Take Me Back: Goalie Talk With Brian Phipps and Brody Fuller


Brody Fuller, a 13-year-old goalie with the Annapolis Hawks and seventh-grader at Lighthouse Christian Academy (Md.), interviews USA Select U16 coach and Whipsnakes goalie Brian Phipps.

This article appears in the January edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join our momentum.

“Take Me Back” connects today’s lacrosse stars with the next generation of players from their hometowns.

This month, Brody Fuller, a 13-year-old goalie with the Annapolis Hawks and seventh-grader at Lighthouse Christian Academy (Md.), interviews USA Select U16 coach and Whipsnakes goalie Brian Phipps.

Phipps, who spent his formative years in the Annapolis (Md.) Youth Lacrosse Association and is the head coach at Archbishop Spalding (Md.), now trains goalies — and Fuller is one of his star pupils.

BRODY: What is it like being the coach of a high school that competes at the highest level?

BRIAN: I’m very fortunate to coach young student-athletes that want to learn and get better. We play in the best conference in the MIAA, so it’s exciting to compete against the best and help our players become the best.

BRODY: How has lacrosse changed in Maryland since you were a kid?

BRIAN: It’s grown through different areas. Growing up, it was Annapolis vs. Severna Park as the big rivalry, and now you have people from all over the state.

BRODY: What is it like playing in the PLL?

BRIAN: It’s exciting. It’s a fast game. Plays happen one end to the other so quickly. It’s exciting to watch and play and have a great seat for some of the best players in the world.

BRODY: How does playing in the PLL translate to you coaching?

BRIAN: It has definitely changed my style of teaching and coaching. The PLL guys can shoot harder, faster, more accurate, so learning to prepare for that. At your age, people are able to shoot the ball so many different ways. Having that firsthand experience has allowed me to see that and teach that.

BRODY: What is it like being a coach and also a teacher in the school?

BRIAN: It’s very rewarding to see our guys and develop relationships with them off the field and help them in the classroom. The lacrosse aspect is just a nice bonus.

BRODY: What gets your team hyped up before games?

BRIAN: I’m not the most rah-rah speech guy. For me, I’m big into Disney and that type of music, so I’m very sentimental with those types of songs. I don’t think they relate to our high school kids. I’m not the most hip guy with the music.

BRODY: How do you think lacrosse would be in the Olympics?

BRIAN: I’m hoping it takes off. With the new Sixes format, it’s very fast-paced and looks similar to a basketball-type game. When I watch the Winter Olympics, I love curling, and I’ve never played it before or know all the rules. But whenever it’s on, I seem to watch it. Hopefully that’s what lacrosse does and catches that random fan’s attention.

BRODY: What is your favorite food?

BRIAN: With the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s very exciting to have an excuse to eat our faces off. I think turkey is the most overrated thing at Thanksgiving.


BRIAN: But stuffing, mashed potatoes and my favorite, green bean casserole — that’s the hidden gem. I’m in charge of making that, so obviously it’s the best thing on the menu.

BRODY: What’s it like being a parent?

BRIAN: My daughter is 16 months old. She calls lacrosse ‘crosse’ and grabs her mini stick. I think, as of right now, she’s got some good genes. She knows how to run around and pick up a ball already. If she ever decides to be a goalie, I’ll teach her a few things.

BRODY: Do you have a hobby?

BRIAN: Now that I’m a dad, my hobbies have dwindled away. Teaching history is a hobby of mine. We watched “Hamilton” for U.S. History today to go over the debate between Jefferson and Hamilton. I used to be a big PlayStation guy. I used to have a massive collection of Beanie Babies back in the day.


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