By VERONICA RATES, Staff Writer
UM-Dearborn lacrosse will feature a new face who might bring a different perspective to the team this season.
Devon Callaghan is UM-Dearborn’s first ever NCAA Division I transfer in the history of the lacrosse program.
Callaghan is a transfer from University of Detroit Mercy, where one of his dreams was to play Division I lacrosse close his home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. His decision to transfer was not in his original plans.
The sophomore met Wolverine lacrosse alumnus Mike Prokic while working at Trinity Health, where Callaghan works part-time. Prokic promoted UM-Dearborn to Callaghan after learning of his elite lacrosse background.
That was when Callaghan made the decision to transfer.
“When choosing UM-D, I was exponentially excited to attend an accomplished university in a safe, convenient location that I could stay close to home,” he said.
Callaghan doesn’t mind a packed schedule. He actually flourishes in it.
As if school, lacrosse, and even working part-time weren’t enough for Callaghan at UM-Dearborn, he is also a member of the varsity soccer team.
“Though this schedule was challenging, I thrive when I am on a strict schedule and have many things to accomplish,” he said.
Callaghan says head lacrosse coach Jason Watts, assistant coach Mike Wagner, and head soccer coach Matt Quirk were more than helpful in getting him adjusted and comfortable at his new school. His teammates on both squads make UM-Dearborn feel a bit more like home every day. He says his teammates are very encouraging and want everyone to succeed.
Lacrosse wasn’t just his main reason for coming to Dearborn. Academics were a major factor in Callaghan’s transfer process.
Callaghan is a business major, and being able to add Spanish as a minor was part of how he thought he could reach his full academic potential, and was one of many positive additions to transferring.
Callaghan has brought a lot for his team thus far. His experience and knowledge coming from elite high school and college programs give insight to his team as well as his skill set.
“He pushes everyone to be better, faster,” says Wagner. “And he does it by consistently performing at a high level.”
Wagner says Callaghan’s quickness and fearless attitude on the field is going to be a major factor this upcoming season.
“His hands are lightning fast, and he is creative in creating opportunities for himself, and others,” Wagner says. “He is not afraid to take chances, and does not back down from challenges. He often draws the defense’s best player, but is still able to put up big numbers.”
As a midfielder and an attackman, Callaghan brings depth to the team, and his quick thinking gives him and his teammates more opportunities to score.
Wagner hopes to showcase UM-Dearborn academically and the competitiveness of the NAIA conference as a great place for future high school and for student-athletes to thrive in. Callaghan’s successful transition is a prime example.
“After my transition, it really opened my eyes to seeing that if one situation isn’t going your way, it isn’t the end of the world,” Callaghan said. “Though lacrosse is part of my skill set, I felt as though I had many other skills I could enhance by transferring here.”
“I would encourage other high school players who play at a high level to consider if NAIA lacrosse might be a better fit, academically, as well as athletically,” Wagner says.
“UM-Dearborn lacrosse in the NAIA offers the opportunity for elite high school players to be a big fish in a small pond at a varsity program while earning an outstanding degree.”