Takeaways from John Tillman's Appearance on 'Overtime'

John Tillman was the guest on Season 3, Episode 8 of the Overtime podcast, out Tuesday.


John Tillman has put together one of the most illustrious coaching careers in the history of lacrosse, but he wasn't always set on manning the sidelines. As a post-grad, Tillman almost chose to travel the world before taking his first coaching job.

Learn more about the 2017 national championship winning coach of Maryland, who joined Paul Carcaterra on the 'Overtime' podcast.

Colin Heacock and Matt Rambo Added Fun to Maryland Lacrosse

John Tillman runs a tight ship in College Park, but he makes sure to let his players lead, and at times, have a blast doing it. That was never more true than when Colin Heacock and Matt Rambo came to campus.

The two best friends help lead Maryland to the NCAA title in 2017, and their antics made the Terps a looser bunch during a pressure-filled May.

“[They are] ultra competitive on the field, but they just had this way about them,” he said. “They made everything fun. They knew when it was time to compete and do thing they way they needed to be done.”

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A Trip to Australia Almost Changed Tillman’s Career

John Tillman wasn’t sure what he wanted to do once his playing career at Cornell ended. He hadn’t entertained coaching at that point and had heard about opportunities in England and Australia to continue spreading the game of lacrosse.

He was close to making the move to Australia.

“I had met some people from Australia at a camp I was working, and that seemed to appeal to me because it was something that would force me out of my comfort zone,” he said. “I thought going somewhere around the world would be great for my growth.”

His plans changed that fall, and he headed to start his coaching career at Ithaca. That decision seems to have worked out fine.







He’s a Big Fan of Dabo Swinney

John Tillman has had many mentors within the game of lacrosse, but he also looks outside of the sport for inspiration. Carcaterra asked Tillman what non-lacrosse coach he’d like to shadow for a season, and the Maryland coach was quick to answer — Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney.

“He’s doing it his way,” Tillman said. “The enthusiasm that Dabo has and his unique personality is really interesting. There’s something about Dabo — his energy and ability to connect with people. It would be real intriguing to see him.”

When Maryland players knew their season would be canceled, they had one last hurrah

John Tillman had seen other sports cancel or suspend their seasons, so he fully expected the Terps might suffer the same fate.

The Terps were two days away from a matchup with Virginiaw when Tillman saw the news that the NBA season was suspended. He had a feeling the NCAA would follow suit, so he arranged a scrimmage at practice that night.

“If anything did go down, I wanted those guys to have one last moment together,” he said. “It was awesome. Some of the guys switched positions. One of our managers, Nick Abbott, suited up. It was awesome.”

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