have to be the best to do the best. They bought in to the system my old coach gave us, and the rest is history!

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What were your goals?

We had many goals!

  1. To be respectable student athletes, of the field 1st then on the field 2nd.
  2. Win our division every year.
  3. Go to the conference championships.
  4. Go to the national championship.
  5. Win the national championship.

 

Were they achieved? All but #5, came very close last year losing to the undefeated Duke Blue Devils by 4 goals.

Biggest hardships/issues

Recruiting players to come to Oakland, most girls love the school but a little too close to home. Balancing schedule for the student athletes, since most live at home or campus they usually take a full class load, work and have late night practice from 10pm-11:30pm. Lastly team dues, In order to be a power house you have to play a power house schedule and travel and practice cost can get costly

What does coaching mean to you?

It means the world to me, its not about winning and losing. It means more to me to see the players working together to reach one common goal. To watch them come into the program and watching them walk across the stage when the graduate is the most rewarding feeling ever. My wife and I are truly blessed to have these student athletes in our lives!

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What have you learned in your experience as a coach?

You have to be able to be open minded, understanding, caring, organized, patient. If you are loyal to your team they will be loyal to you!

What are your plans for the next year with the club?

To give our players the best on and off the field experience, win our division, regain the conference championship, go to nationals, and playing in the championship game!

Where do you see the club going?

My goal is to help elevate this to varsity status! NCAA D1 would be exciting to see at Oakland University.

Interested in keeping up-to-date with the Women’s Lacrosse Club? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter  for browse their website to get the latest in their club activities!

 

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