On this week’s episode of New England Lacrosse Journal’s “Chasing the Goal” podcast, hosts Kyle Devitte and Jack Piatelli welcomed Boston University men’s lacrosse head coach Ryan Polley in studio.
Polley has guided BU’s team since its inception in 2012 after previously coaching at Yale and Merrimack College. Under his leadership, the Terriers have made multiple appearances in the Patriot League conference playoffs. He has also produced a number of pro players from BU, most recently long-stick midfielder Reece Eddy.
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Jack Piatelli: Would it have been more challenging for you to bring in a whole class in your first year if the recruiting rules were the same as they are today, with only being able to contact juniors on Sept. 1?
Ryan Polley: Well, we just had to decide where our attention was going to go. So, we were trying to build this first class, but we were also trying to be as competitive as possible. We were, at the same time, recruiting the seniors, juniors and sophomores. We were really recruiting four classes of players. Once we got the first class situated, we moved on to the second and third classes.
It became a little bit more of a natural cycle, but those first four years, that’s why we were working so many hours. We had to get the first team committed and get them ready to go through all the things that you need to go through, but we were also trying to recruit and commit the next classes because the rules back then allowed us to do that. It was a busy time for sure.
Kyle Devitte: Just looking at your roster – you have players from as far away as Washington, Minnesota, Florida, Oregon and California — you’re hitting all of these different regions and getting kids to come from all of those places. As well as the local players — that must make for an interesting locker room, right?
RP: It’s the blessing of BU. We are 15 minutes away from Logan Airport. We’re a school in the city. We’ve done really well with players from outside of the area. We talked earlier about (goalie) Christian Carson-Banister — he’s a Texas kid. Sam Talkow was a face-off guy from Florida.
When you think about kids from those areas, they’re used to the big high schools. BU is a medium-sized institution — we have 4,000 undergraduates. Sometimes for the New England kids, that’s a big school for them. So, when you deal with Florida and Texas and California (players), 4,000 is like someone’s high school. They want to go to a school that’s like their high school and is a natural fit. You combine that with the ease of getting from wherever they’re coming from through Logan Airport and their parents can come and visit, they don’t have to rent a car and they can be in Boston — it’s just been a really good fit. We recruit non-traditional places very hard and we’ve been very successful with those players.