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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Richard brings gold medal mentality to Marquette

Jake Richard celebrates winning the gold medal at the 2023 World Lacrosse Championships. (Photo via @jake_richard27 and @usa_mlax on Instagram.)

It was shortly after walking the stage at graduation that Marquette men’s lacrosse defensive coordinator Jake Richard got a call.

After coming off a successful year playing for the Golden Eagles in 2016, Richard had intended to take the summer to play lacrosse and solidify his spot at the professional level and then work a sales job in the fall.

That was until former Marquette head coach Joe Amplo — now the defensive coordinator for Team USA — offered him a position to be a part of the coaching staff. Eight years later, Richard is still chasing his dreams, but now as a player and a coach.

It started back in the summer of 2017 when tryouts for the 2018 World Games were underway. After being placed as an alternate, Richard stuck with the sport at a professional level.

“I fell in love with the opportunity to chase being the best,” Richard said. “There were various events throughout the year, little touchpoints that Team USA does to keep guys involved.”

It wasn’t until the end of 2022 that he was out of the player pool and on Team USA’s roster alongside former Marquette men’s lacrosse defenseman Liam Byrnes.

Richard was to compete in the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, and the goal was to go for the gold, but there was a deeper mentality in the back of Richard’s mind.

“The dream was to make the team, and there were so many things that went into that,” Richard said. “From that point forward, it was about, ‘I can’t let these guys down. We can’t let the country down. We have to win it.'”

Whether it was goofing off during practice, the locker room or huddle moments, or building chemistry with the team, it was family that was the most important part, which allowed him to beat Canada and bite the gold.

“When you have a goal like this, a big piece of it is personal, and at times, selfish,” Richard said. “You want to do it so that one day you can tell your kid you’re a world champion.”

It’s what he’s learned on the professional side that has allowed him to enhance Marquette.

For graduate student defenseman Mason Woodward, having Richard as a coach has been beneficial on and off the field.

“He’s really had us believe in our goals,” Woodward said. “He’s really implemented the belief of, if we continue to do the right things every day, stick to our process and work really hard, then we can achieve a lot of great things.”

Richard said that competing alongside and against the best players in the world allows him to bring valuable lessons back to Marquette. When he came back to the Golden Eagles as a coach, he wanted to make sure his players understood they need to believe in themselves, too, something that helped him throughout his career.

“So many people believed in me, and that helped me believe in myself,” Richard said. “I’m constantly reminding the guys that the personal growth you will accomplish by trying to be your best is tremendous.”

By sending this message, Richard said he hopes to create a team culture, build relationships with the players and let them know that he will always be in their corner.

“There will be specific teaching points in practice or in film that helped him that he wants to teach to help us,” Woodward said. “Where he’s a great coach is when he teaches us the life lessons off the field. He says to be in the moment because we’re only going to do this once.”

After falling short last season, Richard said he believes this team will be able to respond to the challenges faced and leave it all out on the field.

“I’m excited to see them lean on each other,” Richard said. “This year, I believe that we have enough to accomplish the goals the guys set out to accomplish.”

With Richard’s help, Marquette, too, can go for gold.

This article was written by Raquel Ruiz. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @RaquelRuizMU.

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About the Contributors
Raquel Ruiz
Raquel Ruiz, Sports Reporter
Raquel Ruiz is a first-year student from Mundelein, Illinois studying digital media and is a Sports Reporter for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys playing volleyball, volunteering in her local community, spending time with friends and family and binge-watching tv shows. She is excited to learn from different people and explore what it is like to be a journalist in the media field.
Trevor Hilson
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

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