On this week’s episode of New England Lacrosse Journal’s “Chasing The Goal” podcast, hosts Kyle Devitte and Jack Piatelli welcomed Boston University associate head coach Mike Silipo to the Seamans Media studio.
Silipo is now in his sixth season with BU and was named the associate head coach in 2019. He is the team’s recruiting coordinator and works primarily with the offense.
He started his coaching career at Williams, where he served in a variety of roles for the men’s lacrosse team and also served as the running backs coach for that college’s football team.
He went on to coach at his alma mater, Ithaca College, for three years before joining BU, where he has helped the nationally-ranked Terriers to an undefeated 4-0 start to the 2022 campaign.
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Jack Piatelli: Could you explain a little bit about your football coaching experience and what you learned to make you a better lacrosse coach?
Mike Silipo: The football aspect of it is that the tape is so important. I’m a son of a football coach. So, with my father, you played on Saturday, and practiced Monday to Friday. My coach at Ithaca would always say, “Game day is your day; practice is my day.” I didn’t understand that until I became coach.
In football, you really emphasize that because of the way you break down your weeks. Whether it’s Monday is no pads, Tuesday is skeleton, one day is pass day, one day is run day, red zone, etc., etc. So, the way you prepare the kids for Saturday is all up to us as coaches. We talk about that a lot, especially in the offensive room. It’s my job to get you ready for Saturday. And if I can make Monday to Friday harder than Saturday, then the game day should be pretty easy.
He used to beat the heck out of us on Mondays and Tuesday — didn’t matter if we were playing Cortland or any of the good programs we’d play. He made us practice a lot harder than game day, that’s for sure.
Kyle Devitte: Tell me a little bit more about the Back It Up project that you did over quarantine.
MS: So, COVID hit and Corey Winkoff actually hit me up. He’s like, “Hey, you want to get on (a Zoom) and do a live breakdown of a great game?” And while we were doing it, we’re like, “Man, be really cool to have the defensive perspective on it.”
One of our best friends growing up, Cold Spring Harbor guy and Gettysburg alum John Odierna, joined us. He’s the associate head coach at Manhattan, one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. That’s a fact. We got on as a group and we broke down one game and then Corey, being an Ivy League guy smarter than all of us was like, “What if we turn this into a show?” So we played around with different formats and podcast ideas and trying to give the lacrosse community drills and things to learn.
We ended up doing 17 or 18 episodes with different college coaches out there and then just us, because sometimes we forget John and I are college coaches so we can give drills. LSN actually picked us up. So we were on Lax Sports Network every Monday night with one of our episodes, which was cool. We’ve gotten guys like (Virginia assistant coach) Sean Kirwan, (North Carolina assistant) Dave Metzbower and (Harvard head coach) Gerry Byrne. We got some pros in Grant Ament and Joe Nardella as well.
Then when we got back into our jobs because COVID kind of slowed down, we ended up creating what we called Back It Up coaches summits. It was an opportunity to give back to the community even more. It is for a charge, but we bring different coaches on to hopefully give you something unique.