On this week’s episode of New England Lacrosse Journal’s “Chasing The Goal” podcast, hosts Kyle Devitte and Jack Piatelli welcomed MIT head coach Tyler O’Keefe into the Seamans Media studio.
O’Keefe, a Springfield College graduate, is in his fifth year at MIT. So far this season the Engineers (11-0) are undefeated, including a program milestone win over NESCAC mainstay Williams on Wednesday, 13-12.
MIT did not field a team in 2021, but has still managed to build a winning squad for 2022. One of its key players is Ryan Gebhardt, a graduate transfer from Stevens who leads the country with 5.9 goals per game.
The Engineers are looking to win their first-ever NEWMAC championship and advance to the NCAA tournament.
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Kyle Devitte: What is your average freshman class size? I know you have a ton of really high-impact contributors. Your face-off, guy. Matthew Sardis, is a freshman who’s 6-foot-3. You have a ton of massive guys on your roster. This is the biggest MIT team I’ve ever seen. Like I remember playing against MIT and it was like all dudes that were my size and I was like, “Oh, this is going to be all right, but you have incredible athletes on this team.”
Tyler O’Keefe: Our average class size is between 10 and 13. And as far as the size, I’ve heard that a lot this season actually. Some of the fans and opposing coaches have talked about how we’re big, I think I’m not exactly a big guy, either. But I think when you’re around them, you don’t really realize it until you watch like the first game of the year. And you look back and say, “You know, we are pretty big,” on the sidelines.
But again, for us, we’re just looking for the right guys for it. If they happen to be over six feet, then obviously that’s definitely a bonus. But we have got some good guys all over the field that are really good athletes that are still under that six-foot range.
Jack Piatelli: What is the graduation rate for the MIT program? I’m sure it’s very high, but what has been your experience so far?
TO: So far, for the five years, everyone graduates; a lot of our guys will do some more academic work, whether it’s research or getting the one-year MBA, but everybody goes off and graduates and has a really great job. They comes back on alumni weekend and shares their memories of the program.
I would say our guys probably go through a second recruiting process while they’re at MIT. You know, the job fairs and the people that reach out to them, it’s pretty special. They work very hard for it, for the things that they achieve off the field. But I also think that’s part of what makes the work world seek them out is they know what they’re getting with our student-athletes at MIT.
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