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johns hopkins ncaa Meet Pete Milliman, the New Mind Behind JHU Men’s Lacrosse
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Meet Pete Milliman, the New Mind Behind JHU Men’s Lacrosse

Editor’s Note: We welcome the man, the myth, the animal, Malcolm Chase, back to Malcolm is one of the most terrifying longsticks we’ve ever seen and a guy that has built his credibility through a constant grind to never stopping improving. You’ll be hearing a lot from Malcolm, from workout tips to interviews with the game’s top minds, starting with his catch up with Pete Milliman shortly before taking the Johns Hopkins job.

It’s good to see you again, Lacrosse All Stars! It has officially been 1,288 days since my last post to you, and I can assure you – it was time well spent. When we last hung out you followed my journey into the MLL, and I’m thankful to say, I made it…

Now, I’m back to keep growing the game and luckily for you, All Stars – I spoke to Johns Hopkins University Head Coach Pete Milliman just about a week before the second biggest news story of the season; his being named the successor to Dave Pietremala and a 21st-century dynasty.

The game moves lightning fast at the Division 1 level. Within days of my conversation with Coach Milliman, he would receive a very exciting offer to be the next head coach at John Hopkins University. He accepted and had to make the always very difficult decision to put his family and professional aspirations first. I am interested, as I am sure all of you are, as to how past/current/future Cornell players feel about losing this awesome leader, as well as how past/current/future Blue Jays are processing losing a living legend, and gaining an energetic up-and-comer. Stay tuned as I explore each of these rabbit holes.

But that’s not the point…

It’s time to learn the coaching philosophies of the head coach of the Jays.

About Pete Milliman, Johns Hopkins

As a Coach

  • Head Coach, Johns Hopkins (April 2020 – Present)
  • Assistant Coach, U.S. men’s national indoor team (2019)
  • Head Coach, Russian national field team (2014, 2018)
  • Head Coach, Cornell University (May 2018 – April 2020)
  • Interim Head Coach, Cornell University (May 2017-18)
  • Associate Head Coach, Cornell University (2014-17)
  • Assistant Coach, Princeton University (2013)
  • Head Coach, Pfeiffer University (May 2009 – 2012)
  • Assistant Coach, Rochester Institute of Technology (2007-08)
  • Assistant Coach, Siena College (2006)
  • Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year (2009, 2011)
  • Ivy League Champion (2018)

As a Player

  • 3x Division III All-America, Gettysburg College
  • 3x All-Centennial Conference
  • MLL Rochester Rattlers (2006 – 2008)
  • MLL Champion 2008

Catching up with Coach Milliman

On Cornell, and Overcoming Adversity as a Team

LAS: Seems like your team is built to overcome adversity… you handle it with such grace it’s inspiring to watch.

Coach Milliman: “I think it’s the mentality of the guys. They understand this is going to be a road full of challenges. Those challenges are not going to turn us off or turn us back. We just need to keep working on what we know we can do… The best example I can give them in training scenarios is life.”

On Moving Up the Depth Charts

LAS: A question from our followers, how do you climb the depth charts in a competitive program like yours when there are key guys in front of you?

Coach Milliman: “You climb the depth chart for us when you put everything you have on the field, and you get better at lacrosse… As soon as you stop caring where you are on the depth chart, you’ll play better and you’ll fit in.

If every time you look over your shoulder after a play, I can tell that’s all you think about… Whether you made a good play or not.

If you stop caring about whether or not I think you’re good, and you just start playing the best lacrosse you can, you start getting better. You’ll move up the depth chart because it won’t matter whether I think you’re good or not, you’ll be good. You’ll be too good to keep off the field.”

On the difference between Mental and Physical Toughness

LAS: What is your take on being a “tough” athlete, is there a difference between mental and physical toughness?

Coach Milliman: “Mental toughness is something everybody talks about. Physical toughness is a measure of what guys are capable of doing when it comes to an objective, mental toughness is what they are capable of doing when that same objective is pushed farther and made harder and with obstacles in front of it.

It’s the same objective it just has a lot more challenges with it… [with] a high level of expectation and accountability.”

On Why Pete Milliman is a Coach

LAS: Thanks for the perspective today. To close out, what drives you as a coach?

Coach Milliman: “That connection with the guys, and it was my first experience as a teacher. Anytime you get a chance to be an educator and you get to share the experience of development and learning, you get the gratification back from what you have helped other people with. That’s education, and that’s what draws the true coaches to this sport.”

My Take?

Like anyone else’s, this year’s season has been more than difficult.

Regardless of how we got here, Coach Milliman is ready, capable and able to return JHU to its glory days. If I were a Blue Jay – I’d be thinking about my mental toughness, ability to overcome adversity, and appreciation for being a Jay.

Meanwhile, after a 5-0 start in 2020, the Big Red will be just fine come 2021.

Even though it’s been less than a week, I hope to catch up with Coach Milliman soon now that he has to come up with a whole new map for the road ahead.