The Ohio Machine goalie Brian Phipps is riding high with the stellar rookie season he had in 2011. Brian helped lead the Chesapeake Bayhawks to their seventh playoff berth. In his first MLL season, Brian started in ten games for the Bayhawks, posting a 14.14 goals against average and tallying over 117 saves. Brian’ outstanding play was rewarded with his selection to the 2011 MLL All-Star game. Brian joins the Machine after being drafted in the 9th round of the MLL Expansion Draft with the 17th overall selection.
Prior playing the MLL, Brian piled up the accolades at the University of Maryland. He was named 2007 ACC Freshman of the Year, 2007 Levitt Memorial Award winner, 2008-2010 ALL-ACC Academic Team, 2010 All-American, 2010 Scholar All-American and 2010 University of Maryland Male Athlete of the Year. After his collegiate playing career, Brian joined Maryland’s coaching staff and is in his second year as a volunteer assistant coach.
With the 2012 inaugural season, Brian can’t wait to get out on the field with the extremely talent-laden roster and to help grow the sport of lacrosse in Ohio as part of the expansion team.
"I am very excited to be a part of the growth of this sport and Major League Lacrosse into the Midwest as we start to get ready for the 2012 inaugural season with the Ohio Machine,” said Brian. “It is wonderful to see more teams being added to the League, and looking forward to helping make this team a contender for the championship. We have an extremely talented group of guys that will be dedicated to winning and helping the Machine excel in its first MLL season."
What made you choose lacrosse over all the other sports out there?
I grew up in a lacrosse family. My grandfather played lacrosse at the University of Maryland and coached at the Naval Academy. My dad played lacrosse at the University of Maryland and coached me and my brother growing up. My mom played lacrosse at Roanoke College. My brother played lacrosse at the University of Maryland, as well. So I pretty much grew up with a lacrosse stick in my hands at all times.
When you were little, did you expect to be one of the best players in the world?
I never thought I would be playing professional lacrosse. I am honored to be playing the sport I love at the pro level.
What is some advice you would give to those youth players hoping to make it to MLL status one day?
If you are passionate about lacrosse, keep practicing and enjoy the game. Have fun with the game but continue to work hard every day to achieve your goals.
Why do you love lacrosse?
Lacrosse has been something I have loved ever since I can remember. It has become my life. I have met some of the greatest people in my life through the game of lacrosse. The community that is involved with lacrosse has some truly great people in it.
Who has been your favorite person to work with up to this point in your career?
There are two people that have had significant influence on my lacrosse career. The first is my dad who coached me in my youth and high school days. I learned a great deal from him and very thankful for having such a great role model as my best friend and coach. The other person was my goalie coach in college, Pat Hutchinson. He spent numerous hours working with me to help me get better. He would always push me to get better, to work that much harder, and to never quit. We would always have competitive battles, which made it more fun to work hard. He was a great coach and an even better friend.
Who is your lacrosse role model?
I would have to say Kip Turner. He was the goalie before me at my high school, Severn School. He has gone on to win a NCAA championship, MLL championship, MLL Goalie of the Year and so forth. He has been a great friend and mentor. And I am looking forward to playing against him at the pro level.
What has been your favorite moment in your pro lacrosse career so far?
It was probably winning the MLL championship for the Chesapeake Bayhawks. I was only on the practice squad, but seeing my teammates compete and play so well made me proud. It was a great team win!
What is one thing that you try to improve on with your playing style?
As a goalie, I always try to get better. I always compete to not let up a goal. If I do not let in a goal, my team will always win. That is my mindset going into every game.
What are your thoughts on being part of the Ohio Machine inaugural season?
I am very excited to start building the team. I am looking forward to a fresh new start where I know the people in Ohio are excited to be a part of the new team.
What are you looking forward to the most this upcoming season?
I am looking forward to competing against the best players in the world. Through my lacrosse career I have come to know many of the guys. It is always fun to compete against your friends and old college teammates.
What is one thing you hope to get out of this upcoming season with the Machine?
I hope we can make a run for the championship this year. I know it is our first year, but I think we have a talented team and looking forward to playing with these guys.
How do you spend your offseason?
I am an assistant coach at the University of Maryland, my alma mater. I love working with the student athletes here and continue to learn more about the game of lacrosse.
Do you have any game day superstitions?
I am a very superstitious person. In college I had so many before games. I used to always drink a glacier freeze and Reese’s peanut butter cups. At the pro level, I have kept some of my superstitions. I am always the last one out of the locker room and before I enter the crease before the game, I tap my toes three times.
What is your typical pregame meal?
I usually do not eat a big pregame meal before games. I always like to be light on my toes and try to eat four hours before the game.
How do you prepare for an upcoming game?
I am a huge believer in film study. I like to scout my opponents and try to give myself an advantage going into the game.
How do you categorize a season as successful?
I am all about the team first. If our team has a successful season and reaches our goals, then we had a great season. For us, I would like to make the playoffs and make a push for the championship.
Do you have any favorite restaurants in Columbus?
I have not been to Columbus before, but my teammate from Maryland and now teammate on the Machine, Max Schmidt’s family has a sausage restaurant that I am really looking forward to going to. I know it has been on Man vs. Food and I am pretty excited to try it out. The cream puffs look amazing.
Who is your favorite Columbus team, besides the Machine?
I am a big LeBron James fan, so I am bummed out he does not play for the Cleveland Cavaliers anymore. But I am looking forward to becoming an Ohio State fan. I know the Columbus people are very passionate about Ohio State and I am looking forward to them becoming Ohio Machine fans. OH-IO
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My dad always told me before every game: “Play hard, try your best and have fun”
What are three words that would describe who you are?
Passionate, Competitive, Fun-loving
Favorite sport outside of lacrosse: Football or Golf
Favorite part about lacrosse: The friends you meet
Favorite type of food: French Fries
Favorite restaurant: Adam’s Ribs
Favorite place in the world you’ve been to: College Park, MD
Favorite place you would like to visit but haven’t: Greece
Favorite lacrosse moment/experience: Beating Navy my freshman year in 2OT in my hometown
Most influential person in your life: My dad Wilson Brian
Top 3 favorite movies: Newsies, Hangover, Shawshank Redemption
Top 5 favorite bands/artists: Matt Nathanson, Eminem, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Nelly
One thing you want to do but never done before: Skydiving