After 16 seasons as head coach in Brooklandville and 225 victories while competing in the nation’s most prestigious high school lacrosse conference, St. Paul’s head coach Rick Brocato has decided that one more season is enough. Brocato will step down from his position at the end of the 2017 season.
Brocato has been on the St. Paul’s varsity lacrosse staff for 25 years, over two stints with the program, and he took over as the head coach in 2001. In that time, St. Paul’s has qualified for the MIAA playoffs 14 times, reached the championship game four times and won the title in 2010. He has coached four players who have gone on to become Hall of Famers, 19 players who have played professionally in Major League Lacrosse, 40 All-Americans and three Kelly Award winners. He has also been a head coach in the Under Armour All-American Game and served as an assistant with the U.S. U-19 National team which won the FILA World Championship this summer.
“It’s been a great run. So honored and humbled to have served St. Paul’s and the lacrosse program,” Brocato told VSN. “I will always cherish the relationships with players and coaches, my time on the field with my players and coaches, and the Tuesday and Friday league action. The best of times.”
In his final year, Brocato still has plenty to accomplish. In addition to competing for another shot at the MIAA title, Brocato is just eight wins shy of eclipsing the record for most wins at St. Paul’s, currently owned by Brooklandville legend George Mitchell. Brocato also coached one season at Kent-Denver High School (CO) and has an overall head coaching record of 244-107. Not to mention, he will coach in the historic 100th meeting between St. Paul’s and Boys’ Latin in early May.
“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 written statement. “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 began his St. Paul’s lacrosse career as the offensive coach for former head coach Mitch Whiteley, who now serves on Brocato’s staff. During his eight years as an assistant with the Crusaders the team won back-to-back Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) championships, in 1991 and 1992. After his time as an assistant at St. Paul’s, he became the head coach at Kent-Denver and then spent four years as an assistant at Boys’ Latin before returning to Brooklandville.
Brocato 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. Beyond 2017, 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.
As far as coaching again in the future, Brocato, who is well known for his trademark mustache and dark sun glasses, has not closed the door to that possibility.
“I am not sure what the next chapter is yet, but I am looking forward to watching my son Jack from the stands during his senior season in 2018 and visiting our daughter in college a little more, while exploring new opportunities.”