You know that feeling of finding money? You didn’t go out looking for it: you just happened to stumble across a crinkly bill on the ground and picked it up and smirked.
The Keene State College Men’s Lacrosse Team might have done just that and found money in the form of transfer athlete Mike Curley.
Head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, Mark Theriault, didn’t go out looking for a premiere defender within the conference who could start immediately, but he certainly got one.
“A little bit of success breeds success. People want to play for programs that are winning,” Theriault said. “I’m sure [Curley] had all intentions in the world to stay at Plymouth State for all four years but then I guess it wasn’t the right match for him for a variety of reasons.”
Curley transferred from Plymouth State University during the summer and started school at KSC during the fall semester.
He said there were a number of factors contributing to the change, including the competitiveness of both programs. He mentioned the league semi-finals last year, where KSC beat Plymouth, 21-0.
“I wasn’t 100 percent happy there and wanted to try somewhere else,” Curley said. “A good friend from my hometown actually convinced me to transfer here [to KSC]; he played a big factor in it. He made it easy on me and introduced me to everyone before the season started.”
That good friend was senior captain of the lacrosse team, Tommy Todd, who was a transfer from Southern New Hampshire University and shares the hometown of Billerica, Mass. with Curley.
Todd said, “I went to high school with him so that was a big deal for us. I mean we could play together again, which is nice. We were coached the same way so we’re kind of on the same page.”
He continued, “We compliment each other a lot, which is cool, and it’s nice to know people and not go into somewhere that’s new and you don’t know anyone.”
Transferring at the college level definitely has a lot to it behind the scenes; ask anybody who has gone through the process. Certain sports like basketball and football will make you sit out a year at the Division I level, but that is not the case at Division III, which make things a bit simpler.
Athletic Director at KSC, John Ratliff, simplified it best.
“It’s pretty basic for division three, if the student was academically and athletically eligible from the institution they left, then they are eligible here,” Ratliff said. “You can’t transfer out of trouble; that in a nutshell is the rule.”
However, receiving a transfer from a conference rival school like Plymouth State is definitely a rarity.
Curley said, “I really tried to avoid that but the other schools I was looking at were too much money and not really what I wanted.”
He continued, “They didn’t take me leaving too well so I’m kind of taking it personally and going to take it out on them. I still talk to a few of the guys, a few of my good friends there, but overall the team wasn’t very happy about it.”
The team at KSC is certainly happy to have him because of what he brings on and off the field.
Coach Theriault said, “You know he’s solid, he’s vocal, he talks, but at the same time in the way he does it is very quiet if you will. Nothings flashy, there’s never an ‘Oh my god’ moment, but anytime something needs to be done, it’s done and it’s done in a very precise way.”
He continued, “Having the confidence that we can match up one of the top scorers against him every time and just know I’m not being worried that the guy he’s guarding is going to put four or five points a game.”
Coach Theriault isn’t the only one who likes his game.
Todd said, “I mean I started last year with two seniors so for him to have the knowledge that he has and the talent that he has, it helps out a lot in the place of the guys who left last year.”
High expectations ride on this year’s squad as they hope to avenge last year’s loss to Eastern Connecticut State University in the LEC championship game and make a dent in the NCAA tournament.
Their mission continues on Monday, March 11 in California against Whittier College.
Jay McAree can be contacted at