Rick Brocato steps down as head coach of the St. Paul’s (Brooklandville, Md.) high school lacrosse program at the end of the 2017 season.
Brocato compiled a 225-104 record from 1995 to 2016 (his year-by-year record is available below). He also had stints as an assistant at Kent Denver (Denver, Colo.) and Boys’ Latin (Baltimore) in that span.
“I told the headmaster at the start of June and he asked me to take the summer to think it over. He wanted to make sure I thought things through,” Brocato said. “We took a family trip and when I got back I told him I’m sure. It’s been 31 years and I’ve been at three great schools. It’s been a thrill. It’s been a great run. But it’s time.”
Entering his 17th season as head lacrosse coach, Brocato is seven wins shy of tying George Mitchell for the most wins in school history. His overall coaching record between Kent-Denver, Colo. and St. Paul’s stands at 244-107.[pullquote]It’s emotional. I love the school. It’s been great to me. It will always be special to me.” — Rick Brocato[/pullquote]
“I wanted to give the school a long time to find the right coach rather than scramble after the season,” Brocato added when asked why he announced his decision now.
“Broc, as he is known to all, exemplifies the very best of the teacher-coach model,” said St. Paul’s Headmaster David C. Faus in a release on St. Paul’s website. “He has prepared athletes to achieve the very highest levels – college All-Americans, professionals, and even the national Hall of Fame. At the same time, he is a deeply engaged, empathetic educator who makes every one of his middle school students feel valued and supported.”
Brocato’s son, Jack is a junior on the 2017 team and Rick is looking forward to both coaching and watching him play.
“I’ll able to enjoy Jack’s senior year from the stands. I think I’ll enjoy it more,” Brocato said. “I’ve been his coach pretty much all his life. I love watching him play and I don’t think I’ve really taken the time, as much as I’ve needed, to sit back and really enjoy that. There’s a part of me that’s really looking forward enjoying watching him play.”
The Crusaders have 18 seniors returning to a team that went 14-7 last season. They also boast four juniors, including Jack.
How It Began
Brocato took over the Crusader program in 1995 when Mitch Whiteley stepped away from the program. He won 74 games in his first five seasons before heading to Colorado to coach Kent Denver.
“Mitch Whitely asked me to be an assistant on the lacrosse team in 1987,” Brocato said. “It certainly became, what I felt, my full-time job. It’s been a great run.”
He returned as head coach in 2006 to St. Paul’s after serving as an assistant coach at Boys’ Latin.
“I’ve pinched myself. It’s a school that has such a rich tradition. and undying support for their lacrosse program,” Brocato said. “To be mentioned in the same breath as the men who have coached there before, it’s really humbling. It’s emotional. I love the school. It’s been great to me. It will always be special to me.”
Under Brocato, the Crusaders have qualified for the playoffs 14 out of 16 years in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletics Association, the nation’s most competitive high school lacrosse conference, and reached four MIAA championship games, winning the 2010 conference title.
The Baltimore Sun named him Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2010. The US Lacrosse Baltimore Chapter selected him as Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2010.
Brocato also served as head coach of the South team for the USILA Senior North-South Game in 1996, and as head coach of the South team in the Senior Under Armour High School All-American game in 2011.[pullquote]It’s been 31 years and I’ve been at three great schools. It’s been a thrill. It’s been a great run. But it’s time.” — Rick Brocato[/pullquote]
He was part of the coaching staff that selected the USA U-19 Team in 2015, which recently won the FILA world Championship in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
While at St. Paul’s, he has coached four Hall of Famers, nineteen Major League Lacrosse professionals, two USA World Team members, seventeen NCAA Champions, forty-four All-Americans, and three Kelly Award winners.
Overall, Brocato has coached varsity lacrosse for over thirty years. He previously served as the offensive coach at St. Paul’s, under Mitch Whiteley, for eight seasons, including the back-to-back 1991 & 1992 MSA Champions. In between stints in Brooklandville, Brocato coached at the Kent-Denver School in Denver and four seasons at Boys’ Latin, including the 2002 MIAA title winners.
He is the current holder of St. Paul’s endowed Kent W. “Skip” Darrell ’60 Distinguished Chair for teaching and coaching, and a past recipient of the School’s Alec Schweizer ’98 Award for the Advancement of Teaching and Coaching, honoring exemplary devotion to teaching and coaching. He will continue to teach science at St. Paul’s where he received a Faculty grant award in 1990 to study orangutans in Borneo, Indonesia, and received the Middle School Faculty Bower Grant in 1994.
Overall RecordMore: National High School Lacrosse Coach Career Wins List
|2016||14||7||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2015||14||6||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2014||14||7||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2013||17||5||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2012||4||15||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2011||14||8||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2010||17||4||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2009||15||7||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2008||10||10||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2007||16||4||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2006||16||5||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2005||0||0||Asst. at St. Paul's (Md.)|
|2004||0||0||Asst. at Boys' Latin (Md.)|
|2003||0||0||Asst. at Boys' Latin (Md.)|
|2002||0||0||Asst. at Boys' Latin (Md.)|
|2001||0||0||Asst. at Kent Denver (Colo.)|
|2000||0||0||Asst. at Kent Denver (Colo.)|
|1999||15||6||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|1998||16||4||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|1997||15||5||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|1996||17||3||St. Paul's (Md.)|
|1995||11||8||St. Paul's (Md.)|