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June 10, 2018

Roanoke College Men’s Lacrosse Coach, Bill Pilat, Talks About Working Hard, Listening, and When to Reach Out to a Coach

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Roanoke College Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach, Bill Pilat, has spent 28 seasons on the Roanoke sidelines where he has accumulated nearly 68-percent of the men’s lacrosse wins in the school’s history. Coach Pilat is a 1985 graduate of Roanoke and has won 302 games in his coaching career. He is also the winningest coach in the program’s history, winning all but 162 games in the program’s nearly 50-years of existence. His 70% win percentage is also the best in the history of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

In 28 seasons as the Roanoke College head coach, Pilat has coached the team to a top-10 ranking 18 times, culminating with a number-four ranking in 1992 and 1997 and a number-three ranking in 2005 and 2006 and a Number 1 ranking in 2009. On top of that, Coach Pilat has coached 70 All-Americans, 67 First Team All-ODAC selections, and eight conference Players of the Year. In 19 of his 27 seasons, the Maroons Lacrosse team has completed the season ranked among the nation’s top 20.

We are so excited that Coach Pilat gave us recruiting advice for our LRT Sports followers. We asked Coach Pilat what the most important quality he looks for in a recruit and how can a recruit get on his radar, he shared with us that he looks for “hard-working athletes, both in school and on the field” and that “the best way to get on the school’s radar is to play at one of the events they sponsor.”

Most athletes want to know if they should contact college coaches and how they should contact them. Coach Pilat advises athletes who are juniors in high school to “reach out to him through email” during any time of the year. It is also essential to create and send highlight tapes to coaches – especially at a Division III university because the coaches may not have the traveling budget that other coaches have in the other NCAA divisions.

Coach Pilat says it is best to create the highlight reel towards the “middle to end of the season”. This allows one to put in their best clips from the season. He also shared that something that jumps out when he is watching a recruit’s highlight tape is “the recruit’s speed”, so keep that in mind when picking out some clips for your reel. Finally, Coach Pilat suggested, “keep it short; show your athletic ability, and show the recruit doing what his position is supposed to do.”

It is always interesting to hear different coach’s expectations for their incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field. Coach Pilat says that his expectations for incoming players are for them to “work hard, listen, and learn from both the coaches and the older players”.

Coach also offered some valuable recruiting do’s and don’ts.“Do ask a coach if he has a spot for you on the team and make sure you observe all dates and deadlines and to visit campus at least one time. Don’t assume the coach you are talking to needs or wants a recruit.”

Recruiting can be a very stressful time for high school athletes and things are continually happening. When we asked Coach Pilat what advice he has for recruits who get turned down by their dream schools, he answered by saying that a recruit that has experienced this could “look at another school or become a walk-on and try out.”

The last piece of advice is revolved around young athletes and social media. Coach Pilat wants to make sure that recruits know to “be careful with what you post.” This piece of advice is critical because there have been many instances where coaches have stopped recruiting players due to what they have posted on social media.  

We appreciate Coach Pilat’s time and wish he and the Roanoke Maroons continued success!