He now sets his sights on the 2019 MLL Draft presented by Cascade. We sat down with Cummings to hear what the Hounds are looking forward to on March 9th at the Draft.
How are you preparing for the 2019 MLL Draft?
We have come together as an organization, and we have set a vision and put a complete plan together for the 2019 season. The Draft is an important part of that plan, and we are working hard to execute on it. There is a sound process in place, and we are very optimistic about the outcomes we are working to achieve on Draft day.
Do you have any superstitions around Draft Day?
This is my first draft as a head coach, and I am excited to experience Draft Day. In general, I'm not a big believer in superstitions. If you've prepared, been faithful to the process, and put in the effort, the outcomes will take care of themselves.
Who from your team will be assisting you with the Draft this year?
It will be a collective effort, but our organization is in great hands with Mike Cerino's leadership when it comes time to make the right decisions around player personnel.
Is there a style of play or a personality you consider when drafting?
We're looking for Hounds; high character guys who compete hard, have fun and consistently put forth a great effort.
Who are the top prospects for the Charlotte Hounds?
No details to disclose here.
What would someone at the draft expect to hear?
I'm not sure yet, but I've got a feeling Mike Cerino will have a good "Dad joke" here and there.
Which college team do you think has the strongest senior class?
Collectively, it's hard to say in February. You never know how a "talented" junior class steps in to be senior leaders. Sometimes, the class that may not have as much talent on paper emerges as the strongest senior class. College athletics are a special time in a young person's life to develop yourself in practical ways that translate to real life. I am looking forward to seeing which senior class leads their team and is able to bring their teammates along over the course of the season to play their best lacrosse when conference play begins on the road to the month of May.
Which college team do you think will win it all this year?
As of today, I believe you can make a serious case for 12-15 teams to be in the conversation for Championship Weekend. The parity in college lacrosse is amazing, and it is a credit to the growth of the game throughout the nation. There are good players everywhere, and it will be fun to watch how teams and players emerge in a new era of college lacrosse with the shot clock.
What do you think of the MLL Draft taking place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year?
It's going to be a special weekend for the southeast region. From the four top-25 Division I programs competing at 'The Crown' to the MLL Draft, Charlotte is the place to be March 8-10!
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is a first-class location, and it is special for Charlotte and the Hounds to host the Draft in our city. After living my first twenty-three years of life in the state of Maryland, it would've been hard to imagine an event of this magnitude happening anywhere else outside the traditional lacrosse markets like Baltimore, Long Island, Philadelphia, etc ten years ago. When you take a step back and reflect on the state of lacrosse and the MLL, it's incredible how much the game has grown in the last decade; especially in the Carolinas. This event represents the excitement surrounding lacrosse across the southeast.
Where should the 2020 MLL Draft take place?
I am looking forward to hearing the decision. I think it's a special opportunity to continue growing the sport and recognizing regions where there's tremendous momentum with lacrosse. The Carolinas have been spoiled the past six months with the Championship in Charleston, SC and now the Draft in Charlotte, NC.
More About New Charlotte Hounds Head Coach Joe Cummings
“He's an outstanding player, great teammate, and he'll make an excellent head coach. Joe is all class, he's all in and he's a tremendous leader. Congrats to the Charlotte Hounds,” said Coach Cottle, Head Coach for the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
Cummings, a graduate of the University of Maryland, is the head coach at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, S.C.
Cummings was the No. 17 overall selection in the 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft and played two seasons with the Ohio Machine before being traded to Charlotte for the 2014 season. He scored 35 goals in three MLL seasons before retiring in 2015 to begin his coaching career at Christ Church.
Cummings was a two-time All-American at Maryland, earning third-team honors in 2011 and honorable mention honors in 2012 when he helped the Terps reach the national championship game.
More about the Charlotte Hounds
The Charlotte Hounds, of Major League Lacrosse, are a professional men's field lacrosse franchise that joined the league in 2012 and they play their home games at American Legion Memorial Stadium. The Hounds are focused on providing a fun game day atmosphere and growing lacrosse, with the ultimate goal of making Charlotte a better place to live through sport. For details on the upcoming schedule, season memberships and single-game tickets visit charlottehounds.com or call 704-206-1515.