It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. Since 2008, Rob Warner has been reporting to work at the pristine University of San Diego campus overlooking Mission Bay to coach the Toreros mens’ lacrosse team. Playing home games on a campus that is recognized as one of the most beautiful campuses in America, Warner led a young Toreros team to a 7-7 record in 2014 while playing inthe competetive Division 1 of the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference . Having lost only five seniors to graduation, Warner and his Toreros look forward to an even better 2015 with his fast-paced offense and staunch defense. Read on as Coach Warner tells us a little about himself and his coaching philosophy.
Tell us about your lacrosse background. Where did you play? How long have you been coaching?
I played my collegiate career at UC Berkeley. Where we won the MCLA National Championship my freshman year. I was then an assistant coach there for one year while finishing school. After I graduated, I coached and played in England for a year. I was the head coach at Chico State for three years. I have been at USD since 2008. First as the assistant head coach and then as the head coach starting in 2010. I have been coaching for 14 years.
What style of play do you like to use?
It tends to change very season depending on our players. This season we are going to have a fast paced flowing O. With a D focused on slowing down the opposing O.
What is the make-up of your coaching staff?
The coaching staff is made up of coaches that all have long time head coaching experience. We are lucky to have all veteran head coaches on the staff. Everybody knows their lacrosse.
Did you have a pre-game ritual as a player? What was it?
Not really. I didn’t really need music to pump me up. I was a goalie, so I am sure I had some weird things going on. But it was really just a fast quick warm up in cage and I was ready to go.
Favorite lacrosse memory as a player?
Two, but they were in the same season. Winning both the WCLL Championship and MCLA (back then USLA) National Championship my freshman year. I was the starting goalie for Cal. Both games were overtime thrillers.
Favorite lacrosse memory as a coach?
There are so many. But whenever we beat SDSU in our last regular season game is great. They are our biggest rival and nothing makes our graduating seniors happier.
Name three things on your lacrosse bucket list.
- Win a MCLA National Championship as a coach.
- Take USD to Japan to tour/play one summer
- To finally see NCAA Div. 1 lacrosse in California
What one piece of advice do you have for the young player looking forward to playing in high school?
Don’t throw your stick in the closet as soon as the season is over. It should be glued to your hands all year long.
What one piece of advice do you have for the high school player hoping to play in college?
Same thing. Don’t take the summer off before you get to school. The freshmen that make the biggest impact their first year are the ones that come out ready to play from day one.