Past Cornell Athletes Honor Richie Moran on 'Overtime' with Paul Carcaterra

Richie Moran, the legendary coach at Cornell and member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, passed away on April 24. The days that followed were filled with tributes and stories about his impact on the lacrosse community.

Moran created the culture that still exists today at Cornell, one of the most competition programs in Division I men’s lacrosse history. No matter if it was a star player or benchwarmer, Moran treated him the same way both on and off the field.

When Cornell players graduated, their relationship with Moran continued to grow. He’d call them on birthdays. He’d call their mothers on her birthday. He was as invested as a coach can be in the lives of his players, both current and former.

We could think of no better way to honor Moran’s legacy by sharing stories from the players on which he left a massive impact. From the 1970s to 2000s, we take a look at Moran’s growth as a coach and how he made everything work in Ithaca, N.Y. Mike French, Tim Goldstein, Mike Levine and Rob Pannell join Paul Carcaterra to honor one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game.

You can listen to the full episode on Apple and Spotify today. However, here are some excerpts from the interview.

MIKE FRENCH (1974-76)

On his presence within the Cornell lacrosse program.

“He owns the room. When he goes into a room, whistling or doing whatever, he takes it over. No matter if you’re Class of 2021 or Class of 1978. He was so engaged. The coaches over the years at Cornell included him. He goes up there and puts plays on paper. He has really been ambassador for Cornell and the Ivy League. I have friends and partners that went to the other Ivy League schools, they all know about Richie.”

On Moran’s actions in the midst of tragedy at Cornell.

“We lost Eamon McAnaney. We lost Paul Schimoler. We lost George Boiardi. Those traumatic events stimulated a resurgence in the love for Cornell. Richie was really good at bringing people together. Richie was the ringleader. He put everything together. Richie and Eamon were kindred spirits. They were both passionate Irish BSers and sometimes leprechaun, but they had love for each other.”


What were Richie’s greatest attributes as a coach?

“One of Richie’s best attributes was that he was a players’ coach, especially with me. He really appreciated input, and you don’t see that as much nowadays. With Richie, he was great about taking input from what I saw, and ultimately I bought in more because I was responsible for that.”

On Moran’s competitive spirit and joy for winning.

“With Richie, part of his secret sauce was that he just, more than anybody, loved to win. I remember the first game I played, we beat Cortland, I was walking around the locker room. He was singing, dancing, putting music on. His enthusiasm for winning was what all of us really enjoyed the most about him. It was infectious. He played ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy’ and his music in the locker room. That was something that made him different. He made sure all of us enjoyed winning.”

MIKE LEVINE (1991-93)

On Moran’s personality fitting with the role of head coach.

“He knocked my socks off from the get-go. The same thing could be said for anyone that interacted with him at any given time. The combination of the voice, the hair, the shape, the whole essence of him. It was almost as if he was a made up character of what the quintessential lacrosse coach should be.”

How did Moran treat his players?

“I was a role player, but for the four years that I was with him at school and for the 30 since then, he never made me feel like anything other than his best player of all time. So many of us felt so welcomed into his life and into the Cornell Lacrosse family even though we weren’t putting up 100 points a year. Even until my very least year, he always felt like he could get more out of me.”

ROB PANNELL (2009-13)

On Moran’s ability to keep showing up.

“There would be events after I graduated on Long Island, and in walked Richie all the way from Ithaca to show his support. He’s always there for whoever was in his life. He showed me the need to support those around you. No one was as good at that as he was. As tough as he may have been, the second he was off the field and in the locker room, he was there for you as a person. He was able to differentiate between on-field and off-field Rob Pannell as a player and a person.”

How Moran was known more for his ability to connect with players off the field.

“I wanted to know how he was as a coach and they’d said that he was tough and demanded the tough. They’d talk about the conditioning and playing outdoors at the polo grounds and in the barns. It seemed as if, through the way that they cared about him, that they wanted to do it. They wanted to show up for him every day. They talk about most who he was off the field. He showed up, far more after they played for them.”

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