Rite of Passage: ESPN's 'Stugotz' Reflects on Lacrosse Past and Present

COURTESY OF ESPN

Jon Weiner, also known as Stugotz on ESPN Radio’s “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” made his name in lacrosse at Clark University.


Before he became known as Stugotz on ESPN Radio’s “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” Jon Weiner made his name in lacrosse.

A Long Island native that grew up loving the sport, Weiner starred at Clark University from 1991 to 1994. He stills ranks among the school’s top 10 players all-time in goals and assists.

Even though he’s co-hosting one of the nation’s top sports radio shows, Stugotz finds time to coach his daughter’s 2022 MadSkillz club team. He said he loves talking lacrosse on the show, and recently wore a Team USA jacket on-air. To top it off, he’ll get the chance to serve as a commentator on select ESPN lacrosse broadcasts.

How did you get into lacrosse?

Where I grew up, in Port Washington at that time, and I’m guessing it’s still so today, you didn’t need to be introduced to the game. The game was just there, it was just all over town. You walk around town and all the high school kids had lacrosse sticks in their hands and I kind of looked up to it. It was like a rite of passage. There really was no introduction needed. It was part of the town’s culture and DNA.

Did you play other sports growing up?

I played football for a little bit and I played basketball and lacrosse. Lacrosse was always the primary sport. I played the other sports for a couple reasons. First, it’s important to play other sports. I always encourage my team that I coach of that. I don’t want them to burn out by playing one sport. There’s so much to learn from playing other sports. So many skills that you can learn to apply to lacrosse.

What got you interested in sports radio?

Growing up on Long Island in the 1980s, I was introduced to the first 24-hour sports radio station in WFAN. My dad was always listening. He picked me up from practice and I remember the first day, the first time I heard Mike and [the Mad Dog]. I said, “Dad, what’s going on here?” He said it was a sports talk radio station, 24 hours a day, and I said, “Are these guys getting paid to do this?” I told him right then and there, that was what I wanted to do.







Why Clark University?

I loved Clark University. I loved everything I accomplished there both on and off the field. There is some regret as I grow older that I didn’t play at some of the Division I school that I had a chance to play at or just larger schools. At that time, a smaller school or a private school was for me, and my parents worried and were right to be, that I probably would have gotten lost at a bigger school. I went to Clark, but there’s always a part of me that wonders ‘Hey man, what could you have done if you went to Hopkins or Towson?’

How does it feel to still be sitting in the record books at Clark?

It’s pretty cool. I try to let people know about it anytime I can on my radio show. I don’t know if it’s an indictment on Clark University that no one has been able to break my record since I graduated, or I was just that good. I’d like to go with the latter.

How do you find the time to coach?

I really don’t have the time, but I also have a passion for the game and the inability to say no. I just make the time. When you care about something and are passionate about something the way I am about lacrosse, you just find the time. My daughter had joined this program called MadSkillz, which was a travel program. I was sitting on the side like all the other dads, watching. For me, at the time, I knew I could lend a hand, because the game was so new down here. I knew if I jumped in I could really help this team out. I went up to the guy whose program it is, John McClain, and I offered my services to coach the 2022 team, which is my daughter’s team. It was funny, he said ‘Do you know anything about lacrosse?’ I said ‘I don’t know, give me that stick over there.’ He threw me stick and I took a shot, like a 91 mile-per-hour shot, upper left corner, and he was like ‘OK, you can coach our team.’

I love being at ESPN. I love what Dan and I do. But I’ll tell you, a close second if not equally, I love being out there with the girls. They humble me and make me laugh and I’m helping them achieve their goals on the field and some off the field as well.

Why did you decide to wear the USL jacket on air?

I have a very limited rotation of clothing. If I wore it twice in a week, you can probably take it to the bank that I’ll be wearing it twice a week moving forward. My wife actually just saw it and bought it for me. She knows what I like, she knows I like lacrosse and the colors I like. I got home and it was just sitting there on the counter, and I was happy because she had purchased something for me and not herself. I saw it and I started wearing it on the show.

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