Fort Collins, CO – Shortly after the Colorado State men’s lacrosse team returned from a road trip to San Luis Obispo, California, head coach Flip Naumburg decided to take a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons starting immediately for a time period of at least one month. This came as a shock to the Rams lacrosse team when they first heard the news as they gathered at the Edge indoor facility for a pivotal practice two days after their first loss of the season to Cal Poly.
Shortly after the announcement, assistant coach Alex Smith said, “We appreciate everyone’s concern and understanding that this matter is a personal issue. If and when Coach Naumburg wishes to release a statement specifically addressing his leave, he will upon his return.”
The exact time period of his absence is unknown, but according to Smith, “we anticipate that Flip will be back with us at the end of March ready to help us in our stretch run to the postseason. Our team will be tested, but we feel confident in our ability to rise to the challenge and do him proud until he gets back.”
In Naumburg’s absence, Smith and fellow assistant coach Kale Nelson will step in as interim coaches. Both have played for Coach Naumburg in their days as Colorado State University students, in addition to coaching by his side for a number of years. “Flip Naumburg is the best coach in the MCLA, bar-none,” said Smith. “It is impossible to replace someone like him, but we will do our best to honor him by playing the game the right way and moving forward with our program to the best of our abilities. Everything Kale and I know about lacrosse comes from him, so there won’t be any mixed messages.”
In his time as the Colorado State men’s lacrosse head coach, Flip Naumburg has accumulated an impressive 78.9% win percentage since 1997, having won 194 games compared to only 41 losses. In that same time period, he has gathered an unprecedented total of four MCLA national championships in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2006 in addition to five RMLC conference championships in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006. The CSU lacrosse program has been around for over 40 years, but it wasn’t until Naumburg’s arrival that the team achieved its success.