Recently Coach Dave Pietramala departed from his long time role as leader of the program at Johns Hopkins where he served for the past 19 seasons. Now he’s stepping back from coaching, but he won’t be far from the game. We announced recently that Pietramala joined the staff of the Legendary Sports Group as Sr. Lacrosse Advisor.
Curious about the new transition, we reached out to connect with Pietramala about the career shift and why LSG was the next step.
Dave Pietramala Q+A
LAS: Hi Coach. To start, what drew you to joining LSG and why?
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Petro: I was drawn to the opportunity to work with LSG for a number of reasons. Working alongside of winners and successful leaders like Brendan Kelly and Dave Cottle isn’t something that presents itself everyday. With the desire to get back to the sidelines if the right opportunity was to present itself, I felt as if I could not be in a more advantageous position working for LSG. Here I have the opportunity to coach at camps, clinics and other events while remaining closely connected to college, high school and club coaches as well as the athletes they work with.
I am very grateful to Brendan Kelly and Coach Cottle and am excited to work alongside the LSG team.
Does the new role require your full-time commitment or will you still entertain head coaching opportunities?
My role within the LSG team is one that is full-time. It has been great to get back in an office, work alongside a team and put a full days work in again. My focus is to help advance LSG’s place within lacrosse and create great opportunities for coaches and players. I remain passionate about coaching and developing young men and am certainly interested in the chance to be back on the sideline. That said, I am very excited about the opportunities I currently have with LSG
How would you describe your current relationship with Coach Cottle? How has it evolved and what excites you most about being on the same team?
My relationship with Coach Cottle is one I value. I loved my time with Coach at Loyola University and am thrilled to again work alongside him. It has been a lot of fun thus far. His knowledge of the game, willingness to think outside the box and his desire to succeed are contagious and I couldn’t be more blessed to work alongside a man I care for, respect and that will challenge me to be better every day.
If you could change anything about the high school lacrosse recruiting landscape, what would it be and why?
Given these uncertain times we are in and the challenges coaches and young men are facing, there has already been a lot of change. This pandemic has had a great impact on how coaches are recruiting as well as communicating and working with their own teams. My hope is that these unprecedented times has helped coaches and players discover new and improved ways to make this process more efficient and effective for all involved. Watching how coaches are communicating with current recruits and how they are preparing for contact with the class of 2022 has been very interesting. I feel as if this pandemic has forced the pace of recruiting to slow down a bit and created an opportunity for coaches and recruits to get to know each other better. Because the pace has slowed, for obvious reasons, there seems to be a greater focus on developing stronger and deeper relationships. I am believe these stronger relationships will prove to be beneficial for both player and coached when these young men eventually make a choice and arrive for their four years on campus helps both.
Additionally, the use of technology has helped streamline and improve the recruiting process and appears to be here to stay.
Where do you see the pro game five years from now? Will pro leagues become more popular than NCAA lacrosse, or is NCAA the pinnacle of the game?
This past (July) we have seen two professional lacrosse leagues take lacrosse into the national spotlight. Having lacrosse games broadcast at primetime on NBC has been a true blessing. The fact that Hall of Fame Coaches and players like Bill Bellichick and Drew Brees are endorsing our sport publicly is providing instant credibility. Fans that have never seen the game before are now tuning in and learning what many of us have known for years. These are all positives.
As a person that has coached the collegiate game for almost 30 years, my concerns are not, will the pro game become more popular than the college game. Quite frankly, my focus and attention is on the impact this pandemic will have on not just lacrosse, but college athletics in general. Inevitably, some sports or programs will be dropped. Budgets will be cut. The college athletic landscape could and will probably be significantly impacted. The growth of our sport, which has slowed at the division one level, may very well be stunted for a period of time. There is much uncertainty. How long will it take athletic departments to recover?
My hope, is that as the popularity of pro lacrosse grows, athletic directors, administrators and university presidents recognizes our sport has great value and will positively impact students, a university community and fans alike.