By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 9/7/16
Rick Brocato, who has served as head coach for 16 years at Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) power St. Paul’s School, will step down following the 2017 season.
Brocato, who also was coach at Kent Denver (CO) for two years, has posted a record of 225-104 at St. Paul’s and 244-107 overall. He has coached at. St. Paul’s for 25 years.
“‘Broc,’ as he is known to all, exemplifies the very best of the teacher-coach model,” said St. Paul’s Headmaster David C. Faus in a press release. “He has prepared athletes to achieve the very highest levels – college All-Americans, professionals, and even the national Hall of Fame. At the same time, he is a deeply engaged, empathetic educator who makes every one of his middle school students feel valued and supported.”
“I felt the timing was good,” said Brocato. “I feel I will be leaving the program in a pretty good place after this year.”
St. Paul’s was 12-7 last year and was eliminated in the MIAA playoffs in the first round by Severn School.
Under Brocato, the Crusaders have qualified for the playoffs 14 out of 16 years in the powerful MIAA, while reaching four MIAA championship games, winning the 2010 conference title. He was named Baltimore Sun Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2010, and US Lacrosse Baltimore Chapter Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2010.
Brocato said that after 31 years of coaching the grind of coaching in what many followers agree is perhaps the toughest conference in the nation is more challenging than ever. He also will enjoy watching son Jack, a 2018 attackman committed to Salisbury, play lacrosse away from the sidelines.
Brocato, a graduate of Towson High, played at Washington College and then served as an assistant at St. Paul’s under Mitch Whiteley for eight seasons, including the back-to-back 1991 & 1992 MSA Champions. He then coached two years at Kent Denver where he went 19-3, and enjoyed the West, but admittedly missed St. Paul’s. He returned to Baltimore in 2002 and was an assistant at MIAA rival Boys’ Latin under former coach Bob Shriver while serving as a middle school principal.
Brocato came back to St. Paul’s in 2004 as an assistant coach and teacher and replaced Whitely again as head coach in 2006.
Before making his decision, Brocato confided with Shriver, who retired a year ago, and college linemate and close friend John Nostrant of Haverford School (PA).
“I can’t believe how many people were shocked (at the news),” said Brocato. “I feel lucky; I am leaving with all my hair and not too many gray hairs.
“I went to Kent Denver because it was an opportunity and West was calling. I had two young kids and my wife and I wanted to check it out. It was a good school, but I really missed St. Paul’s. In hindsight I am glad I did it, but no other school can capture that feeling. St. Paul’s is a special place for Rick Brocato, no doubt about it!”
Brocato knows he will miss the sport when he steps down.
“The relationships with the coaches and players are huge,” he said. “I will miss the practices on the field, I love the practice time with the players. But there is nothing like Tuesdays and Fridays in the MIAA. It will hit me the first year I’m not coaching when that first beautiful spring day comes and I am not on the sidelines.”
Brocato also served as head coach of the South team for the USILA Senior North-South Game in 1996, and as head coach of the South team in the Senior Under Armour High School All-American game in 2011. During the summer of 2015, he was part of the coaching staff for the selection of the USA U-19 Team, which recently won the FILA world Championship in Coquitlam, British Columbia. While at St. Paul’s, he has coached four Hall of Famers, nineteen Major League Lacrosse professionals, two USA World Team members, seventeen NCAA Champions, forty-four All-Americans, and three Kelly Award winners.
Brocato is the current holder of St. Paul’s endowed Kent W. “Skip” Darrell ’60 Distinguished Chair for teaching and coaching, and a past recipient of the School’s Alec Schweizer ’98 Award for the Advancement of Teaching and Coaching, honoring exemplary devotion to teaching and coaching. He will continue to teach science at St. Paul’s where he received a Faculty grant award in 1990 to study orangutans in Borneo, Indonesia, and received the Middle School Faculty Bower Grant in 1994.
Background information was courtesy of a St. Paul’s press release