Our good friend Booker Corrigan of CSE TV recently sat down with Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala for an intimate one-on-one conversation. The two discuss Coach Pietramala’s relationships with fellow coaches Bill Tierney and Bill Belichick as well as what he thinks of Homewood Field. Enjoy!
Booker Corrigan: Coach, you’ve been in the business for a long, long time. Is there a veteran couch that you look to, or go to, when you need a little bit of advice about the sport?
Dave Pietramala: I think there are a lot of people that we rely on. Don’t let anybody tell you that every coach doesn’t have his or her support group, and I certainly have mine. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of being around a lot of great ones. I played for one and have worked for a couple of, but the few that come to mind, obviously one is Bill Tierney. Hall of fame coach. Coach Tierney recruited me to Johns Hopkins, was the defensive coordinator when I was there through my sophomore year. Was tremendously disappointed when he left us to move on to Princeton, but I think we’ve all seen how his vision panned out. He’s been a mainstay. I think the one thing that it’s been with Coach Tierney, you might think a lot of it’s Xs and Os, and very defensive oriented. To be quite frank, it’s been more philosophical, and approach, and how to handle kids, and morals, and values, and ethics, and those kinds of things.
Another person has been Coach Bill Belichick. I’ve developed an outstanding relationship with him. When we first met it was almost like you needed to pinch yourself to make sure this was all real. It’s just become a great friendship. We talk weekly during each of our seasons, whether it’s via text or phone call. He’s been invaluable. How can you not lean on a guy who’s the premier football coach in the NFL at the highest level. He’s just been phenomenal philosophically. He loves lacrosse, so he’s got his own thoughts and ideas, and it’s really, quite frankly, nice to get a fresh perspective and a little different perspective, about how to handle situations.
Then the other one is my dad. My father is my hero. I grew up wanting to be like my dad. And while I’ll never admit it to him, and I’ll never come out and ask the outright question, “What would you do here?” dad tends to offer his advice anyway, as I’m sure you know, most fathers do. He’s very quick to share his advice, but usually it’s pretty sound. Those are three individuals that I lean on.
BC: Which college team has the best home-field advantage, or the most exciting venue in which to play?
DP: I’m the head coach at Johns Hopkins… For me, you can’t find a better place than Homewood Field. It’s the most historic venue in the sport of lacrosse. It’s considered by some the Yankee Stadium of lacrosse, or the Camden Yards of lacrosse, depending on who you talk to.
I sit in my office, which overlooks Homewood Field now, and I look out and I think about the countless first team All-Americans, the countless national champions, the players of the year, positional players of the year, and then obviously the great coaches. Henry Ciccarone, Bob Scott. So on and so forth. William Schmeisser.
It’s hard not to pick Johns Hopkins, because on game day it’s an electric atmosphere. It’s a program that’s supported not just by the student body and the university, but by the community at large. It’s pretty neat walking off Homewood Field after winning, having 40, 50 kids sitting there asking for your autograph, and asking for your stick, your glove, your socks, your shoes.
BC: I was one of those kids once upon a time.
DP: I think you can understand why for me Homewood is pretty dear to the heart. I think Homewood Field is the best venue in the sport.
BC: Dave Pietramala, our guest today here at CSE TV. Thanks for your time, coach!