Get to Know Whittier Coach Brian Kelly

Whittier College is currently a pioneer for the sport of lacrosse here out west.  Despite being only one of a handful of  Division 3 programs west of the Mississippi,  the Poets  have a rich and deep tradition. Head Coach Brian Kelly answered a few questions about his innovative program. For those who are considering WC as a college, or those who want to get to know more about WC Lacrosse, please join MaxLax in getting to know Head Coach Brian Kelly!

Q: Tell us about your lacrosse background. Where did you play? How long have you been coaching?
A: I grew up outside of Philadelphia and played lacrosse here at Whittier. I was a 2x All American, captain of our 2003 Final Four team and played 10 years of professional lacrosse in the NLL, MLL & LXM Pro Tour. I started coaching at Whittier as an assistant in 2003 and became the head coach in 2009. I also serve as the Western Training Director for 3D Lacrosse.

Q: What style of play do you like to use?
A: Our style will be dependent on personnel, but my general philosophy is a fast, physical & aggressive brand of lacrosse with a strong commitment to team D and lots of ball and player movement on offense. I value a healthy mix of fundamentals and creativity.

Q: Do you usually give pre-game, inspirational speeches?
A: I never force pregame speeches. Our guys should be excited enough on their own for opportunities to compete at this level. That said, I do break some good ones out every once in awhile if the time is right.

Q: Would you say you’re particularly loud on the sidelines?
A: I try to be quiet on the sidelines and let our guys play, but I will certainly say things that need to be said. I’m probably more guilty of letting our guys play too much at times.

Q: Did you have any pre-game rituals as a player? What was it?
A: I’ve never had a specific pre game ritual. I’ve always been a simple go out there and compete type of guy.

Q: Favorite memory as a lacrosse player?
A: Playing in the first NCAA Tournament game west of the Mississippi (2002). It’s a big deal in he lacrosse world when our program does well and I took a ton of pride in that experience.

Q: Favorite memory as a coach?
A: Beating Ithaca in 2011. It was the first win over a marquee DIII program while I was the head coach. Although this answer will change once we make the NCAA tournament this year!

Q: Name three things on your lacrosse bucket list?
1. Get Whittier back in the NCAA Tournament
2. Win a DIII Championship
3. See varsity lacrosse grow on the west coast

Q: Favorite Movie of All Time?
A: The Big Lebowski

Q: Give us a five song playlist for a conditioning session?
A: I’m not much of a music listener while working out (or a runner anymore for that matter!). However, my favorite Pandora station is Van Morrison Radio.

Q: What is one piece of advise for a young player looking forward to playing in high school?
A: Have fun with your friends, play other sports & work hard at your fundamental skills.

Q: College?
A: Understand how competitive it is at the next level just to be recruited and work accordingly. Be versatile, the more things you can do, the more likely you’ll carve out a role for yourself early in your career.

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