Boys’ lacrosse coach enters season with new role, high aspirations


Photo courtesy of WJ Athletics

Boys’ lacrosse coach Jacob Anderson begins new journey taking the reigns as the new head coach for the Wildcats. Anderson has been an assistant coach for the Wildcats in years past. “I hope to form a lot of great friendships with the players, and be a role model that [they] can look up to and talk to when [they] need advice,” Anderson said.

In January, WJ introduced its newest head coach, varsity boys’ lacrosse coach Jacob Anderson. Anderson was elevated from being an assistant coach after former head coach Danny Phillips suddenly left to focus on spending time with his newborn child. Anderson is the third head coach for the lacrosse team in the past four years and is looking to have a successful first season as well as develop many players on one of the Wildcats’ youngest varsity teams.

“I would like to build a culture of success for our program and players here at WJ. I think there is already a great culture off the field, and it is what made WJ such an awesome place to get an opportunity to coach. However as a younger team I think there is a lot of room to develop as athletes and the type of team we want to be going forward,” Anderson said.

Anderson began playing lacrosse when he was four years old and played for many different teams before playing at the division one level in college. He has been coaching since he was in high school, but this is his first time as a head coach. As an assistant at WJ, he worked a lot with the team’s offense and got to know many of the players through that experience.

“He’s a big offensive guy. He played faceoff in college so he has that big perspective of the game, so he leads us through a lot of different drills and gets our team flowing on offense,” senior Liam O’Connor said.

Outside of coaching lacrosse, Anderson is an English teacher at Seneca Valley High School. Anderson believes that working with students all day as a teacher gives him a great perspective on how to coach student-athletes on the field.

Overall, I tend to be pretty laid back, but I also recognize when we need to get serious and down to business. To balance that, I try to take a teacher’s approach and think about what skills and key concepts we need to know, and then create practice plans that can focus on the little things we need in place to do those things successfully.

— Jacob Anderson

Having the coaching change occur during the school year caused for a bit of brief uncertainty for the student-athletes on the team as there was a period during the school year where they did not have a head coach. This forced the team to try and find different ways to build connections with their teammates.

“It was pretty crazy because during the fall ball, we had our main coach from last year and years past, but as soon as he emailed all of us saying he was going to be leaving, it was really hectic for us because we had to figure everything out. The season was coming up and we didn’t have a coach for like the whole entire winter, so we never got any workouts or anything so we had to do everything as a team with captains practices on Saturdays and trying to bond any way that we could without a coach. It was just pretty crazy until now when we got our assistant coach from last year,” junior Brandon Moon said.

With Anderson officially being named the head coach with less than two months before tryouts begin, being able to connect more with returning players before the season begins is a very difficult task, but the Wildcats are confident that even with unexpected changes in the offseason, the transition will not be too difficult as there will still be continuity with Anderson and other coaches for the team.

“He’s always been at the games and practices and always trying to build a bond with us as well as with the head coach. It’s not going to be as much of a transition from last season to this season because it’s (otherwise) the same coaches as last year. It should be fine and I feel like we are going to have a pretty close bond with him, same as last year. He’s going to come to all of the team dinners and be able to connect with us on another level,” Moon said.