Besides Super Bowl titles, Harbaugh and Belichick share love for lacrosse
— John Harbaugh and Bill Belichick have more in common than their Super Bowl rings. The two head coaches both share a love of lacrosse.
Belichick, who Harbaugh called “the greatest coach of this generation” Wednesday, grew up in nearby Annapolis before he led the New England Patriots to four Super Bowl championships. His childhood in the hotbed of Maryland taught him to love lacrosse.
“It’s a great sport. Obviously such a great part of Baltimore and Maryland tradition. Crabs and lacrosse, that’s part of what that area is, a big part of the culture there and it transcends the new people that move into the new area. They pick up on it pretty quickly and enjoy it and embrace it and see the way the game is spreading throughout this country and internationally really,” Belichick said during Wednesday’s conference call with Baltimore media. “It’s now become much more of a national sport,
especially with Denver winning and the World Championships a couple of years ago out in Colorado. I mean, I was fortunate to grow up in that area and have been able to enjoy so much of lacrosse and all that goes with it, what a great spring sport and tradition it is in that area.”
The famously restrained Belichick seemed willing to discuss the sport for days. He attends Johns Hopkins games regularly, estimating he will watch five in person this season, and is close friends with Blue Jays head coach Dave Pietramala. New England has a former Johns Hopkins laxer, Mike Pellegrino, on its coaching staff.
Belichick played college lacrosse at Wesleyan University (Conn.), as did his daughter, Amanda, and his son, Stephen, played for Rutgers. Amanda serves as the head coach of the women’s team at Holy Cross.
“It’s been a big part of our family and a big part of my life,” he said.
Belichick added Wednesday that the Ravens head coach “is seeing the light” in terms of lacrosse.
Harbaugh did not grow up playing the sport as Belichick did, but has become a fan of the game through watching his daughter play it.
“I’m a lacrosse guy,” Harbaugh said. “I’m a bigger fan of girls’ lacrosse right now. I know [Belichick’s] daughter is the head coach at Holy Cross, so I’ll bet he feels the same way. Girls’ lacrosse is a great sport. It’s a great skill sport. The sticks are a little tougher. It’s more of a skill game, I think, in some ways. I’m going to be on the bandwagon for that right now. I watch a lot of girls’ lacrosse.”
Like Belichick, Harbaugh is a fan of the Johns Hopkins lacrosse program, but said he, inexplicably, cheers for Maryland, too. It’s like claiming to be a fan of the Ravens and the Steelers.
Lacrosse could be a likely topic if the two coaches share a cordial pregame discussion Monday night at Gillette Stadium, but then, it’ll be back to football.
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (left) chats with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during warmups at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Jan. 20, 2013. Both coaches are fans of lacrosse.